Although similar in some ways, the differences between panic disorder and social anxiety disorder (SAD) outweigh the similarities. Here is a quick rundown of the top five differences between panic disorder and SAD:
- People with panic disorder usually search for a medical explanation for their anxiety -- people with SAD do not.
- Panic attacks happen without warning in any setting – symptoms of social anxiety appear only in social or performance settings.
- People with panic disorder often like to have a trusted friend with them – people with SAD usually prefer to be alone.
- People with panic disorder may develop agoraphobia – people with SAD do not.
- Therapy for panic disorder focuses on understanding bodily sensations – therapy for SAD focuses on beliefs about your abilities and the abilities of others.