Can An Anxiety Disorder Increase My Risk Of Getting Into Fights Or In Trouble With The Law?

Dr. Whiteside answers the question: 'Anxiety Disorders And Legal Problems?'

— -- Question: Can an anxiety disorder increase my risk of getting into fights or in trouble with the law?

Answer: Most anxiety disorders, or all anxiety disorders, involve increased fearfulness and worry and concerns about harm -- either physical harm or social harm -- or something bad happening.

Therefore, for most people with an anxiety disorder are probably less likely to get into fights or problems with the law.

However, there are other symptoms and problems that can be associated with anxiety disorders. For example, alcohol or substance abuse is sometimes associated with anxiety disorders -- often as a way of coping or managing with symptoms. And alcohol or substance use in abuse can certainly be related to legal difficulties or interpersonal problems.

Secondly, especially in kids, when you have anxiety and people -- family members, friends, teachers, bosses, coworkers -- are expecting you to do things that make you very anxious, we often will respond to those situations with irritability, anger, and trying to avoid doing what's being asked of us.

So in those situations, anxiety disorder certainly can contribute to interpersonal conflict.

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