High Functioning Anxiety Makes Success a Struggle

High functioning anxiety affects 18% of the 40-million adults who must deal with an anxiety disorder at any given time. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that this type of anxiety brings struggle and stress into their daily lives impacting overall satisfaction with a busy lifestyle.

High Functioning Anxiety Described

Most adults typically viewed as being successful, an overachiever, or even as having an “A” personality, are prone to having high functioning anxiety. While the general public perceives the positive outcomes from having this type of anxiety, it fails to see the struggle involved in getting there, staying there, dealing with constant worry, or with keeping up the effort of presenting a false persona to the rest of the world.

High Functioning Anxiety Diagnosis

In speaking about anxiety disorders, the type, high functioning, is not a real medical diagnosis, but rather a term being used more and more by mental health professionals to describe actions, symptoms, and emotions. This type of anxiety may exhibit many features of an anxiety disorder without the criteria for an actual diagnosis – they may have symptoms but are able to function through the struggle without life disruption.

Common Symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety

Some of the common signs that you may be struggling through life with high functioning anxiety include:

  • You are often told you are a Type A personality or a perfectionist.
  • You may have unrealistic expectations of yourself along with a fear of not meeting them.
  • You exhibit controlling patterns, habits, or strict routines
  • You find your life constantly busy and packed with plans and tasks to accomplish
  • You do not sleep well, tossing and turning throughout the night
  • You find yourself with frequent complaints of aches or pains, feel like there is a knot in your stomach, or find yourself biting nails, tapping your foot or cracking your knuckles as a sign of suppressed anxiety
  • You often keep your emotions bottled up, presenting a “false face” to others making it difficult for others to really know how you are feeling
  • You have a fear of disappointing or letting others down, often talking negatively about yourself
  • You cannot say “no” to the requests of others, often taking on more than you can realistically handle.

High Functioning Anxiety Psychiatrist

Even if the anxiety symptoms experienced are not interfering at work, home, or in social situations, they can still impact enjoyment and quality of life. Reducing the high functioning anxiety symptoms can end the struggle and lead to a more satisfying life all around. Call Dr. Hege for a confidential evaluation and determine the more effective treatment strategy for your needs.


Social Anxiety Disorder Puts Fear in Control

Most people with social anxiety disorder or social phobia recognize they have excessive or unreasonable fear, yet often avoid those feared situations instead of seeking out help. In the U.S., up to 13% of the population will experience social anxiety during their lifetime. When finding themselves in a feared situation, those with social anxiety typically experience intense anxiety.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Experiencing social phobia or social anxiety is tied to the intense fear of being humiliated in social situations in front of other people. For those with social anxiety disorder they often feel that others will judge them as anxious, weak, stupid, inarticulate, that they may “mess up,” or that others may notice their trembling hands or voice. Anxiety can occur during simple social situations such as eating out where needing to speak publicly is not a requirement.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

Some of the symptoms experienced include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle tension or trembling
  • Shaky voice
  • Blushing
  • Confusion
  • Panic attack in severe cases

Experiencing these symptoms often cause added concern and anxiety over the worry that they will bring unwanted and embarrassing attention.

Types of Social Anxiety Disorder

Social phobia or anxiety can be expressed in several different ways and may occur in a variety of situations; however, those with this disorder will either avoid social or performance situations or find themselves enduring them with intense anxiety or stress. Some of the types of social anxiety include:

  • Anticipatory anxiety – fear and anxiety regarding an upcoming event or social situation which can become a vicious cycle leading to feelings of being embarrassed or giving a poor performance which affect future situations
  • Generalized social phobia – fear and anxiety is experienced in almost any social interaction
  • Non-generalized social anxiety – one or two situations bring anxiety and fear
  • Social anxiety disorder – a significant and persistent fear of humiliation or embarrassment in social or performance situations; recognition of their excessive or unreasonable fears; avoidance of feared social and performance events or tolerating only with intense anxiety or distress; the fear, anxiety, and distress experienced interfere with one’s normal routine or relationships; the fear and anxiety reported are not due to medication, a medical condition, substance abuse, or another mental health disorder.

Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder

Most people with a diagnosed social anxiety disorder need professional treatment to find relief. Treatment which may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, specific psychiatric medications, and use of other adjunct services are highly effective in the treatment of social phobia or anxiety.

Social Anxiety Disorder Psychiatrist

Stop the suffering, fear, and avoidance of social situations in your life. Treatment is very effective and successful and can stop your social anxiety from limiting your ability to function and enjoy daily living. Call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment – take steps to get rid of the control anxiety has on your life.