High Functioning Anxiety and Depression

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Are You a Person with High Functioning Anxiety and Depression?

Do you consider yourself successful with high functioning anxiety and depression?  Are you a high achiever who is stressed and sad?  If so, you may be depressed and anxious.  Hard to believe. 

You can be successful according to society but not be happy.  You can be achieving great results but it can be hollow. 

There are 3 things to look for to determine if you are a high achiever who is nervous and sad.

#1 High Functioning Anxiety and Depression Stress Signs

According to Bridges to Recovery’s article on “High Functioning Anxiety and Depression”:

“Anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion all people experience. It signals us to be alert to important situations and to be ready for impending danger. But when worry and fear become significantly more intense than is warranted and begin to interfere with life functions, anxiety disorder is likely the reason.

The most common signs of anxiety disorder include:

  • A racing heart
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tension
  • Sweating
  • Trouble concentrating
  • A feeling of impending doom or of “going crazy”

ACTION STEP: Notice if you have any of the above signs of anxiety.  Do you feel nervous and afraid?  Are you stressed out over little things?  Be aware of what is going on in your body.

By being aware of your body, you can get a better idea of how you are doing.  You can connect with your life.  And that gives you the power to make better choices. 

#2 High Functioning Anxiety and Depression Sadness Signs

Some high achievers are depressed.  They push hard for success, but they sell ignore their own well-being.  The results they produce do not make them happy.  They are determined, but not happy. 

Here are some signs of a highly productive depressed person:

  • Not satisfied with almost everything in life
  • Says no to many fun activities
  • Decides to work rather than do enjoyable activities on weekends
  • Creates unnecessary stress in personal relationships
  • Critical of oneself and others
  • Has trouble disconnecting from work on weekends
  • Not making time for friends

Feeling gloomy is a regular way of life for someone who is depressed.  A person may feel disconnected from life. 

ACTION STEP: Notice if you have any of the signs above.  How do you feel?  Are you content and satisfied or sad and down? 

Shining the light of awareness on your life can help you “wake up”. 

The key: When you notice how you are feeling, you can get a better idea of how you are doing.  If you are feeling well, you are on track.  If you are feeling anxious or depressed, maybe you are not really successful? 

So, make an honest observation of how you are doing.  You will need to take a break from focusing on achievement to really check in with your life. 

#3 High Functioning Anxiety and Depression can Create Unhappiness

People can be unhappy even though they are successful.  Jonathan Rausch talks about this in his article on “This is Why Successful People are Unhappy”:

“High achievers are wired to be dissatisfied when we meet goals — that is the evolutionary motivation to do the next big thing — but the result is often cumulating disappointment. Year after year of finding success less fulfilling than we expected makes us pessimistic about ever attaining satisfaction. So we are simultaneously disappointed in the past and gloomy about the future.

Remember, the happiness curve is only one of factors shaping life satisfaction. People who face painful hardships may feel unhappy, but at least they will know why. By contrast, if you are a successful professional with everything to be grateful for, feeling disappointed in middle age will make no sense to you.”

ACTION STEP: How do you feel when you accomplish your goals?  Are you satisfied?  If you are not, you may be a highly successful person who is stressed and sad. 

So, check in if you feel nervous, down and if you are not satisfied with your accomplishments.  It could indicate anxiety and depression for a high achiever.  Once you distinguish that, it can give you power to transform your life. You don’t have to be a person with high functioning anxiety and depression.

To Your Happiness😊,

Jim Twomey

Tucson’s Depression and Anxiety Breakthrough Specialist

Founder and CEO of Peace for You

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