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high functioning anxiety is gaining traction on tiktok understanding its meaning and identifying three telltale signs 1955


'High-functioning anxiety' is gaining traction on TikTok: Understanding its meaning and identifying three telltale signs


Michael Chen

April 25, 2024 - 01:15 am


The Rise of "High-Functioning Anxiety" on TikTok

The hashtag "high-functioning anxiety" on TikTok has garnered nearly 180 million views, indicating a growing awareness of the term, although it lacks clinical definition.

Understanding "High-Functioning"

While not formally defined clinically, the term generally describes individuals who excel in work or school despite experiencing poor mental health. It focuses on performance in professional settings rather than other areas of life.

Impact of the Pandemic

The recent surge in popularity of the term may be attributed to the heightened focus on mental health during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Awareness of subtle signs of anxiety has increased as a result.

Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety

  1. Physical Symptoms: Manifestations such as heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and jitteriness are common indicators of high-functioning anxiety. Sensitivity to caffeine may also increase.

  2. Social Withdrawal: High-functioning anxiety often masks internal struggles, making it challenging to engage in social activities. The mental effort required to maintain a facade of success at work may lead to reluctance in participating in social plans.

  3. Changes in Daily Habits: Variations from one's usual routine, such as alterations in sleep patterns or eating habits, can signal heightened anxiety levels. Deviations from baseline behaviors may indicate underlying anxiety issues.

Recognizing Subtle Impact

Even if external indicators of success are present, such as financial stability or professional achievement, subtle signs of anxiety may still persist. It's essential to acknowledge the nuanced ways in which anxiety can affect individuals, even in high-functioning contexts.