Coping with anxiety from time to time happens to everyone, while for others, it becomes a problem so difficult that they cannot function normally in their lives. Somewhere in the middle is what’s called high-functioning anxiety, and it affects many who don’t know where to turn for help. Treatment programs exist that teach people how to cope with high-functioning anxiety in a way that allows them to assimilate back into a more peaceful life while managing their symptoms. In this blog, we will cover the definition of high-functioning anxiety, how it is diagnosed, how to cope with it and how to properly treat it.
What is High-Functioning Anxiety?
Anxiety can show up as part of several different mental health diagnoses, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Anxiety also factors heavily into conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Someone who experiences a lot of anxiety often finds their symptoms don’t fit under one of these diagnoses. They may not realize what they have is high-functioning anxiety.
Learning how to cope with high-functioning anxiety starts with recognizing the name of the condition the person battles. This type of anxiety disorder typically means that the person can still function at least semi-effectively in their careers, their schooling, personal relationships, and hobbies. What many around them do not understand is that the person often feels a great deal of anxiety but manages to hide it, at least some of the time from some people.
At times the anxiety may be minor, lingering on the edges, while at other times it can be debilitating, causing people to miss out on important events in their lives or, at the very least, be unable to fully enjoy them. This causes people to devote a lot of time trying their best to hide their conditions from their partners, family, friends, and co-workers. Even when it becomes apparent to someone in their lives that the person experiences anxiety, they attempt to minimize its effects. This can be because they don’t recognize that they have a legitimate mental health issue or because they feel embarrassed about their situation and any accompanying nervous behavior.
Diagnosing High-Functioning Anxiety
A physician trained to recognize anxiety-related disorders or a licensed counselor can provide a diagnosis of high-functioning anxiety. This diagnosis can open the doors to getting insurance coverage for the resulting treatment. It can also be a jumping-off point for discussing their condition with loved ones so everyone can understand the person is beginning to learn how to cope with high-functioning anxiety.
Multiple treatment options for high-functioning anxiety exist, allowing people the ability to take advantage of the ones that work best for them. Both residential and outpatient programs can address all types of anxiety disorders, with talk therapy forming the basis of treatment. If needed, prescription medications may be tried, which can be taken short-term or for a longer period of time, depending on how a person responds to them.
Many people benefit from group therapy, and also family therapy, which helps their family members better understand their condition and how to help them. Holistic types of therapy offer beneficial ways to reduce anxiety and include things like acupuncture, massage, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, and wilderness therapy.
Tips for How to Cope With High-Functioning Anxiety
A big part of treatment to learn how to cope with high-functioning anxiety involves therapy to discuss where anxiety may come from. Out of this comes different ways a person can put what they learn into practice when anxiety arises outside of a treatment session. Some of the best practices include:
Do an inventory of situations that often bring on feelings of anxiety so a plan for how to act and react can be formed.
Remind Yourself the Reactions are Illogical
When you make a habit of gently reminding yourself that the anxiety you feel is not a reasonable reaction to a given situation, it can help to rewire how you view things.
Acknowledge But Do Not React
Make a point of acknowledging that you feel anxiety but do not automatically react to it by giving in to the panic. Similar to a toddler throwing a tantrum, you can speak to your anxiety by saying you recognize what’s going on but you will not cave in to its demands because you are ultimately in control.
Talk to Trusted Loved Ones
Choose family members or friends who you trust and let them know you have high-functioning anxiety. Tell them how they can best support you when symptoms arise.
Pay Attention to Living Healthy
Make sure you eat healthy and exercise regularly, this doesn’t just benefit your physical health. Consistently eating a nutritionally balanced diet coupled with exercise helps people who deal with anxiety reduce their symptoms.
Fully Participate In Your Treatment
Whether you are enrolled in residential or outpatient treatment for your high-functioning anxiety, make sure you attend all appointments and sessions. Be open about your feelings, fears, and experiences, and be sure to take any needed medications as prescribed.
Treatment for High-Functioning Anxiety in Los Angeles
Living with anxiety involves constant levels of stress that wear a person down. If you have high-functioning anxiety and want help for it and any other accompanying mental health issues or substance use disorders, we can help. We provide access to multiple types of treatment with an emphasis on providing guidance for educational and career goals.
Contact Launch Centers of Los Angeles today and let us teach you how to let go of anxiety and rejoin your life. Call now and start the healing process.