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It's still a taboo subject. To share that you suffer from Anxiety. Because it can come in many forms, most overlook that everyone can have some form of anxiety.  I suffer from high functioning anxiety.  High-functioning anxiety is not a clinical disorder. But it creates problems with anxiety that can be chronic and at least partially debilitating. People who suffer from high-functioning anxiety generally do not avoid situations that can trigger anxiety and do not appear to experience obvious disruptions in daily life.

Similar to stress, a healthy amount of anxiety is what drives us to do our best, whether it’s preparing for a presentation, dealing with family or thinking through important life decisions. We all have anxiety at some point. But for the majority of us, it’s situational and temporary.

But high-functioning anxiety is a little bit tougher to recognize, mostly because those living with it appear to be fine. But deep inside, they’re not.

One of the things I struggle most with as a person with high-functioning anxiety is the fact that other people, including my family and friends, easily excuse the times my anxiety is giving me problems because I ‘don’t seem to have anything wrong’ with me. I still have sleepless and restless nights because of overthinking. I still learn every day how a normal person is supposed to react to certain situations. It’s much harder to talk about it when it doesn’t visibly appear like you’re suffering.

I have a career I love and great relationships. I’m out there in the world living, but with an invisible health condition. Sometimes I get really resentful and angry about how hard I have to work to manage my mental health. I think part of it is genetic, part of it was family experiences, and part of it is my lifestyle. High-functioning [to me] means that I’m able to be productive. My anxieties don’t stand in my way too much. Most importantly, it means that I’m able to recognize my symptoms, take action, and keep the anxiety from blowing up. That means with anti-anxiety medication, deep breaths, calm space to focus, or reaching out to others to let them know how I’m feeling. As much as my anxiety may wear them out, it’s even worse on me. But I tend to keep my circles of trust small.