7 Disorders Related to Social Anxiety Disorder

Anxious woman wearing a robe standing alone by the window
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Comorbidity in social anxiety disorder (SAD) refers to having another disorder in addition to SAD. Having SAD increases the chance that you will be diagnosed with another disorder, and also makes receiving treatment more complex. Many disorders are related to social anxiety disorder (SAD), including other anxiety disorders, depression, and personality disorders.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

If you have avoidant personality disorder (APD), you will experience many of the same symptoms as someone with SAD. However, your symptoms will be broader and more severe. There is overlap between the two disorders, which means that it is possible to be diagnosed with both APD and social anxiety disorder.

One of the key defining features of avoidant personality disorder that tends not to be present to the same degree in SAD is a lack of trust in the motives of others.

While those with APD feel others are not to be trusted, those with SAD tend more toward feeling as though others are judging them.

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 social anxiety disorder, and the treatments may or may not be the same for both disorders.

While individuals with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder may share similar patterns of avoidance and experience some of the same types of symptoms, a key defining difference is that persons with panic disorder often feel better in the presence of a trusted companion, while this may cause those with SAD to feel more anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

If you suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), your worry tends to be broad and general, rather than focused on social or performance situations. You might worry about finances, your job, global warming, family issues, or any number of things. Your worry probably keeps you awake at night and may morph into physical symptoms such as tension headaches or migraines.

Different from GAD, people with social anxiety disorder usually only feel anxiety about social and performance situations.


There is an established relationship between depression and social anxiety disorder—if you've been diagnosed with SAD, you are more likely to develop depression later in life.

What's more, people who suffer from both depression and social anxiety disorder 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 will not be as effective. This is why it is important to share all of your symptoms with your doctor, and for physicians to be alert to potential signs of social anxiety disorder.


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

Eating Disorders

Social anxiety disorder and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder may sometimes be diagnosed together. Fear of eating in public is a common symptom, but the types of behavior and motivation underlying it are quite different.

People with anorexia may fear being judged for overeating and may shift food around on their plate, while someone with SAD may fear spilling a drink or have shaking hands while eating.


While comorbid SAD and schizophrenia has received less attention, there is some evidence of increased risk for social anxiety disorder among those with schizophrenia. For those with schizophrenia as well as SAD, quality of life can be lowered. 

A Word From Verywell

If you've been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder along with another comorbid disorder, your doctor will determine the best course of treatment to manage the complex interaction between your symptoms.

To receive the best possible treatment, be sure to share all of your symptoms during diagnosis, so that a complete picture of your circumstances emerges.

6 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading

By Arlin Cuncic
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety."