Stress and anxiety have become so commonplace that most people do not understand the severity of their impacts on our mental and physical well-being. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders among Americans of all ages, children included. And yet they are often the most overlooked or disregarded. Because who isn’t stressed out these days?
High-functioning anxiety is not a diagnosable mental health disorder according to the DSM-5, which dictates the parameters for diagnosing mental health disorders. However, it is an umbrella term for the millions of people who experience significantly high levels of anxiety yet appear to manage the responsibilities of everyday life without significant disruption. If this describes you, call Rose Hill Center today at 866.367.0220 to learn how we can help with anxiety treatment.
The Sneaky Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that nearly 19% of American adults have an anxiety disorder. This figure is likely inaccurate because of the number of people who accept anxiety as part of their personality without recognizing it as a mental health issue.
People with high-functioning anxiety are often viewed positively as the “go-getter”—the typical “type A personality” who excels at life and always appears to have everything together. In reality, people with high-functioning anxiety suffer internally and often develop maladaptive coping skills to cope with their inner turmoil, particularly drug and alcohol abuse.
Some of the sneaky signs of high-functioning anxiety include:
- Being a “people pleaser,” never wanting to let others down, even at your own expense
- Overthinking everything
- Procrastination followed by periods of “crunch-time” work
- The inability to say “no” even when overloaded with responsibilities
- Rumination and dwelling on “what if” scenarios
- Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or going back to sleep)
- Racing thoughts
- Nervous habits (hair twirling, knuckle cracking, etc.)
- Need for repetitive things (counting steps, foot-tapping)
Individuals with high-functioning anxiety tend to be loyal to a fault in relationships for fear of not doing well enough. They have a high risk of substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Most people with high-functioning anxiety will not acknowledge their inner turmoil for fear of letting others down.
The Physical Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety’s mental and emotional symptoms are commonly understood, but it also has numerous physical symptoms which people often overlook. Individuals with untreated pressure can be unaware of the connection between anxiety and the physical symptoms it causes. They may worry that something is medically wrong, adding to the stress and anxiety they are already experiencing. Anxiety manifests itself differently for everyone, but the following are some commonly reported physical symptoms of anxiety:
- Nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues
- Rapid heartbeat, chest pain, and shortness of breath
- Tremors or twitching
- Fatigue, weakness, and dizziness
- Unexplained muscle and body aches
- Muscle tension
Anxiety causes a release of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are constantly stimulated, it affects the body in numerous ways. When you have an anxiety disorder, the physical symptoms can manifest when you are not in an anxiety-producing situation or even when you may appear outwardly calm.
Countless people live with high-functioning anxiety daily. Left untreated, the physical symptoms of stress can lead to severe mental and physical health issues, including depression, substance use disorders, heart attacks, and strokes.
Contact Rose Hill Center Today for Anxiety Treatment
While highly pervasive, the good news about anxiety disorders is that they respond well to treatment. Through anxiety treatment at Rose Hill Center, you can discover the underlying causes of your anxiety and receive the help and guidance needed to work through these issues.
On our 400-acre campus in Holly, Michigan, Rose Hill Center offers holistic, compassionate mental health treatment. Our residential program allows you to heal and grow in a safe environment without the distractions and stresses of daily life that contribute to your anxiety. Contact us at 866.367.0220 to learn more about the benefits of anxiety treatment.