It’s hard to tell the difference between social phobia and avoidant personality disorder without a proper diagnosis. However, the two conditions can be very different from one another. Comparing social phobia vs avoidant personality disorder, however, isn’t helpful unless you’re also getting mental health care. The good news is that both conditions can improve with the right support and therapy.
Defining Social Phobia
Social phobia is also known as social anxiety disorder. If you struggle with social phobia, then you might have an intense fear of being judged. At the same time, people with social phobia may worry about appearing anxious, and they might have visible symptoms like blushing, shaking or sweating.
In particularly stressful situations, a person with social phobia could have a full-blown panic attack. This includes symptoms like a rapid heart rate, a sense of impending doom, nausea, and dizziness.
At best, social phobia reduces a person’s quality of life. Instead of wanting to explore new opportunities and meet new people, someone with social phobia will be reluctant in these kinds of situations. At worse, it can make it difficult to go to work, school or family events, and it may even lead to depression or substance abuse.
Defining Avoidant Personality Disorder
Avoidant personality disorder often starts with very low self-esteem. A person with avoidant personality disorder might assume that rejection is imminent. Worse still, they may actually believe that they somehow deserve this impending rejection.
Someone with avoidant personality disorder may avoid all social interactions to deal with this fear of rejection. Many people with this diagnosis are essentially hermits, and they go out into the real world as little as possible. Any relationships a person might have will be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain.
Social Phobia vs Avoidant Personality Disorder: What’s the Difference?
As you compare and contrast social phobia vs avoidant personality disorder, you’ll see many similarities. In fact, you might not be able to tell the difference from the outside. However, there are significant differences at the root of both disorders.
With social phobia, the person might be frustrated by their anxiety. They might take steps to overcome it, even if they aren’t always successful. With avoidant personality disorder, however, people think they deserve the anxiety. This is a much bigger problem and a more significant obstacle to overcome in therapy.
Getting Therapy at PACE Mental Health Houston
If you need social phobia therapy or support for avoidant personality disorder, then PACE Mental Health Houston can help. Many people see results thanks to a combination of trauma therapy, talk therapy, and behavioral therapy. At PACE Mental Health Houston, you can enjoy comprehensive care as well as all of the following benefits:
- Short wait times
- Flexible appointment scheduling
- Comprehensive care
- Individual therapy
- Therapy for co-occurring disorders available
Social phobia vs avoidant personality disorder may not seem like much of a difference, but the two disorders are unique. At PACE Mental Health Houston, you can get the therapy that is best suited for your mental health. Call 866.971.8423 to learn more and to get support right away.