High-functioning anxiety

Hi, I feel like i have anxiety, but i use it to fuel my work. I seem like a overachiever and that I have my life together, but i dont think im ok.

-constantly stressed even when doing my favourite things/nothing like lying on bed (i have to remind myself to relax every night when i go to sleep)
-dont feel joy even when doing the things i love
-need for perfectionism: i feel like i am underachieving everyday and i dont work hard enough even though i get top marks and amazing grades
-stressed about how my body looks and if i had gained weight or not; sometimes restricting myself and gaslighting myself into believing i wasnt hungry but sometimes eating when i am not hungry or even overeating

  • mindlessly scrolling through my social media/looking at my phone for long hours every day

despite feeling terrible i would still force a smile and go about my daily life, so no one noticed anything. But recently it got worse and i started feeling down and have no motivation to study or even do anything. Life seems so bleak and meaningless. Maybe my anxiety has increased recently because of a impending major exam, but it is because of this exam that i need to get myself together.


Hi @anonymous94

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us here. It takes a lot of courage to be so authentic with what you’re going through, and I commend you for that. I can see that you’ve been managing a great deal of stress, and your ability to channel that into your work is certainly impressive.

However, from your description, it sounds like this anxiety is taking a toll on your well-being. I’d like to explore this further with you.

  1. It’s evident that your anxiety has been on the rise, especially with the impending major exam. Is there an underlying expectation, that you’re worried about? (E.g. Need to pass so that…. Need to do well because…)
  2. What are some things you can consider doing to improve your self-care during this period?

In addition, I’d like to offer a few suggestions:

  • Self-Compassion: Please do be kind and gentle with yourself. You can try to counteract self-criticism with self-compassion. When you notice negative self-talk, learn acknowledge it and replace it with more understanding and forgiving thoughts. You can also try this activity here: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health | mindline.sg

  • Professional Support: Are you able to reach out to a counsellor about your anxiety? Try speaking with a mental health professional who can help you to manage your anxiety in a healthier way and process your feelings on a deeper level.

  • Stress Management Techniques: Explore stress management techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and relaxation exercises to help you find moments of calm and relaxation in your daily life. It may also be helpful to declutter your mind whenever you feel overwhelmed too. You can try this activity to help you with decluttering the mind: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health | mindline.sg

It seems that you have the drive to succeed, but it’s equally important to nurture your emotional and mental health. Please share any thoughts or concerns you have regarding these suggestions, and let me know if you’ve tried anything else to cope better. We’re here for you.

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