Are People With An Anxiety Disorder More Likely To Abuse Others, Or Be The Victims Of Abuse?

Dr. Joan Anzia answers the question: 'Anxiety Disorders Leading To Abuse?'

— -- Question: Are people with an anxiety disorder more likely to abuse others, or be the victims of abuse?

Answer: Actually, in only one disorder does that occur -- only one anxiety disorder -- and that's posttraumatic stress disorder, usually when the posttraumatic stress disorder is due to childhood sexual abuse or other kinds of childhood maltreatment. In those situations, if an adult survived years of maltreatment as a child, they may not consciously but have a pattern of putting themselves in relationships or situations in which they're abused or taken advantage of.

And it's only in treatment or with very healthy relationships they can recover from that and learn to keep themselves safe from abuse.

It is also true that certain survivors of -- not all by any means -- but certain survivors of the extensive childhood abuse go on to become abuser themselves. Many of those individuals also have the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Next: How Can I Tell If A Friend Or Family Member Has Problems Consistent With An Anxiety Disorder And Needs Help?

Previous: What Is The Effect Of An Anxiety Disorder On Sexual Functioning, And Will Anxiety Medication Affect My Libido Or Ability