What is high-functioning anxiety?
On the outside, you look fine. Quite successful, in fact. You have a great job, a decent place to live, and meaningful relationships. Your friends and family look to you to solve problems because you are *so put together.*
If they only knew.
On the inside, you're filled with self-doubt. You catastrophize even small things. When bad things happen in your life, you feel like you deserve it.
Anxiety is another word for fear. Most people live with a reasonable, manageable amount of anxiety. For you, it's kicked into overdrive.
You're up all night, your mind racing about all the things you have to do tomorrow. But when tomorrow comes, you're less productive than ever.
You either feel overwhelmed, or completely checked-out.
You have anxiety attacks or panic attacks.
You're irritable, on edge, and keep hoping you'll wake up feeling like yourself again.
You tell yourself it's all in your head. But you just can't force yourself to believe that.
When Self-Care isn't Enough
You start to think, "Maybe if I set my life up in a respectable way, I'll start to feel better."
So you set up a strict regimen for yourself. You join a gym, download a budgeting app, splurge on some organic grocery delivery. You sign up for a fun class and tell a few people you're working on self-improvement. You meticulously schedule out all your time, dutifully making sure to add in time for friends, work, yourself, and catching up with your family.
You look at your calendar with pride and optimism. "If I make these changes, I'll be a new person!"
And it works!
Eventually, though, the self-doubt, fear, and burnout start creeping back in.
How Therapy can Help
External fixes are helpful. But they are the icing on the cake. They only work if you've quieted your anxiety from the inside first.
Many people avoid therapy because they are worried it will uncover something that they can't handle. That it will reveal inadequacies and weaknesses that they aren't ready to overcome.
It seems easier to just force yourself to move along until you get over them.
These are precisely the people that I work with.
As your therapist, I help you confront these parts of yourself. (Don't worry, it's not all tough love, and it's not all puppies and rainbows.)
My clients discover that what they were worried about isn't so bad. That they have more resources than they realized. They learn pretty quickly that they are the bad-asses they always wanted to be.
Therapy with me involves a mix of practical tools and reflective insight about where your emotional and behavioral patterns come from. Creating real change requires both: An understanding of why we do what we do, as well as actual replacements for those habits that no longer serve us.
Turn off that voice that tells you to try "just one more" quick fix. It's not about scented candles, detoxing diets, or pushing through the stress.
Take the next step
Call (562) 704-4736 for a free consultation about how therapy can help you manage anxiety. You can also send me a message here. Prospect Therapy welcomes individuals and couples of all genders and orientations in Long Beach, Seal Beach, and surrounding areas.