8 signs you have high-functioning anxiety & how to cope



According to psychologist Adam Borland, although someone with high-functioning anxiety has anxiety, they appear to be able to manage their day-to-day life effectively.

In short, having high-functioning anxiety means you’re really good at pretending — but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

In this article, we highlight the signs of this condition and tips to help you cope.

1. You always wonder ”what if?”

Not a day goes by where you aren’t constantly questioning yourself. Every decision you make, even the simplest of decisions, comes with doubt. Instead of committing to plans with friends, you question whether or not you should even go. “What if something bad happens while I’m out?” or “What if I annoy my friends and they stop talking to me?” This constant questioning might seem normal, but it causes more anxiety than you probably realize.

2. You’re known as the flake

Are you considered the flaky one in your friend group? Sure, you like the idea of going out. But when the time actually comes, it seems too overwhelming. And on the off chance you do go out, your energy drains quickly and you end up leaving early to go home. Don’t get us wrong, it’s normal to want to isolate occasionally. But if it’s a recurring occurrence you might have high-functioning anxiety.

3. You have to be in control

People with high-functioning anxiety don’t always appear anxious. In fact, they might seem calm and even level-headed. That’s because they typically mask their symptoms by taking control of every situation. Sound familiar? Do you always have to call the shots? Are you unable to let someone else dictate? Those could be signs you have high-functioning anxiety.

4. You constantly compare yourself to others

Comparisons aren’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, they can help you set goals and find inspiration. However, if comparing yourself to others makes you feel bad, it’s not a healthy habit. Everyone’s journey in life is different. Not to mention, people typically only advertise the best parts of their lives. It’s not fair to compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel.

5. You’re always tired

Do you always feel exhausted? While it’s normal to be tired every now and then, constant fatigue can be a sign of high-functioning anxiety. Think about it. Your mind is your strongest muscle. And similar to other muscles, overworking your mind can lead to fatigue. If you spend the majority of your day overthinking and questioning everything, it’s no wonder you’re always tired.

6. You can’t enjoy the moment

You find it difficult to relax, even when you’re doing something fun like hanging out with your friends or watching a movie. Instead of living in the moment, you spend that time thinking and ruminating. Your thoughts race and no matter how much you try, you can’t seem to shut your brain off. Sound familiar?

7. You can’t fail

The truth is, no one wants to fail. But if you have high-functioning anxiety, you take that fear to the next level. The idea of failing makes you so nervous you’ll do everything in your power to keep it from happening. You’ll work all night, take on additional projects, and set incredibly high expectations for yourself. While this makes you a great employee, it also means you’re constantly on edge. Trying to be perfect is stressful, and time-consuming. It’s also a sign of high-functioning anxiety.

8. You can’t let things go

Not only do you worry about the future, but you constantly replay the past. Those embarrassing moments in high school, that time you got fired from your first job, every bad decision you’ve ever made is always ruminating in your mind. Not being able to let things go, especially things you no longer have control over, is a sign you have high-functioning anxiety.