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6 Work Habits That Are Secretly High-Functioning Anxiety In Disguise

High-functioning anxiety can go unnoticed. It’s a term that is often used to describe a person who struggles with symptoms of anxiety such as racing thoughts, body tension or frequent worrying ― however, this person can mask or hide these symptoms and appear “fine” on the outside.

“It’s not a diagnosis, but rather someone who has anxiety but still goes about their day-to-day lives managing it,” said licensed clinical psychologist Scott Lyons . “They are typically someone who is successful and performs well but internally or at home experience this anxiety, rather than showing it in a work or public setting.”

Someone may experience anxiety at work for a lot of different reasons: deadlines, toxic work relationships, job security concerns and so much more. “People with high-functioning anxiety often are successful at work but will mask this anxiety to others,” Lyons explained. “It also is a sign of compound stress, like there’s too many things to focus on, and there’s not enough resources or control of the future.”

On the outside, someone with high-functioning anxiety may appear to have it all together and yet their internal world and even their mental health is suffering. They are constantly in the mode of “something bad will happen if I do not get this done,” which can be pretty difficult to handle day in and day out.

Not sure if you actually show signs of high-functioning anxiety at work? We spoke with psychology and mental health experts to lay out six work habits that are secretly high-functioning anxiety:

1. Being a perfectionist and having to be the best at everything.

“Perfectionism is a huge sign of high-functioning anxiety as you work to be the best at everything, which is an impossible task,” explained Erin

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