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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

What is high-functioning anxiety?

Your mind is hurting, screaming, panicking, pushing and punishing, and you are so deeply enmeshed in your thoughts, you don't realise it is affecting your health and how.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: September 19, 2019 1:35:28 pm
anxiety, high-functioning anxiety, panic attack, anxious, mental health, indian express, indian express news Here’s what living with high-functioning anxiety looks like. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

To the outside world, it may seem like you have everything under control. But inside your head, there’s a loud mess. Your mind is hurting, screaming, panicking, pushing and punishing, and you are so deeply enmeshed in your thoughts, you don’t realise it is affecting your health and how.

This is not just general anxiety, one that every human being experiences from time to time. These are symptoms of high-functioning anxiety that is relentless and seemingly persistent. A serous medical condition, it is debilitating and can interfere with your daily activities.

Here are some symptoms of this chronic mental health issue.

Worrying excessively

We all worry about something or the other every day, without giving too much thought to it. But people with high-functioning anxiety, worry excessively and compulsively. Experts say that if this mental state prevails for 15 days a month, for over six months, the person is likely to be plagued by an anxiety disorder.

Not being in control

You are actually not in control of your thoughts that are running unbridled, but people around you do not realise this. They advise you to “stop thinking about it” and try “calming techniques” instead, but it is not so simple. To make matters worse, you appear calm on the outside and successful even. So, people have a hard time believing you are not in control.

kristen stewart, anxiety, high functioning anxiety, anxiety issues, indian express, indian express news Many celebrities including Hollywood actress Kristen Stewart have spoken about their battles with anxiety. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press via AP)

Interfering with daily life

You are always way too conscious of your day-to-day activities like going to work, managing interpersonal relationships, meeting your priorities, etc. But, all of this overwhelms you and despite your cool demeanour, you are often screaming on the inside. The experience can often be daunting and incapacitating.

Sleep habits

You could have trouble falling asleep, given your thought-chain keeps you constantly worried and ruminating. Or you could suffer from restless sleep. The nervous system might be in overdrive. In such cases, it is advisable to stay away from caffeine and alcohol, and other items that could further mess with your sleep.

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Being irritable

People battling anxiety may run low on concentration, and subsequently get irritable and tense over things. Patience is thin and you sweat about the smallest stuff.

Celebrities who are living with anxiety

You are not alone in this big world. Many celebrities have gone on record to state they have anxiety issues and are dealing with their situation, from Oprah Winfrey to Kourtney Kardashian and Hollywood A-listers Kristen Stewart and Miley Cyrus.

It is recommended to consult a doctor and seek help. Remember, this battle is not yours alone to fight, and the weight of the world is not on you alone.

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