Do you always imagine the worst case scenario? Student doctor reveals the five common warning signs you suffer from 'high functioning' anxiety

 The five telltale signs of 'high functioning' anxiety have been revealed by a student doctor - and one is as subtle as declining an invitation to a dinner party.

Zachery Dereniowski is a Canadian medical student at the University of Sydney, where he specialises in mental health and spends his spare time filming educational TikTok videos on the subject.

In one of his latest clips, the 27-year-old discusses the little-known symptoms of high functioning anxiety, a condition characterised by overthinking and self-criticism.


While people with high functioning anxiety often appear remarkably accomplished and socially at ease on the surface, privately they experience all the side effects of generalised anxiety disorder.


Zachery Dereniowski (pictured) is a Canadian medical student at the University of Sydney where he specialises in mental health

 Zachery Dereniowski (pictured) is a Canadian medical student at the University of Sydney where he specialises in mental health


Mr Dereniowski says these include a constant fear of saying or doing something 'wrong' or 'stupid', always imagining the worst case scenario and blaming yourself for everything - even when someone else is obviously at fault. 

Overthinking the 'smallest things' and feeling so overwhelmed by social interaction that you often skip events are other signs, according to Mr Dereniowski.

Patients with 'high functioning' anxiety report that their fears propel rather than paralyse them, which often leads to lengthy delays in diagnosis as the condition can go unnoticed for years.

Mr Dereniowski's revelations, which have been viewed 76,400 times since they were uploaded online on March 26, have drawn grateful responses with many saying the clip made them feel less alone.

'I needed this. Anxiety is real,' one viewer replied.

'All day, every day,' added a second, while a third wrote: 'Literally, my life.'


Signs of high functioning anxiety

1.  Overthinking the smallest, most mundane things

2. Blaming yourself for others' faults - such as someone not texting you back

3. Constantly being afraid of saying or doing something 'wrong' or 'stupid'

4. Declining invitations to social events because you feel overwhelmed

5. Always imagining the worst case scenario


One woman said she had never known why she experienced symptoms such as shortness of breath and feelings of impending doom until watching the video.

'I've always suspected I've had anxiety but I didn't know these were signs,' she said.

Others said they had never seen their personalities summed up so accurately.

'Oh my god, you're the first person that has described me to the fullest,' one woman wrote.

The video comes weeks after Mr Dereniowski told followers about little-known signs of depression, and how to reach out to someone who is struggling.

Mr Dereniowski says signs of high functioning anxiety include a constant fear of saying or doing something 'wrong' or 'stupid'
And blaming yourself for everything - even when someone else is obviously at fault

Mr Dereniowski says signs of high functioning anxiety include a constant fear of saying or doing something 'wrong' or 'stupid' (left) and blaming yourself for everything - even when someone else is obviously at fault (right)

He said an early alarm bell is breaking down over 'small', seemingly inconsequential issues which happens because you feel your life is falling apart.

The doctor added that feelings of 'faking it' - putting on a brave face in public and pretending to be okay - and an inability to sleep without the TV on are subtle signs of depression.

He said this is because total silence leaves you alone with 'intrusive, negative thoughts' which you are unable to cope with. 

Other 'secret' symptoms of depression include unusual irritability, 'withdrawing' socially and feeling exhausted despite having a solid night's sleep.

Do you always imagine the worst case scenario? Student doctor reveals the five common warning signs you suffer from 'high functioning' anxiety Do you always imagine the worst case scenario? Student doctor reveals the five common warning signs you suffer from 'high functioning' anxiety Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:19 Rating: 5

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