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Which Disorders Are Related to Social Anxiety Disorder?

Disorders Related to Social Anxiety Disorder


There are many disorders related to social anxiety disorder (SAD). Having SAD increases the chance that you will suffer with another disorder, and also makes receiving treatment a little trickier. Below are some disorders that commonly co-occur with SAD.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

If you have avoidant personality disorder (APD), you will experience many of the same symptoms as someone with SAD, however they will be broader and more severe. Because of the overlap between the two disorders, it is possible to be diagnosed as having both APD and SAD.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder differs from SAD in terms of the triggers of panic, the kind of symptoms that are experienced, and beliefs about the underlying causes. It is possible to be diagnosed with both panic disorder and SAD, and the treatments may or may not be the same for both disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

If you suffer with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), your worry tends to be broad and general, rather than focused on social or performance situations. In addition, the physical symptoms that you experience differ from those associated with SAD.


There is an established relationship between depression and SAD - if you've been diagnosed with SAD, you are more likely to develop depression later in life. Ironically, people who suffer from both depression and SAD often only seek help for depression, even though they may have had severe social anxiety for many more years. Unfortunately, treating depression without also treating underlying social anxiety is unlikely to be effective.


If you suffer with SAD, you are more likely to also suffer with alcoholism. Often people with SAD begin drinking to cope - but eventually drinking becomes a problem in its own right. If you have both SAD and alcoholism, treatment must be tailored to your unique situation.

Eating Disorders

If you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder you are more vulnerable to developing SAD. Although a fear of eating can occur in both disorders, the underlying reason for the fear is quite different.


American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author; 1994.

Hales RE, Yudofsky SC, eds. The American psychiatry publishing textbook of clinical psychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric; 2003.

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