Research suggests that around 30 percent of those affected by ASD also have an anxiety disorder. These include social phobia, separation anxiety, panic disorder and specific phobias – for instance, of spiders or loud noise.
Anxiety is a real difficulty for many people on the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger syndrome. It can affect a person psychologically and physically. Understanding emotions can be very difficult. Anxiety can affect both the mind and the body, and produce a range of symptoms. The psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety are closely linked and can lead to a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break. The psychological symptoms of anxiety can include: easily losing patience; difficulty concentrating; thinking constantly about the worst outcome; difficulty sleeping; depression; and becoming pre-occupied or obsessive about one subject.
Physical symptoms of Anxiety may include: excessive thirst; upset stomach; loose bowel movements; frequent urination; increase heart rates; muscle aches; headaches; dizziness; nervousness; temper tantrums; and tremors.
Behavioral medications are frequently used to help manage anxiety, a symptom for some diagnosed with Autism.