High Functioning Anxiety: Signs, Causes and Treatment of It

High Functioning Anxiety | Tips for Managing Anxiety

Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes. For some, it’s crippling, making it impossible to leave the house or do anything that involves socializing. For others, anxiety might be more subtle, causing them to feel constantly on edge or overwhelmed. If you fall into the latter category – those who struggle with high functioning anxiety – you know how frustrating it can be. You might feel like you’re “faking” your way through life, or like you’re the only one who feels this way. The truth is, you are not alone. In this guide, we will discuss what high functioning anxiety is, its common symptoms, and strategies for managing it.

What Is High Functioning Anxiety?

High-functioning anxiety is a type of anxiety that manifests in someone who seems to be functioning normally. They may have a successful career, good grades, and close relationships. However, they also experience chronic anxiety that can interfere with their daily lives.

Sometimes, high-functioning anxiety can be mistaken for simply being a perfectionist or Type A personality. However, there is a difference between having high standards and struggling with anxiety. People with high-functioning anxiety often have a hard time relaxing and may feel like they’re never good enough.

If you think you might be struggling with high-functioning anxiety, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you manage your anxiety healthily.

There are several treatment options available for high-functioning anxiety, including therapy, medication, and self-care. Therapists can help you understand your thoughts and emotions related to your anxiety. They can also teach you coping skills to deal with anxious thoughts and situations.

Symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety

High-functioning anxiety can manifest in a variety of ways. For some, it may look like constant worry and rumination. Others may experience panic attacks, chest pain, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations.

High-functioning anxiety can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, insomnia, and muscle tension. People with high-functioning anxiety may also have trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks.

Some of these signs of high-functioning anxiety may be mistaken for other conditions, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or even depression. It is important to speak with a mental health professional if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Some of these signs are:


One of the most common physical symptoms of anxiety is headaches. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache associated with anxiety. These headaches are caused by muscle tension in the head and neck.


Anxiety can also cause stomachaches and digestive problems. People with anxiety may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Anxiety can also worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


Another common symptom of anxiety is fatigue. This fatigue is different from the type of fatigue people experience when they are physically exhausted. Anxiety-related fatigue is mental and physical exhaustion that is not relieved by rest. People with high-functioning anxiety may have trouble sleeping or may wake up feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep.


Anxiety can also cause insomnia. People with anxiety may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. They may wake up frequently during the night or early in the morning and be unable to return to sleep. Insomnia can lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating during the day.

Muscle tension

People with anxiety often experience muscle tension. This tension can lead to headaches, neck pain, back pain, and clenched jaws. Anxiety can also cause people to grind their teeth or clench their fists when they are not aware they are doing it.

Difficulty concentrating

Anxiety can make it difficult to concentrate on tasks or remember information. This difficulty is sometimes mistaken for attention deficit disorder (ADD). People with anxiety may have trouble reading or may feel like their mind is going blank when they try to concentrate.


Anxiety can also cause irritability. People with anxiety may be more prone to anger outbursts, impatience, and frustration. They may have difficulty dealing with stress and may seem on edge or easily agitated.

Constant worry

People with high-functioning anxiety often worry excessively about things that are unlikely to happen. They may ruminate on worst-case scenarios and have difficulty letting go of their worries. Worry can lead to sleep problems, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.

Panic attacks

Some people with high-functioning anxiety experience panic attacks. A panic attack is a period of intense fear or discomfort that peaks within minutes. Panic attacks can cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or stomach upset. Also, people may feel like they are going crazy, or they are going to die.

Constant stress

People with high-functioning anxiety often feel like they are in a state of constant stress. This stress can lead to problems such as headaches, stomachaches, and difficulty sleeping. The constant stress can also make it difficult to concentrate and may cause forgetfulness.

High-functioning anxiety is a real condition that can have serious consequences. If you think you may be struggling with high-functioning anxiety, please reach out to a mental health professional for help.

Common Reasons for High Functioning Anxiety

There are many common reasons that people may struggle with high-functioning anxiety. Some of the most common reasons include:

History of Trauma

One of the most common reasons that people may struggle with high-functioning anxiety is a history of trauma. This could include things like physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or even witnessing violence. If you have experienced any type of trauma in your life, it’s important to seek out professional help to deal with the anxiety it may cause.


Another common reason for high-functioning anxiety is perfectionism. If you’re someone who constantly strives for perfection in every aspect of your life, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and anxious when things don’t go perfectly. It’s important to learn how to let go of Perfectionism and accept that imperfections are part of life.

Stressful Life Situations

Life can be stressful. And, when you’re constantly dealing with stress, it can take a toll on your mental health. Some common stressful life situations that may contribute to high-functioning anxiety include:

  • Having a demanding job
  • Being a caretaker for someone else
  • Going through a divorce or other major life changes
  • Having financial problems

Loss of a Loved One

One of the most difficult things to deal with in life is the loss of a loved one. If you’ve experienced the death of a family member or close friend, it’s normal to feel grief and anxiety. It’s important to allow yourself time to grieve and heal. There are also support groups available if you need help dealing with your loss.

Abuse of Substances

If you abuse substances like alcohol or drugs, it can lead to high-functioning anxiety. This is because substance abuse can cause changes in the brain that lead to anxiety and other mental health problems. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to seek professional help so you can get the treatment you need.

As you can see, there are many common reasons that people may struggle with high-functioning anxiety. If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help. There are also many things you can do on your own to manage your anxiety and live a healthy life.

Tips for Managing High Functioning Anxiety

If you’re struggling with high-functioning anxiety, there are many things you can do to manage it. Here are a few tips:

Get Professional Help

If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help. There are many different types of therapies and treatments available that can help you manage your anxiety. If you’re not sure where to start, you can talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can help you find the right treatment for your needs.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mental health. It’s also a great way to get rid of excess energy that may be causing you to feel anxious. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. You can also try different types of exercises like yoga or meditation to help you relax.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is important for managing anxiety. Eating foods that are high in protein and low in sugar can help stabilize your mood and energy levels. Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants can also help reduce anxiety.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial for good mental health. When you’re sleep-deprived, it can make anxiety worse. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are many things you can do to improve your sleep habits.

These are just a few tips for managing high-functioning anxiety. If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help and find what works best for you. Remember, you’re not alone and there is help available.


High-functioning anxiety is a difficult condition to live with, but it is possible to manage it with the right tools and support. If you think you might have high functioning anxiety, reach out to a mental health professional for help. Remember, you are not alone in this struggle.

If you’re like me, then you know that high-functioning anxiety can be debilitating at times. It’s hard to explain to people who don’t suffer from it how all-consuming and exhausting it can be. But there is hope. With the right support and strategies in place, it is possible to manage high-functioning anxiety and lead a fulfilling life.

Hope this article was of help to you! If you are suffering from mental health disorders, you may seek help from Therapy Mantra. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who can provide you with the tools and skills necessary for overcoming mental health disorders. Contact us today to schedule an online therapy or download our free Android or iOS app for more information