Other Conditions That Can Cause Symptoms Similar to Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is not easily
confused with anxiety that primarily results from physical disorders (such as
head trauma or an overactive thyroid).
But other mental health conditions that can produce symptoms
that are similar to those of social anxiety disorder include:1
- Panic attacks or
panic disorder, which causes a person to avoid social
situations that may cause a panic attack.
- Avoidant personality disorder, which may be a more severe form of social anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which
may cause a person to avoid public places due to specific fears, such as fear of
- Agoraphobia, which often occurs with
panic disorder and causes intense fear of not being able to escape from a
public place or situation.
- Depression. This commonly occurs with
social anxiety disorder. Depression alone can sometimes cause social withdrawal
due to lack of interest or pleasure in the company of others.
- Generalized anxiety disorder, which causes excessive
worry or anxiety and distress that is difficult to control.
Shyness, performance anxiety, and stage fright are common and
should not be confused with social anxiety disorder if the anxiety experienced
does not interfere with daily activities.
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Anxiety
disorders. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text rev., pp. 450–456. Washington, DC: American
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry|
|Last Revised||July 11, 2011|