They seem like the go-getters, the super-parents or the accomplished career people. Still, they may be feeling a sense of sadness and a decline in joy and quality of life. People with high-functioning anxiety are skilled at keeping things going while putting on a brave face. For them, it takes enormous effort and double the mental energy to keep it together than for those without anxiety.
Here are a few things people with High-Functioning Anxiety want you to know:
- I’m good at surviving, but it’s exhausting.
Just because I seem to be making it through the day doesn’t mean I’m not experiencing mental agony. With a mind permanently in worrying and overthinking mode, I am exhausted by the end of the day and may not be able to be at my best. I may need a breather or alone time, and I don’t want to explain myself constantly.
- Don’t envy my achievements.
I would love to relax, worry less, and laugh a lot more. However, we are programmed differently and being an anxious overachiever comes at a tremendous emotional cost.
- No, I don’t just need a vacation!
My mind and body still have anxiety symptoms wherever I go. A well-meaning comment like “you just need a vacation” tells me that you don’t really understand. Anxiety doesn’t take a break.
- It’s not about perfectionism; it’s about safety.
Anxiety goes hand in hand with perfectionists and over-thinkers, who put incredible pressure on themselves to exceed in all areas of life. The anxious mind sees mistakes as failures and problems as catastrophes. No one chooses to be this way, and perfectionism is often an extreme attempt to control and manage the fear lurking beneath the pressure. If I’m anxious, it’s because I’m feeling unsafe.
- Just because it’s invisible doesn’t mean it’s not real.
The loneliest thing about having high functioning anxiety is that others don’t seem to “get it” because it isn’t “obvious”. Any condition that impacts your ability to live, love, and engage is real. Your validation goes a long way in supporting me.
- Don’t expect me to spend my day-off the same way you do.
I’m not boring. I’m different. Just because my brain is focused and attentive at work does not mean I have to be like that at home. I love a good time with my friends, but I often need my downtime to nourish and replenish myself. Please, don’t call me antisocial, a hermit or old. I need to do what’s good for me.
- Be patient with me.
I cannot just “snap out of it,” but I’m doing my best. I might already be attending yoga classes, eating healthy, sniffing essential oils, seeing a therapist, or trying prescription medication for my anxiety. Some days I’m on my game, and other days I really struggle. Your patience offers me loads of support.
- I’m learning to see the bright side of this, and I hope you can too.
Being sensitive and easily affected by stressors can be challenging, but it makes me more empathetic, humble and compassionate. It’s a package deal.
Anxiety is real and complicated, but it is treatable. If you need help to control it and create a more manageable life, please contact one of our Mental Health Professionals, or call Life Path Health’s 24/7-Helpline on 072-7900-506.