Shristi Das: 13th December 2022

High Functioning Anxiety: The Phenomenon of Invisible Stress

High functioning anxiety is a term which has gained popularity in the recent times. It is not a defined medical diagnosis. It is a term used to describe an expression of anxiety in which one is functional despite experiencing various symptoms of anxiety such as excessive anxiety, restlessness, sleep problems etc. 

The high functioning aspect of anxiety has both positive and negative characteristics. The individual may feel well-equipped to deal with daily tasks. But on the other hand, this can often lead to the individual to underestimate their struggles and make them less likely to seek help. It can also cause scrutiny from other people in their lives as to how can something be wrong, when the person is doing well in their life. 

In today’s world, where people are increasingly equating their self-worth to productivity high functioning anxiety is more likely to become an issue. Individuals who have achieved success in a short period of time, such as gifted children and adolescents, people who have received frequent promotions at their workplace, can be particularly vulnerable to high-functioning anxiety. They are more likely to engage in catastrophic thinking. For example- an academically gifted child may consider average marks in a test to failing the test.

Due to the growing mental health awareness in the society, people are likely to be able recognize symptoms of mental distress and seek help. Support of family, friends as well as professional help can help an individual to not just survive but thrive in their lives..