Tiktok says I have high-functioning anxiety - Subtly Anxious

Tiktok says I have high-functioning anxiety

You’ve seen a TikTok where on the surface, you’re a perfectionist, always organised, great attention to detail and a high achiever. Internally, you’re constantly consuming over every mistake you make, stressing over a comment someone made, people pleaser and highly anxious. You may have physical symptoms of anxiety like headaches or migraines, stomach aches, acid reflux or difficulty sleeping. 

You may have high functioning anxiety. 

Gold, white gold and rose gold rings. Woman posing with rose gold ring. Gift box and storage pouch

When we start putting mental health disorders on TikTok, it opens a Pandora's box of questions and more questions. High-functioning anxiety is not a diagnosis - it’s not recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which provides diagnostic criteria for mental disorders. Therefore, you won’t find a lot of information or research on it.

High-functioning anxiety refers to a person who experiences the symptoms of anxiety for example, worry, stress or obsessive thoughts but on the outside, appears to be high achieving, well organised and a perfectionist. 

A person who's symptoms of anxiety impairs aspects of their daily life are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder which is on the DSM-5.  However, a person who experiences the same symptoms of anxiety but able to function in all aspects of their daily life has 'high functioning anxiety.'

This does not mean that your symptoms of anxiety are any less than someone who is diagnosed with a generalised anxiety disorder. You have just learnt how to cope and manage your symptoms (probably as a young child) and now learnt different coping mechanisms or mask the behaviours in order to manage your symptoms as an adult. 
How do you treat high functioning anxiety? 
You don’t need a diagnosis to treat high functioning anxiety - but you can learn to manage and cope with the symptoms of anxiety through a number of tools and strategies including cognitive behavioural therapy and fidget tools like Subtly Anxious rings.
If you don’t feel like you are at that stage yet, then there are a number of strategies and tools that you can implement such as identifying your triggers and managing them, which will help calm your nerves and reduce your feelings of anxiousness.
Our resources page has several tools that can point you in the right direction. 

Subtly Anxious does not provide health or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any information published on this website or by Subtly Anxious is not intended to be a replacement for health or medical advice. 

If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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