What Is It Like To Live With High Functioning Anxiety Disorder?

One can learn a lot from Anxiety with the right kind of therapeutic help.
Written by Shreya Sharma

What is High Functioning Anxiety Disorder ?

High Functioning Anxiety is very hard to explain. As much as one wants to bring an end to  this constant state of being busy, they just CANNOT. Instead, they are driven by details and perfectionism in order to calm the racing thoughts, worry and fear that consumes every ounce of their body.

So we hide all of it. We hide it in our stress and constant state of panic by sitting on the edge of our seat and planning. Planning for what you might ask? We plan for our unforeseen future- the what ifs and the maybes that always keep us on our toes. And this probably leaves you wondering why. Why would someone drive themselves over the edge of a cliff knowing very well that it is a dead-end? Actually, it is this state of constant nervous, nail-biting energy that drives a person with High Functioning Anxiety  Disorder forward.

High-functioning Anxiety Disorder causes one to worry constantly.

What is Hyper-focusing?

One of the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety is also hyper-focusing. They always push themselves to do better, to achieve more and succeed more.  While it helps them to achieve more ,there is always a state of mental exhaustion caused by over-thinking. Imagine what it must feel like to have endless thoughts racing through your mind all the time! These thoughts include irrational fears– fears of what has gone wrong, what is wrong and what will be wrong.  This vicious circle of endless worry and fear may seem like irrational, illogical and irrelevant to a non-anxious person. But then, we  have to keep in mind that it is very difficult for an anxious person to explain all this.

A persisting theme is that those attempting to combat their anxiety try to be over-prepared for everything as they are experiencing intense nervousness in their daily lives. Hence they have the tendency to arrive an hour prior to their appointments/ meetings/ social gathering or writing so many to do list. It is very likely that all this facade of  high level of energy and enthusiasm is actually just an act of  escapism. In fact, they’re doing all they can to avoid those in-between times where things quiet down and they’re alone with their intrusive thoughts.

How do these people function?

People with high functional anxiety are fully functional. They will appear in control and actively take part in day to day task. But, it is a fight for them to make it through a day without having free-floating worries. They may privately suffer from panic attack. The thought of meeting new people, public speaking or traveling alone is enough to leave them worrying for hours. Much of anxiety is due to an uncontrolled worry or social evaluation. However, it goes unnoticed unless the person displays a lot of physical symptoms of avoidance.

One of the major issue with people who suffer from high functional anxiety is that they don’t really seem to be suffering! On the outside, High Functioning Anxiety Disorder may appear easy to deal with. Nevertheless, they require proper treatment.


If you or anyone you know is suffering from High Functioning  Anxiety Disorder, please remember that you are not alone. Please reach out to your friends or family and seek professional help. The counselors at Mind Solace shall be able to help you with disorders like High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder so that you can pave your way to a happier life.


About the author

Shreya Sharma

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