7 Telltale Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety

Apr 27, 2020

Welcome to Alison K Bowles, Ma Lmhc - your trusted destination for expert mental health advice and counseling services. If you suspect you may be experiencing high-functioning anxiety, it's important to understand its telltale signs and seek proper support. In this article, we will explore the 7 common signs of high-functioning anxiety and provide insights on how to identify and manage them effectively.

1. Persistent Self-Criticism and Perfectionism

One of the key indicators of high-functioning anxiety is the persistent self-criticism and perfectionism that accompanies it. Individuals with this type of anxiety often set impossibly high standards for themselves in various areas of their lives, constantly striving for flawlessness. This self-imposed pressure can lead to feelings of being constantly judged and never meeting expectations.

2. Overthinking and Analyzing

High-functioning anxiety is characterized by a tendency to overthink and analyze every situation. Individuals may find themselves trapped in a cycle of constant worrying, weighing every possible outcome and trying to anticipate and control every detail. This relentless mental activity can be exhausting and result in increased stress levels.

3. Difficulty Relaxing and Always Being On-the-Go

Those with high-functioning anxiety often struggle with relaxation and find it challenging to switch off their minds. They feel a constant need to be productive and are constantly on-the-go, filling their schedules to avoid idle time. This desire to stay busy may stem from a fear of not being productive or a fear of their anxious thoughts becoming overwhelming when left unoccupied.

4. Extreme Sensitivity to Criticism

Individuals with high-functioning anxiety can be hypersensitive to any form of criticism, however minor it may be. They tend to take criticism personally and excessively ruminate over it, leading to feelings of inadequacy and heightened self-doubt. Their fear of failure and not meeting expectations makes them particularly vulnerable to criticism.

5. Chronic Overachievement and Striving for Validation

High-functioning anxiety often drives individuals towards chronic overachievement and a constant need for validation. They may push themselves to excel in academics, careers, or other areas to prove their worth and alleviate their anxiety. However, this relentless pursuit of success can be draining and may not provide the long-term validation they desire.

6. Difficulty Saying No and Boundary Setting

Individuals with high-functioning anxiety often struggle with setting boundaries and saying no to additional responsibilities or commitments. They fear disappointing others and fear the repercussions of declining requests, even when it exhausts them physically and mentally. This difficulty in setting boundaries can lead to increased stress levels and burnout.

7. Insomnia and Sleep Disturbances

Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or trouble falling asleep, are common among individuals with high-functioning anxiety. Their constant worrying and racing thoughts significantly impact their ability to relax and achieve restful sleep. The lack of quality sleep further exacerbates their anxiety symptoms, creating a vicious cycle.

If you identify with any of these telltale signs, it's crucial to seek support and professional help. At Alison K Bowles, Ma Lmhc, we specialize in providing compassionate mental health counseling services tailored to your unique needs. Our team is experienced in helping individuals overcome high-functioning anxiety and regain control of their lives.

Contact Alison K Bowles, Ma Lmhc today to schedule an appointment and take the first step in your journey towards managing your high-functioning anxiety. Our dedicated team is here to support you every step of the way.


Please note that the information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you have concerns about your mental health, please consult with a licensed mental health professional.

Jenna Stein
Thank you for sharing this valuable information. It's crucial to recognize the signs of high-functioning anxiety and seek appropriate support. Understanding and managing these signs can significantly improve one's well-being. This article provides insightful guidance on identifying and effectively dealing with the common symptoms of high-functioning anxiety. I highly recommend reading it for anyone seeking self-awareness and strategies to cope with anxiety.
Nov 11, 2023