Common Characteristics of People with Anxiety Disorders

This post was originally written on 8/4/2009, and revised 10/11/2011. 

An anxiety disorder is often characterized as a condition in which someone experiences extreme fear or dread. This could be for no known reason or it could be as a result of a traumatic experience.

Common characteristics of people who suffer anxiety disorders are listed below:

  • Cold and clammy hands, sweating, disrupted sleep or total insomnia (or sometimes sleeping too much), gastro intestinal problems, trouble swallowing, or tight muscles. This might be the case of a person who has a generalized anxiety or panic disorder.
  • Simple blushing, increasing heart rate, or nausea. People may also experience, rampant weeping, hyperventilation and trouble communicating. This is often the case of anyone who has panic attacks associated with intense fear — especially if they are afraid of people (social anxiety).
  • Some people who are extremely afraid or uncomfortable of people might also be very tense, disturbed, irritable, or easily humiliated around people (thus the blushing or perhaps showing anger or hostility) or they might sit in the corner and hide somewhere. This is often the case of individuals who have extreme fear of people.
  • They might make excuses in order to avoid any situation where people are present no matter how lonely they may be. This is very common of people with social anxiety. This intense fear that is felt is very exhausting and affects a person’s ability to socialize at parties and work functions as well as during the work day.
  • Some individuals might feel fatigued all the time, feeling chilly even in warm weather, numbness of hands and feet, hyperactivity or overabundant energy, frequent urination, drastic mood swings, and inability to stop crying. The most serious symptoms include racing heart rate, problems breathing, tense muscles, and hyper ventilation, which would be symptoms of a panic disorder.
  • Some people who have experienced severe pain from circumstantial injuries might also steer clear of people, places, or activities that remind them of the event. This is one of many problems associated with post traumatic stress disorder. This person is usually afraid all the time, too.

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