6 Common Habits of People with Anxiety Disorder

You feel your body is heavy. You are slightly shivering. Your mind is swirling with all sorts of random thoughts. Something went wrong with your friend but you are blaming yourself for the mishappening. Gradually, you find yourself getting short of breath. You desperately need someone to talk to because you feel too overwhelmed.

If you have ever come across such situations, it is very likely that you suffer from anxiety disorders. Do not be worried. You are among 19 million other Americans who have been diagnosed with the same problem. It is not to say that you should overlook any sort of medical treatment.

The symptoms may get too intense at times that you may need to see a professional. Either way, anxiety disorder is a severe problem that needs to be catered in the best way possible.

The starting of this article mentioned some of the common signs of an anxiety attack. While the attack may occur at times, the problem itself may persist for long. Moreover, people with an anxiety disorder will tend to develop some common habits as a result of the conditions. It is important to be aware of these habits and seek the most meaningful and helpful path.

Overanalyzing and Overthinking

One of the easiest ways to identify whether you have an anxiety disorder is to look for these two aspects. People with the condition will tend to overthink and overanalyze about the most trivial of the situations. Be it be anything that happened with your friend or relative, it is you who find him/herself most concerned.

This problem then further translates into “gaslighting.” That is when the person with anxiety starts blaming him/herself for something that he/she might not have actually done. Gaslighting can be an emotional toll and difficult to cope with. People who overanalyze and overthink feel particularly disturbed in the majority of the circumstances unwilling to do anything.

Frequent Nail Biting

You grew up being told that nail biting is a bad habit. Your parents would always tell you to stop biting your nails because you might be ingesting harmful germs. However, did you know that biting nails is particularly one common habit of people with an anxiety disorder?

They might do so out of sheer stress or when faced with any panic situation. It is also important to recognize that people involved in this activity might not be aware of this habit. There is a compulsive urge to do so for no straightforward reason.

While for certain, nail-biting may involve ingestion of harmful germs there are other things to keep in mind. If you are on the observing end, DO NOT stop them from doing so. Stopping might not do any good for the person suffering from anxiety. If anything, that might make the problem worse for the individual. Provide the patient with help or refer to any medical professional.


People who self-talk are not “weird” or “strange.” They might be suffering from anxiety disorder and may not have anyone to share things with. Now it is commonly observed that self-talking is one impulsive habit of such people.

Self-talking helps in providing relief to the person who feels bombarded with all sorts of thoughts. These thoughts might be emotionally disturbing and require a passageway out. Apart from that, it keeps the mind away from all other triggering aspects of anxiety.

In addition, people with anxiety may also self-talk when they do not have trust at the receiving end. It is difficult for them to find a person trustworthy. As well as finding someone who is ready to listen to all they have to say. They might fear being judged as a result consider this habit to be the only alternative.

Infrequent Breakdowns

Men cry. Women cry. People with anxiety and depression, however, may cry more than anyone else. There might be episodes of infrequent breakdowns. These episodes may come once in a while, in other cases remaining dormant for a long time.

People with an anxiety disorder may emotionally break down when they become too overwhelmed with their emotions. It is important to understand that during an anxiety phase, the thoughts are what disturb the person.

They may push the person to the extent or limit where coping with them may seem impossible. The breakdowns may last for minutes or may persist for days. On a slightly fortunate note, they might make the person feel better as a result.

As a person who sees a person breaking down, it is important for you to be considerate. Offer any help that might be required. If the person wants space, respect their decision and give them time to think about it. Do not force the patient to open up as that might make the problem much worse.

The Need To Walk Unnecessarily

Anxiety pushes the person to get up from his/her normal position and start walking.  There might be no reason whatsoever to walk apart from the need to change the place. It might be emotionally overwhelming to stay in one location for longer periods of time. Thereby, you might find people with anxiety disorder to take frequent walk breaks.

While they walk, they might put on music, start self-talking or do nothing at all. At times they would ask someone to accompany them. In other cases, they might demand their own personal space and time. Walking can be a coping mechanism and needs to be acknowledged as a behavior of people with anxiety.

Eating Pattern

One of the most common things you get to hear is that people with anxiety tend to eat a lot. While this statement is somewhat true, there is a flip side to that as well. Patients with the condition may give up eating altogether when faced with an anxiety episode.

Stress that piles up makes you believe that there are far more important things than eating. As a result, the body adapts itself in such a manner that the person feels satiated. No food item may seem appealing and eating might become of secondary importance.

On the other hand, it is also true that anxiety leads you to eat excessively. You might have heard about the term “stress eating.” That is exactly what might happen with people who suffer from anxiety disorder.

They will tend to have cravings for different things and will eat a lot more than they would normally do. This is primarily the reason why at times, anxiety makes you gain weight.

Either way, it is important to realize that people who suffer from the condition have a varied eating pattern. At times they would want to eat nothing at all for days. While on the other hand, cravings may propel them to munch excessively on food.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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