13 Things People With Anxiety Deal With Daily
13 Things People With Anxiety Deal With Daily
Written by: Danielle Boroumand
“Why are you so worked up? It’s no big deal…” But for a person with high functioning anxiety, yes, you are worked up and YES, it IS a big deal. So you stuff it down, your continued fidgeting sneaks out and you truck on through your day pretending to not be phased by the waves of angst that wash over you.
Not everyone experiences their anxiety the same way. Many people can be incredibly high-functioning, even when they are constantly struggling on the inside. As an avid rider of ‘The High Functioning Anxiety Club,’ I recognize how difficult it can be explaining to people the ins and outs of how uneasy the feeling of anxiety really is. High functioning anxiety feels confusing, like a punch-in-the-gut stomach ache and yet, all the while, it appears perfectly calm to the outside eye.
If you look closely, the signs are there, the patterns are regular and we truly wish our loved ones could understand it.
Here are 13 things people with high functioning anxiety deal with:
- Apologizing – Ever hear your friends apologizing constantly? And even when they are told not to, they follow that by apologizing about apologizing? It goes without saying, that we are sincerely sorry, but sometimes the only way we feel comfortable making this known is by profusely apologizing.
- Nervous Tendencies – Biting lips, chewing nails, playing with hair. We are professional fidgeters! To outsiders these easily are perceived as bad habits. Whether our fidgeting tendencies are pointed out by you or by ourselves, this typically tends to cause us to feel even more anxious.
- Overthinking – There can never be enough questions and there can never be enough answers to the questions we ask. High functioning anxiety has the tendency to be a constant flow of questions and constant over analyzing. This domino effect of overthinking often flows into the many ways we as humans self sabotage.
- Angst Is A Mystery – Believe it or not, sometimes we don’t even know why we are anxious and sometimes, WE DO! One moment we can pinpoint the immense feeling of dread looming over our heads and the next moment it feels so heavy, but we have no idea what triggered it.
- Canceling Plans – Just because we cancel plans, doesn’t mean we don’t value our relationships. We may say yes to plans with intentions of going, but when the time comes for us to show up, the feeling of overwhelm comes with it hand in hand. It’s important to understand that this has less to do with the value of our relationships, but more to do with our internal struggles.
- Perfectionism – Being a perfectionist and constant achievements are not taboo for those with high functioning anxiety. Nothing feels good enough. The sharp pang of saying the wrong thing, or doing the wrong thing, coupled with the fear of letting others down is consuming. The moment we DO feel fulfilled, we are already riding the next wave.
- Busy Is An Understatement – Individuals with high functioning anxiety are always occupied, always looking for somewhere to channel their energy – a choreographed routine of desperation. If there is ever a lull, you can be sure we will fill that void with something, somehow, some way.
- Over Compensation – Like showing up an hour early for a get together or function, we tend to over compensate in order to not fear what others could potentially think. Even when we over compensate, we ironically still fear what other people think.
- Repetition – Because we fear so much about what other people think and because we function in the auto pilot mode of achieving perfectionism, we seek clarity. We ask repeatedly for sound secure clarity, even when the answer has been given to us.
- Lists, Lists And More Lists – And sometimes even with all our repetitive questions, even that is not enough for us to feel secure. So we build lists. And we build more lists. Have you ever noticed your desk at work with 20 color coordinated post-its strewn about all with daily tasks, routines and to-do’s?
- Compartmentalizing – While we may look like we have it all together with all our perceived achievements and busy tendencies, the reality is that we have trained ourselves to behave as though “everything’s fine,” even if it may not be.
- Fear Of FOMO – The fear IS REAL. And while we may cancel plans last minute due to our anxiety getting the best of us, the fear of missing out on an opportunity is somehow far greater. We over analyze all the ways that we could potentially miss a great opportunity to be included in memories, or something amazing.
- NO Is NOT An Option – Because of our irrational fear of letting others down, FOMO and over looking to over achieve, NO is not a word that is frequented in our vocabulary. Saying no opens up a whole new realm of anxiety for those with high functioning anxiety.
It’s important to not place blame on anxiety to explain or understand all of our doings. The pressure we put on our anxiety-riddled brains is enormous enough already. While we may not divulge everything to you all at once, please be compassionate to our experiences. You may be surprised with what you find.
Danielle is a native New Yorker who has finally found her way to the Best Coast where she is living and loving in San Diego. She runs on laughter, good tunes, and striking up random conversations with just about anyone. In her down time, Danielle is a freelance writer and blogger with a passion for finding the right words to truly capture her surroundings and emotions.
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