How to Cope With High-Functioning Anxiety

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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:

Identify Triggers 

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.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD


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Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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