A person with high functioning anxiety can look calm on the surface, but underneath that practiced veneer, their thoughts are churning.
That’s the message behind a new video from The Mighty, in which a young woman describes the experience of living with the condition, which is characterized by persistent negative thoughts, restlessness and even physical symptoms like muscle tension, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Research shows that people with anxiety perceive the world in a fundamentally different way. But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 25 percent of people with a mental health disorder feel like others are understanding of their experience.
Even if they are excelling at work and dependable to friends and family, a person with anxiety might be plagued with negative thoughts, such as: “I’m a bad friend,” “I’m not good at my job” or “I’m letting everybody down.”
If you want to be able to empathize with this group ― and remember, 18 percent of adults in the U.S. are affected by an anxiety disorder each year ― this video is a good place to start.