Invisible illnesses are easy to dismiss because they’re not something that can physically be seen. Anxiety, for example, is something people may not take seriously since everyone feels worried, scared, and panicked from time to time. People with anxiety disorders experience these feelings at a much higher intensity than what could be considered “normal”, and they fight the stigma around having it every day. Their struggles get reduced down to merely being a worrywart, or they’re told they’re weak for experiencing feelings this intense.

People with high-functioning anxiety struggle in particular because they can, more or less, be a functional part of society and appear to be okay. The truth is that these people aren’t, in fact, okay, and that they hide their symptoms every day with medication or by how they present themselves to the world. When people with high-functioning anxiety have a good day, it’s conscious rather than a natural part of who they are. One person who interviewed with Healthline said that on a good day, “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.” Bad days, however, are the norm, and symptoms of worry or fear make themselves most prominent to the point that it interferes with everyday life. 

Most of all, people with high-functioning anxiety want to be heard and understood. Click here to find out how to help someone with anxiety in your life.