Speaking in front of a crowd, interviewing for a job, or asking someone out on a date are all situations where one would expect to feel anxiety. Anxiety is a natural feeling occasionally experienced by most people when faced with stress or nervousness. However, more than 3 million people in the United States experience anxiety in ways that go beyond the typical situations and cause severe disruption to daily living due to extreme fear or worry.
An anxiety disorder is an all-encompassing term but can be broken down into specific psychiatric disorders. To learn more about the different types of anxiety disorders and anxiety treatment programs we offer, call Greater Boston Addiction Centers (GBAC) now and speak with one of our staff members at 877.920.6583.
What Is High Functioning Anxiety?
There are several types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder (PD). Still, one disorder is not recognized as a psychiatric condition, and that is high-functioning anxiety. High-functioning anxiety is not recognized because the symptoms associated with this disorder are not found in other types of anxiety disorders.
People with high-functioning anxiety likely have “internal panic attacks” while appearing fine on the exterior. This leads to most people seeking anxiety treatment somewhat later in life. These high-functioning people may be driven to work more because of their condition instead of being frozen in fear like other types of anxiety disorders. Listed below are some inward and outward feelings a person with high functioning anxiety may feel:
- Denial that anxiety exists
- The appearance of being “altogether” or level-headed
- Proactive in the workplace
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tension
- Flustered thoughts
- Increased heart rate
These symptoms are just as severe as those felt in other anxiety disorders. Persistent health issues that go untreated can decrease life expectancy. At GBAC, we care for our patients through a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy. With this approach to therapy, patients learn the tools and skills to cope in healthy ways for a lifetime. We carefully curate personalized programs designed to maximize the potential for lifelong recovery.
How Does High-Functioning Anxiety Impact Daily Living?
For those living with high-functioning anxiety, every day can be a battle. The need to be in control and the feeling of not being good enough are some of the ways this disorder manifests. This can lead to problems at work, at home, and in social situations. It is not uncommon for a person with high-functioning anxiety to feel like they are “walking on eggshells” because something as small as being a few minutes late to an appointment can trigger a feeling of anxiety.
People with high-functioning anxiety may also have difficulty relaxing. They may feel the need to be “on alert” all the time, which can lead to problems with concentration, focus, and memory. Additionally, this feeling of constantly being on edge can result in irritability and moodiness.
These symptoms can make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships and lead to work problems. The good news is that treatment options are available to help people manage their symptoms and live a more balanced life. Contact GBAC for more information at 877.920.6583.
Anxiety Treatment Options at GBAC
Listed below are treatment options a person with high functioning anxiety could benefit from at GBAC:
- Dual diagnosis treatment: It is not uncommon for those struggling with mental health issues, like untreated anxiety disorders, to self-medicate through drugs or alcohol. This can lead to an increased risk of substance abuse and dependency, which only makes things worse.
- Medication-assisted treatment: In some cases, people with anxiety could benefit from a professionally prescribed medication to alleviate symptoms and allow for a better quality of life.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical-behavioral therapy: These forms of “talk therapy” can provide the mindfulness approach to anxiety by equipping the patient with skills to be aware of emotions that could lead to anxiety. They also emphasize changing negative thoughts that lead to adverse behaviors. With the coping skills provided by these evidence-based approaches, anxiety can be managed effectively.
- Intensive outpatient treatment: An outpatient program provides structure and accountability while offering flexibility. A patient could still live at home and work while benefiting from all the treatment options a residential patient would receive
- Trauma-informed care: By addressing the root of a problem that could be associated with anxiety, healing can take place. A variety of coping skills and therapy sessions help the patient better understand their trauma and ultimately process it, reducing the feelings of constant anxiety.
By participating in one or more of our drug treatment programs, a person can restore hope to rebuild their life without anxiety.
Reach Out to GBAC Today
At GBAC, we are ready to help you take the first step to live your life with a renewed sense of well-being. You don’t have to experience anxiety alone. Our medical staff will choose a structured program designed with your unique needs in mind and implement them so that you can regain control. If you or a loved one is struggling with high functioning anxiety, or any related anxiety disorder, please call now at 877.920.6583 to get started on improving the quality of your life.