Millions of Americans are suffering from one or more invisible mental illnesses. Both high-functioning depression and high-functioning anxiety are more prevalent than you might think, and the symptoms can take many forms. Anxiety is a more common mental illness, with approximately eighteen percent of adults experiencing it. Some of the symptoms of high-functioning depression include irritability, changes in sleep patterns, and turning to vices such as drugs and alcohol for comfort. Symptoms of high-functioning anxiety can include perfectionism, an inability to relax, and worrying even when things are going well. Both these conditions can be hard to diagnose because the person suffering from them can often keep them hidden. Identifying that a problem exists is an important first step towards treatment.
Identifying Catastrophic Thinking
Catastrophic thinking is when a single negative thought can spiral into thinking of worst-case scenarios. Something simple, like getting stuck in traffic, can turn into thoughts of being late for your job, getting fired, and then losing your home. When this type of thinking occurs, cortisone, which is known as the stress hormone, is produced. The first step to fixing this problem is identifying catastrophic thinking when it starts to happen. It is important to watch your thinking and notice when it shifts from reasonable worries to unrealistic ones. When you do catch yourself engaging in catastrophic thinking, it is important not to judge yourself. This only adds to feelings of inadequacy, which can trigger another round of unrealistic worrying.
Keep reading to discover some easy techniques for dealing with these conditions.