UPP's Weekly Mental Digest
"Signs of High Functioning Anxiety"
by Shari Wilson, Psy. M.
August 05, 2022
Happy Friday everyone! Shari Wilson, Psy. M, your virtual psychologist, here for our weekly talk. Get comfortable in my virtual office and let's begin....
This week’s topic is definitely one that many can relate to from personal experience or have seen firsthand but maybe couldn’t put a finger on exactly what was going on with that individual. So let's look at the identifying markers of what is considered High Functioning Anxiety.
To understand what High Functioning Anxiety is we need to know what anxiety is.
According to anxiety.org, “Anxiety is the mind and body's reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. It's the sense of uneasiness, distress, or dread you feel before a significant event. A certain level of anxiety help us stay alert and aware, but for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it feels far from normal - it can be completely debilitating.”
Now that we have a quick glimpse of what anxiety is, let's look at High Functioning Anxiety.
Let's just say you’re a senior partner at a law firm and you are KILLIN’ IT! You are on top of EVERY case given. You meet all of your quotas PLUS some extras. The entire office sees you as somewhat of an overachiever.
You are easy to get along with.
EVERYONE is getting a warm "Good Morning" when they walk past your office.
Everyone in the office enjoys the work environment that you create, but that’s only because they don't see your internal struggle.
You're always-prepared persona is really your continuous state of exhaustion and rushing at the last minute to make deadlines.
You have your overachieving aspect which is really your struggle with the pressure to succeed at all costs because the fear of possibly failing is crippling. Although you know you can do great things, you DO NOT believe in yourself to accomplish no matter HOW others may see you. Even your easy-going personality, which others love so much about you, is really your need to please people at a very unhealthy rate.
During your morning salutations, you accidentally missed saying, "Good Morning" to your co-worker, due to a client’s call. This is nothing to worry about, UNLESS you are suffering from High Functioning Anxiety because you’re about to beat yourself up about it. You not speaking to your co-worker, although seems is perfectly fine and knows that it was unintentional, you are about to put yourself through the wringer because you made a “mistake” by not speaking to EVERYONE. That drive that you have that has led you to such great success is fueled by the fact that you will play out every situation in your head to find the worst thing that could happen to you. This is you, “covering all your bases” for whatever might happen.
Do these emotions sound familiar?
They did to me, especially the obsessing over small things that many wouldn't even notice. I had to figure out a way to not necessarily fix myself, because I am not broken, but instead eliminate self-made boundaries.
Here are some ways that worked for me.
First things first...
VALIDATE YOURSELF. Start to insert your thoughts/opinions instead of just always pleasing others.
Next something as simple as a CHANGE YOUR SCENERY. Going outside to get a little sunshine is always nice but if that is not an option, then simply getting up from where you are and walking around is nice as well.
Set yourself up for success.
Being prepared for a future task can help to not feel rushed and lessen your stress.
Lastly, seek out some type of support. This is not something that you need to take on alone, so don't. These 4 suggestions saved me from some serious triggers, so I strongly recommend that if you are noticing some of these struggles, try them as well.
It's the minor things that can make such a huge change for the better.
Thank y'all for stopping by. This chat was phenomenal, as always.
Until next week!!!
About the writer:
Shari Wilson has a genuine heart to listen to anyone who shares their experiences, traumas, or just life in general. She studied at Purdue Global University, acquiring her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Addictions Psychology in 2016. On the path to furthering her studies, she received her Master of Psychology in 2018 from Purdue Global University. Since then she has been enamored with the ability to use her education to help others through difficult times.
She is a Consulting Psychologist for UnCharted Path Productions, working on the upcoming psychological thriller series titled, “Hidden District”. She is a mom of 3, a wife, and an amazing friend to those around her. If you would like to get in contact with her regarding a counseling session, please email her at: email@example.com or her Instagram.
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