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

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents -

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.


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.’

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