High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

Hey there! Have you ever heard of high functioning anxiety? It’s a common yet often misunderstood form of anxiety that affects many people. In fact, you might even be experiencing it yourself without even realizing it. But don’t worry, in this article, we’ll dive deep into the topic of high functioning anxiety treatment and explore the various methods and techniques that can help you manage and alleviate its symptoms. Whether you’re looking for natural remedies, therapy options, or lifestyle changes, we’ve got you covered. So, sit tight and get ready to learn more about how to effectively deal with high functioning anxiety.

If you’re curious to know more about high functioning anxiety treatment, you’re in the right place! In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most effective approaches to addressing this type of anxiety. From self-care tips and relaxation exercises to therapy options and medication, we’ll explore a range of strategies that can assist you in managing the challenges of high functioning anxiety. So, if you want to improve your mental well-being, reduce stress, and find some peace of mind, keep reading to discover the techniques and tools that can help you on your journey towards managing high functioning anxiety.

High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

Understanding High Functioning Anxiety

What is high functioning anxiety?

High functioning anxiety is a relatively common but often misunderstood mental health condition. Unlike traditional anxiety disorders, high functioning anxiety often goes unnoticed because individuals with this condition appear to have their lives together. They appear successful, accomplished, and able to function at a high level, hence the term “high functioning.” However, beneath the facade of achievement, those with high functioning anxiety experience constant worry, fear, and internal turmoil.

Signs and symptoms of high functioning anxiety

High functioning anxiety can manifest in various ways, and its symptoms may vary from person to person. Some common signs include excessive worrying about future events, a constant need for perfection, an intense fear of failure, difficulty making decisions, and an overwhelming need to be in control. People with high functioning anxiety may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, and digestive problems.

Factors contributing to high functioning anxiety

Several factors can contribute to the development of high functioning anxiety. These may include a person’s upbringing, personality traits, genetics, and life experiences. Individuals who have experienced childhood trauma or have a strong perfectionistic streak may be more prone to developing high functioning anxiety.

Diagnosing High Functioning Anxiety

Seeking professional help

If you suspect that you may have high functioning anxiety, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist, can assess your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis. They will also be able to recommend appropriate treatment options based on your specific needs.

Diagnostic criteria for high functioning anxiety

High functioning anxiety is not officially recognized as a standalone disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, it shares similarities with other anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A diagnosis of high functioning anxiety may be made by a mental health professional if the symptoms significantly impact a person’s daily life and functioning.

Differentiating high functioning anxiety from other anxiety disorders

While high functioning anxiety may exhibit similar symptoms to other anxiety disorders, there are some key differences. Unlike other anxiety disorders, individuals with high functioning anxiety often excel in their work or social lives. They may appear outgoing, confident, and successful, making it easy for others to overlook their internal struggles. It is important to differentiate high functioning anxiety from other anxiety disorders to ensure that appropriate treatment strategies are employed.

Psychotherapy as a Treatment Option

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely recognized and effective treatment for high functioning anxiety. In CBT, a therapist helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and replace them with more realistic and positive ones. By changing the way we think, CBT can alleviate anxiety symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is another form of psychotherapy that can be beneficial for high functioning anxiety. This treatment involves gradually exposing individuals to situations or triggers that cause anxiety while teaching them coping mechanisms to manage their anxiety response. Over time, exposure therapy can help individuals overcome their fears and regain control over their lives.

Mindfulness-based therapy

Mindfulness-based therapies, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), can also be effective in managing high functioning anxiety. These therapies focus on developing present-moment awareness and acceptance of one’s thoughts and emotions. By practicing mindfulness, individuals can reduce anxiety, improve emotional regulation, and increase overall resilience.

Medications for High Functioning Anxiety

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed antidepressant medications that can also be effective in treating anxiety disorders, including high functioning anxiety. SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, in the brain. By restoring the balance of serotonin, these medications can reduce anxiety symptoms and improve overall well-being.


Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders. They work by enhancing the calming effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). While benzodiazepines can provide immediate relief from anxiety symptoms, they are typically prescribed for short-term use due to the risk of dependence and potential side effects.

Beta blockers

Beta blockers are medications primarily used to manage high blood pressure and heart conditions. However, they can also be helpful in reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat, trembling, and sweating. By blocking the effects of adrenaline, beta blockers can help individuals with high functioning anxiety manage their physical symptoms and feel calmer in stressful situations.

High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

Lifestyle Changes for Managing High Functioning Anxiety

Regular exercise and physical activity

Engaging in regular exercise and physical activity has been shown to have numerous mental health benefits, including reducing anxiety symptoms. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, and can help improve overall well-being. Incorporating activities such as walking, jogging, or yoga into your daily routine can help alleviate the symptoms of high functioning anxiety.

Stress management techniques

Learning stress management techniques can be immensely helpful in managing high functioning anxiety. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Experiment with various techniques to find what works best for you and incorporate them into your daily routine.

Healthy sleep habits

Getting enough quality sleep is crucial for managing anxiety. Lack of sleep can contribute to increased anxiety levels and worsen the symptoms of high functioning anxiety. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a relaxing bedtime environment, and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and electronic devices before bed can help promote better sleep and reduce anxiety.

Supportive Interventions for High Functioning Anxiety

Support groups and group therapy

Joining a support group or participating in group therapy sessions can provide individuals with high functioning anxiety with a safe and supportive environment to share their experiences and learn from others. Connecting with individuals who have similar struggles can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide valuable insights and coping strategies.

Family and friends’ support

The support and understanding of family and friends are vital in managing high functioning anxiety. Communicate openly with your loved ones about your condition, educate them about the symptoms and challenges you face, and ask for their support when needed. Having a strong support system can provide a sense of comfort and reassurance during difficult times.

Self-help strategies

There are various self-help strategies that individuals with high functioning anxiety can employ to manage their symptoms. These may include journaling, practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in creative outlets such as painting or writing, and incorporating activities that bring joy and relaxation into their daily routine. Experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you.

High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

Alternative Therapies for High Functioning Anxiety


Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, involves stimulating specific points on the body with thin needles. Many individuals find acupuncture helpful in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. While the exact mechanisms of how acupuncture works are not fully understood, it is believed to help balance the body’s energy, or qi, and release endorphins.

Herbal supplements

Certain herbal supplements, such as chamomile, lavender, and valerian root, are thought to have calming and anxiety-reducing properties. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any herbal supplement regimen, as they may interact with other medications or have potential side effects.

Yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation are well-known practices for reducing stress and anxiety. These mind-body interventions combine physical movement, breath control, and mindfulness to promote relaxation and improve overall well-being. Engaging in regular yoga or meditation sessions can be an effective complementary approach in managing high functioning anxiety.

Complementary Approaches for High Functioning Anxiety

Breathing exercises

Practicing deep breathing exercises can help calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety levels. One simple technique is diaphragmatic breathing, where you take deep breaths, allowing your abdomen to expand with each inhalation and contract with each exhalation. Regularly incorporating breathing exercises into your daily routine can help reduce anxiety symptoms.


Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and bergamot are commonly used for their calming properties. You can inhale essential oils directly, use them in a diffuser, or incorporate them into a relaxing bath or massage.

Art therapy

Engaging in art therapy can be a creative and expressive way to manage high functioning anxiety. Art therapy involves various forms of artistic expression, such as painting, drawing, or sculpting, to explore emotions and promote self-reflection. Creating art can provide a sense of catharsis and serve as a form of emotional release.

High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

Self-care Tips for Coping with High Functioning Anxiety

Establishing a daily self-care routine

Prioritize self-care by establishing a daily routine that includes activities that promote relaxation and well-being. This may include setting aside time for exercise, engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy, practicing mindfulness, and ensuring you have time for rest and relaxation.

Taking breaks and setting boundaries

Recognize the importance of taking breaks and setting boundaries in managing high functioning anxiety. Allow yourself time to rest and recharge, and don’t be afraid to say no to additional responsibilities when needed. Setting boundaries with work, family, and friends can help prevent burnout and reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Engaging in hobbies and relaxation activities

Engaging in hobbies and relaxation activities can provide a much-needed escape from the demands of daily life and help reduce anxiety levels. Find activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk in nature, listening to music, or practicing a creative outlet.


High functioning anxiety may present unique challenges, but with proper treatment and self-care, it can be effectively managed. Seeking professional help, engaging in psychotherapy, considering medication options, and adopting lifestyle changes can all contribute to reducing anxiety symptoms and improving overall well-being. Remember to prioritize self-care, seek support, and embrace strategies that work best for you. With time and effort, it is possible to live a fulfilling life despite high functioning anxiety.

High Functioning Anxiety Treatment

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