Are you a self-labeled perfectionist? Do you often worry about if people like you or if they’re angry with you? Do you need constant reassurance? Are you loyal to a fault?
If you said yes to most of these questions, you might unknowingly be dealing with high-functioning anxiety.
While there are many different kinds of anxiety, high-functioning anxiety refers to people who deal with anxiety but can function reasonably well in day-to-day life. You’ll most likely see them as “overachievers”, or those who are seemingly perfect in work, school, and other aspects of life.
High-functioning anxiety is not yet an official diagnosis, but it can still pose a number of challenges in life. While it can be hard to spot its characteristics, we’ve got a couple of tell-tale signs that might make it a bit easier for you.
You people please
People-pleasing is a pretty common trait for anyone. The struggle to be liked by your peers is a shared one that many of us have experienced growing up.
But those with high-functioning anxiety take this to another level. The charismatic co-worker who gets along with just about anyone might be hiding the fact that she’s actually afraid of letting people down or driving others away. She wants people to like her because she’s worried what would happen if they didn’t.
You constantly need reassurance
Again, this seems like another symptom that many “normal” people also exhibit.
But in the case of those suffering from high-functioning anxiety, individuals are constantly asking for reassurance. It seems that they can’t fully make decisions for themselves and may ask the same question over and over again to avoid making a mistake.
You can’t “live in the moment”
Instead of enjoying the moment or being present in the present, you might always be thinking of the next step or what could possibly go wrong. It’s hard for you to sit still with whatever you’re doing because you’re always concerned about what would happen if you fell behind or didn’t complete your task for the day.
You can’t stop working
Being a workaholic is one of the most telling signs for high-functioning anxious individuals. These people often feel that their work is tied to their self-worth; if they do not succeed or do well, it may spell failure.
High-functioning anxiety is more than perfectionism or being an “overachiever”. It is a form of mental illness that leaves people in a constant state of worry and fear of not being good enough.
The negative feelings stem from a place of low self-esteem or self-confidence that often leaves the afflicted person struggling to achieve a sense of success.
If you’ve found that you suffer from high-functioning anxiety, try your best to relax and spend some time every day working on your mental health. Practice a good sleep regimen and remind yourself that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t always do it perfectly or on time.
Remember: it can be hard to deal with, but you’re not alone.