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WRITTEN BY: Tammy C. Perez, M.A., NCC, LCDC, LPC

REVIEWED BY: Dr. Terry Schroeder on April 18, 2023

Functional Anxiety

What is Functional Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders can have devastating effects on our physical and mental health. They are often associated with nervousness, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, panic, and excessive worrying. Those suffering from anxiety disorders often feel helpless and fearful of the next potential attack. On the contrary, many people with anxiety disorders are highly functional. Their effectiveness may mask anxiety's harm to their mental well-being and cause them not to seek help for their condition. 

Functional anxiety is a term used to describe those who operate effectively in their daily lives but suffer from high anxiety levels. These people are generally very efficient and productive at performing and completing tasks. To others, they seem well-organized and accomplished. Realistically, they suffer from excessive worry, elevated stress, or intrusive thoughts about potential dangers. Although anxiety symptoms are not interrupting the performance of those affected, they may become increasingly distressful and negatively affect the overall quality of life.

What causes Functional Anxiety?

Biological and environmental factors generally cause functional anxiety. These factors include family history, life experiences, thyroid issues, and substance or alcohol abuse. Other causes are personality and development conditions, differences in brain function and chemistry, and differing threat perceptions.

Anxiety and depressive disorders commonly coexist together. Those with functional anxiety are often suffering from depression as well. It is when depression symptoms begin to impact daily functioning do those with functional anxiety seek treatment.

What are the symptoms of Functional Anxiety?

Those suffering from functional anxiety are less likely to show signs due to their high productivity levels. Research has shown this condition is closely related to Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. The symptoms of GAD are fatigue, lightheadedness, restlessness, irritability, emotional discomfort, extreme fear, and insomnia. Other symptoms include nausea, headache, palpitations, and trembling. 


How is Functional Anxiety treated?

Functional anxiety is treated similarly to GAD and other anxiety disorders. Treatment may include psychotherapy and medication, depending on the severity of the condition. Psychotherapy involves counseling to reduce anxiety symptoms as well as cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches anxiety management skills and promotes changes in thinking patterns to understand behaviors and thought processes better.

Medications that treat functional anxiety include antidepressants, Buspirone, and Benzodiazepines. These medications may become habit-forming or take several weeks to become effective.

How does Functional Anxiety affect brain wellness?

Anxiety activates the body's stress response, releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged exposure to these hormones can have adverse effects on the brain, such as reducing the size of the hippocampus, a brain region essential for memory and learning.

Anxiety can also cause sleep pattern disruptions, leading to cognitive impairments, mood disturbances, and structural changes in the brain. Additionally, it can cause cognitive biases, such as an increased focus on hostile events and a tendency to interpret ambiguous situations as threatening. These biases can perpetuate the anxiety cycle, negatively impacting overall brain wellness.

Furthermore, functional anxiety can lead to avoidance behaviors and a decreased willingness to engage in social activities. These behaviors damage social connections and produce feelings of isolation.

How can Brain Frequency™ help?

The Brain Frequency™ AI system is an innovative therapeutic approach to improving brain health and wellness. We use proprietary science-based technology to promote optimal brain functioning across mental, emotional, physical, and social domains. Our diagnostic technology and individualized treatment protocols help decrease or eliminate trauma-related symptoms and various mental health disorders.

The Brain Frequency™ 3 Step Treatment Process consists of; first, performing a Baseline EEG and completing Psychometric Assessments; second, conducting a Brain Frequency Consultation; and third, Initiating Treatment.

An Electroencephalogram (EEG) analyzes brain waves and produces a brain map identifying current and optimal frequencies in 19 areas of the brain. Based on the individualized brain map, Brain Frequency™ will determine possible diagnoses of various mental health disorders or brain trauma for the provider to consider during treatment. Brain Frequency™ AI software provides clinicians with an "Approval Ready" treatment plan using personalized protocols based on each patient's needs.

Those suffering from symptoms of functional anxiety can efficiently and effectively improve their brain health and wellness by using the Brain Frequency™ AI system. Our innovative system drastically reduces the time needed to properly diagnose and construct treatment plans leading to a faster recovery and greater quality of life.




Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA):

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA):

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

Center For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):

American Psychological Association (APA):

National Institutes of Health (NIH):

National Suicide Prevention Line:

National Library of Medicine:

Mayo Clinic:




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