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Understanding High-functioning Anxiety

Man thinking about his high-functioning anxiety

If you’re looking for an anxiety treatment program in Florida, you should know that a client must be diagnosed first before undergoing professional treatment for any of the types of anxiety disorders recognized by the mental health field.

The need for a specific diagnosis is because anxiety can manifest in a multitude of ways, and not all ways are listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). For example, high-functioning anxiety can be challenging to struggle with for the person experiencing it and those around them. However, the DSM-5 doesn’t list it as an anxiety disorder.

Are you searching for an anxiety treatment program in Panama City Beach, Florida? If so, reach out to Recovery Bay Center today. You can call 833.991.2955 or contact our team online.

What Is High-Functioning Anxiety?

As challenging as it can be to struggle with it in daily life, high-functioning anxiety cannot be an official diagnosis. It’s not an anxiety disorder that’s recognized by the DSM-5, which provides diagnostic criteria for mental health disorders. While there’s not much research on high-functioning anxiety, the term itself describes the struggle. High-functioning anxiety typically refers to experiencing anxiety symptoms while still managing day-to-day life functions.

In general, a person with high-functioning anxiety may appear well-accomplished and put together on the outside. However, on the inside, they experience constant stress and worry. People with high-functioning anxiety may present less obvious signs and symptoms — although some experts suggest that the signs and symptoms of high-functioning anxiety often closely align with those of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Symptoms associated with GAD include the following:

  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive anxiety or worry on most days, for at least six months
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems

What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?

If high-functioning anxiety isn’t listed in the DSM-5, then what are the types of anxiety disorders that are and can be diagnosed in clients? The five major types of anxiety disorders are the following:

1. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

This anxiety disorder is characterized by chronic anxiety and exaggerated tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke them.

2. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

This anxiety disorder is characterized by recurrent but unwanted thoughts or obsessions, and repetitive behaviors or compulsions.

3. Panic disorder

This anxiety disorder is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear, accompanied by physical symptoms that may include abdominal distress, chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, or shortness of breath.

4. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

This anxiety disorder is characterized by exposure to a terrifying ordeal in which grave physical harm was threatened or occurred.

5. Social phobia

Also called social anxiety disorder, this anxiety disorder is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations.

When Should You Consider an Anxiety Treatment Program?

Are you or someone you care about struggling with high-functioning anxiety? Is daily functioning being affected? Are relationships, responsibilities, and routines falling by the wayside? If so, you should definitely consider an anxiety treatment program. High-functioning anxiety can be treated the same way other anxiety disorders are treated. An effective program would include psychotherapy sessions and prescription medications, or a combination of both.

Psychotherapy or talk therapy can be an effective way for some clients to learn how to manage anxiety symptoms. Speaking to a therapist can help clients understand their anxiety and what triggers it. In turn, this understanding helps them better manage their symptoms.

Prescription medications that treat anxiety include antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants. Other medications — like benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and buspirone — can also be used to treat anxiety.

Ready To Learn More About Recovery Bay Center’s Anxiety Treatment Program?

If you’re looking for an anxiety treatment program in Panama City Beach, Florida, contact Recovery Bay Center today. You can call 833.991.2955 or reach out to our team online.