Are you suffering from high-functioning anxiety?
October 10 marks World Mental Health Day. With anxiety on the rise, it’s never been more important to reach out
It’s time to focus on the one relationship you should always enhance: the one with yourself
Whether you’re a perfectionist by nature or a fullblown catastrophiser, your anxiety manifests in different forms, but there are ways you can manage it.
THE FACE OF HIGHFUNCTIONING ANXIETY
Not all anxiety disorders look the same. For many, anxiety exists in a highfunctioning form, allowing those suffering to take part in their everyday life, while their anxiety lingers in the background, causing constant distress. So how can you tell if you or someone might suffer from HFA? According to Peter Diaz, founder and CEO of the Workplace Mental Health Institute, it’s a case of diagnosis. ‘HFA aims to describe something that seems to be missed by the diagnoses – that a person can be suffering anxiety but not be dysfunctional.’
We’re conditioned to believe that because we’re not crumbling, that perhaps we’re overthinking or overworked. Diaz explains that perfectionists often experience a degree of distress that could be characterised as HFA. ‘When a person becomes a perfectionist, they are highly likely to experience anxiety too. When we set an expectation of “perfection” for ourselves, anything less becomes a cause for worry and stress.’