Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety

Unlike other anxiety disorders, high-functioning anxiety is not recognized as a formal mental health disorder. Instead, it’s used as an umbrella term by people who live with anxiety but consider themselves to be high-functioning in different aspects of their lives. But is this a legitimate disorder? Today, our luxury drug and alcohol rehab in Palm Beach is going to explore the signs of high-functioning anxiety and whether it’s as serious as some medically accepted anxiety disorders.


What Is High-Functioning Anxiety?

Over 40 million adults in the United States (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder, and 7% of children between the ages of 7 and 13 experience problems with anxiety every year. Most people even develop symptoms before they are 21.1

Of these, some consider themselves to be high-functioning. When applied to mental illness, high-functioning is a term used to describe those living with a mental illness that isn’t easily noticeable by others. Like people with high-functioning addictions, people with high-functioning mental disorders can hold down a steady job, keep up with their studies, have good hygiene, and even maintain healthy relationships.

Although it isn’t acknowledged as a formal mental health disorder, high-functioning anxiety symptoms are generally acknowledged by many medical professionals. For instance, many speculate that Stephen “tWitch” Boss had high-functioning depression, as he was able to hide his symptoms from everyone until his heartbreaking suicide on December 13, 2022. However, some medical experts are referring to his condition as a persistent depressive disorder rather than a high-functioning condition.

Even so, a person with high-functioning anxiety may seem put together, calm, and organized on the outside, though they may feel completely different on the inside. Oftentimes, these individuals struggle with overthinking, the constant need for reassurance, and believing that others think poorly of them.


High Functioning Anxiety Symptoms

Any high-functioning mental disorder is going to be difficult to identify if you aren’t aware of its signs. Someone with high-functioning anxiety, for instance, might be the picture of success.

They’re that one person who always gets to work early and is the last one to leave. They’re always on top of their tasks, and they’ve never fallen short. They may always be willing to help and do whatever it takes to get the job done.

What others might now know about people like this is that beneath this seemingly perfect surface is a person who struggles with needing to feel accepted, perfect, and in control. They may fear rejection or disappointing others. Their nervous energy, fear of failing, and fear of letting others down may have been the driving force of their success.

Although there’s no substantial research on high-functioning anxiety and how it affects people, anecdotal reports allow us to understand that people with this condition may present the same symptoms of anxiety but on a milder end of the spectrum.


With that said, some common signs of high-functioning anxiety include:

  • Arriving too early for appointments or work
  • Avoiding eye contact with others
  • Feeling the need to please others all the time (afraid of driving people away, being offensive, or letting others down)
  • Frequent need for assurance (checking on others frequently or constantly looking to others for direction)
  • Frequently comparing yourself to others
  • Inability to “enjoy the moment” (being unable to relax and be in the present or expecting the worst possible outcome)
  • Inability to say no, which contributes to an overloaded schedule
  • Mental and physical fatigue
  • Nervous habits or fidgeting, such as playing with your hair, cracking your knuckles, biting your nails)
  • Overthinking
  • Poor social life from always turning down invitations
  • Procrastination followed by long periods of undistracted work
  • Racing mind
  • Rumination or frequent tendency to dwell on negative thoughts (a lot of “what if” thoughts)
  • Talking a lot or “rambling” when you’re nervous
  • The need to do repetitive things (rocking back and forth)


Some high-functioning anxiety signs are considered to be positive in our society, such as having an outgoing personality, being punctual, being organized, being proactive, being detail-oriented, being passionate, and more. But all of these seemingly positive things can be manifestations of a real problem. If you’re unsure of how to treat high-functioning anxiety, the experts at our Palm Beach rehab can offer you the care you need.


High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

Have you ever wondered, “do I have high-functioning anxiety?” Do the signs and symptoms of high-functioning we mentioned resonate with you? If so, then you might need help.

Having a high-functioning mental disorder can be difficult. This condition may feel like a part of your personality. You think of it as the thing that helps you succeed and keep up with your job, school work, or other responsibilities.

You may feel as if you’re able to continue managing this kind of lifestyle, but at what cost? There are healthier ways to succeed in life without struggling with anxiety underneath it all.

Whether it’s high-functioning anxiety or any other mental illness, our luxury mental health facility can help. Seaside Palm Beach offers a variety of programs for treating psychiatric disorders that incorporate therapy options ranging from animal therapy to holistic treatment to help patients cope with their symptoms.

Our inpatient anxiety treatment utilizes individual and group therapy to help you identify the symptoms and contributing factors of your condition. Our specialists also dedicate time to teaching patients valuable and realistic coping strategies for managing their symptoms.


If you or someone you know needs treatment for high-functioning anxiety, call our luxury drug and alcohol rehab in South Florida today at 561-677-9374 or send us your contact information to get started.


  1. NAMI – Anxiety Disorders


Related Reading:

How Does Anxiety Affect Sleep?

Does Anxiety Go Away?

Share this post