The high achiever’s relationship with worry and anxiety is a complicated one. Many high achievers identify as “worriers,” but credit their worrying as partly responsible for their success because “it keeps [them] on [their] toes” and “helps problem solve” – They treat worry a badge of honor or a battle wound to be proud of. The irony is that the experience of “worry” is more likely to impede productivity and analytical thinking than it is to support it, impeding professional success.
Worry is also a significant symptom present in every type of anxiety. Generally speaking, these disorders all include a combination of 1) worry; and 2) worry significantly impacting one’s behavior. Diagnoses that fall within this category include: Generalized Anxiety; 2) Social Anxiety; 3) Phobias; 4) Separation Anxiety; and 5) Panic Disorder. OCD, Acute Stress Disorder, and PTSD have recently been re-categorized outside of the Anxiety umbrella, but are still considered very closely related to the other anxiety disorders.