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Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety or Both?

K

khpink2

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Can someone please explain the differences between those two disorders, preferably with examples?

I'm not understanding the articles I've been reading about these disorders. I find a lot of the information to be contradicting.

I have an anxiety/panic attack calling someone on the phone, going to the store, or even ordering food in a restaurant. I'll even go out of my way to avoid these things. But I don't feel like the definitions of agoraphobia or social anxiety apply to me.

I know that I've had these issues as far back as I can remember (3 years old). I'm wondering if I have both disorders and that's why I can't tell what I'm truly feeling, other than extreme anxiety.
 
daffy

daffy

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A lot of people misunderstand agoraphobia. It’s isnt just a fear of open spaces A few years ago i was told that was agorophobic but because i loved wild open spaces i denied it even tho i hate leaving the house, but my biggest fear was meeting people and thats what a lot of agoraphobics/social anxiety sufferers go thru. I knew if i could go out for a walk and not meet a soul or go to an empty supermarket i would be fine. It’s the fear of socialising that makes you fear going out and so you are agoraphobic . The thought of going to a pub or a restaurant is a nightmare for me if I’m with someone who doesnt understand how nerve wracking it is.
 
jajingna

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I don't suffer from agoraphobia, though I'm not keen on crowds, and sometimes react a bit anxiously or even paranoid I guess with just strangers around outdoors. But social anxiety is something I have a lot of experience with, and it is complicated. What they have in common is the feeling of threat from others, of not feeling safe and at ease because others seem like a danger somehow. It's an emotional problem rooted in the older part of the brain. Rational thinking doesn't resolve it, that takes place in a different area. That's part of the explanation anyway. This is why phobias are not easily put away with logic. Someone who doesn't share your phobia may just think you should be able to see through it as irrational because it makes no sense logically. But the emotions have more power than thought or ideas, is how I see it. Fear doesn't have to make sense.

Other than all that there is the nervous system. Who knows how that might be conditioned by earlier experiences. The way your emotions and brain work may go well back into early childhood, and there may be more arousal activity, or hypervigilance, scanning for environmental threats, perceiving them where another person doesn't, something that you perhaps adapted at an early age as a defense or survival mechanism in your family, and now this has become like a pattern and a reflexive response.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Was just reading about social anxiety disorder, and saw this:

"Individuals suffering from agoraphobia may fear and avoid social situations; however, their primary fear is that escape from a social situation may be difficult in the event of incapacitation or panic-like symptoms, whereas individuals with SAD are primarily fearful of the potential for scrutiny by others that is inherent in an interpersonal situation."

Agoraphobia -- concerned with escape if panic happens
Social phobia -- concerned with others judging them
 

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