SA vs SP

PeterO

Well-known member
#1
From spending some time on this site, I feel like while I definitely have social anxiety, I am not sure I have social phobia. I get extremely anxious about all sorts of interactions, and I go through periods of hermit-like extreme introversion, but it’s not entirely debilitating. I wonder how you all define yourselves, and what you see as the differences between SA and SP.
 
#3
I'm split right down the middle, the phobia feeds the anxiety.

I can do most things in public to a small degree, but anything involved gets my anxiety pumping into overdrive. That's why I can go to a drive-thru but I can't sit in a restaurant by myself, I can go to a movie, but only on Wednesday night when no one is there, I can be a handyman for my family's rental properties but I can't hold a regular job.

When I'm not running errands or visiting family I'm at home. No one troubles me, I unhooked my doorbell ages ago so I literally can't be bothered.
 

lily

Well-known member
#4
I'd say i have a degree of Social Anxiety and Social Phobia interchanging, it's horrible to have SP and SA or 'anxiety' but I'm working on it.
 

lily

Well-known member
#7
i noticed though that people are more afraid than i am online, I've tried to PM people but hardly anyone would talk.
 

F0AM

Well-known member
#8
i noticed though that people are more afraid than i am online, I've tried to PM people but hardly anyone would talk.
They're probably afraid of developing a conversation, not knowing what to talk about or reaching a "dead end".

Don't feel bad, after all you're in a SA forum.
 
#10
For the sake of discussion we're making a distinction.
So what is the distinction we're making? How can we have a discussion before the new non-standard definitions are provided? So far nobody seems to have provided a definition of either, so we've got a bunch of people talking about whether they have two identical disorders which they have inaccessible distinct private definitions off which probably all disagree with each other from post to post.
 
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F0AM

Well-known member
#11
I thought they were the same. I've read an article saying this: Nevertheless, there is a difference between social anxiety and social phobia. The former refers to the fear and anxiety experienced before and during conversations and other direct social interactions, while the latter covers fears and insecurities connected to public performance. Maybe that helps.

So basically:

-Social anxiety: Being afraid of interacting with other people.
-Social phobia: Being afraid of doing things in public (people you're not directly interacting with).

I'm still not sure about this, but if they are indeed different conditions then they must be best friends coz i think people with SA/SP usually suffer both.

I'll keep an eye on those articles to see if i find more definitions.

UPDATE:

When the DSM-IV was published in 1994, The term social phobia was replaced by social anxiety disorder. The new term was introduced to describe the broad and generalized nature of the fears that are a part of this disorder.The criteria were also changed to reflect the latest research on this topic.

In past editions of the DSM ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), social phobia was diagnosed if an individual felt extreme discomfort or fear when performing in front of others.
In the DSM-IV, social anxiety disorder could be diagnosed if an individual feared a variety of different social situations.

For example, a fear of conversation with strangers at a dinner party wouldn't have been considered social phobia; however, under the DSM-IV, this fear would fit the criteria for social anxiety disorder.

You can find plenty of articles saying things like: Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia ro Social anxiety/socialphobia implying that they are indeed the same. I've read three articles in Spanish and they are all the same: "Fobia social (Trastorno de ansiedad social)" -> Social phobia (social anxiety disorder) or "El trastorno de ansiedad social (TAS), también conocido como fobia social" -> Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia

As i said, i think both go hand in hand and maybe term "social anxiety" was created to be more specific about a part of the social phobia or to make more accurate diagnoses. --> these are just my thoughts so take them with a grain of salt!
 
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PeterO

Well-known member
#12
This background is actually helpful; I wasn't aware of it. I guess the distinction in my mind is between something that totally or almost totally prevents social activity, and something that makes it very stressful and exhausting but still possible in many cases.
 
#13
I dont believe there is a difference between the two.
Especially when one is linked to "public performance ".
They are one and the same to me.

And no I'm not an inbred. I have researched a LOT in the fight against it.
 
#14
So what is the distinction we're making? How can we have a discussion before the new non-standard definitions are provided? So far nobody seems to have provided a definition of either, so we've got a bunch of people talking about whether they have two identical disorders which they have inaccessible distinct private definitions off which probably all disagree with each other from post to post.
In the world of psychology, I always figured Social Anxiety was how it was more commonly referred to in the States, and Social Phobia was the term they preferred in the UK. Either way, I personally have used them interchangeably for all as long as I have known of them.

I would say there is a bigger separation between Social Anxiety Disorder (or social phobia) and Avoidant Personality Disorder. If anyone is interested, there are a lot of old threads on the forum discussing the differences between the two and how people interpret and understand each disorder.

As for this thread, when I saw the title I really didn't think of SA and SP in terms of the disorders at all though. A person can have anxiety or fears without checking all the boxes of a specific list of symptoms. When I think of anxiety, I tend to think of all those physical symptoms. Restless, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, loss of appetite, and things like that. When I think of fear, or phobia, I see anxiety as a possible result, but the fear itself being a more mental thing. If you have a fear of heights, you are thinking about falling and that makes you feel scared. And when you are forced to the top of the building, that may result in the anxiety.

When I think about Social Anxiety Disorder I see it generally as a combination of both the fear and the anxiety. It's different for everyone, and I am also not a psychologist so everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

I do feel like for this thread everyone seems to be using their own interpretations, and that's ok. As long as we have a general idea of what we everyone else means, the particulars of semantics can be left by the wayside.
 

theoutsider

Well-known member
#15
From spending some time on this site, I feel like while I definitely have social anxiety, I am not sure I have social phobia. I get extremely anxious about all sorts of interactions, and I go through periods of hermit-like extreme introversion, but it’s not entirely debilitating. I wonder how you all define yourselves, and what you see as the differences between SA and SP.
My compliments to you on such a great question! I'm going to define the distinction in my case as being extremely anxious in social situations (SA) as compared to being so anxious that it's just debilitatingly difficult or impossible to go out and interact with the public.

I've had SA all my life but not SP so much. Recently, I've begun to dread leaving the house and I don't know if that's because I'm beginning to develop SP or not. I really think it's a combination of hearing so much bad, local news lately that I'm beginning to feel like it's not even halfway safe to be out anymore. I don't even live in an area known for excessive crime, I reside in Hawaii. Secondly, I've become more anxious about my encounters with j erks. I never seem to handle unforeseen encounters well and it leaves me replaying it over and over in my head, beating myself up over how I should have responded. Therefore, much of my free time has been spent indoors lately. To sum up my answer, I'd say I definitely have SA with a touch of SP which I hope doesn't get any worse.
 
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#16
Social withdrawal is avoiding people and activities you would usually enjoy. For some people, this can progress to a point of social isolation, where you may even want to avoid contact with family and close friends and just be by yourself most of the time.

Causes of Social Withdrawal. Social withdrawal can be a symptom, cause, and type of anxiety. Some people develop social withdrawal because of their anxiety symptoms. ... Still others experience severe anxiety socially, causing them to withdraw.
I've never had social withdrawal, as that presumes having a social life in the first place. It's always been social isolation, along with social anxiety (the difficulties of socializing) & the more severe social phobia (which prevented me from socializing & went hand in hand with Avoidance).
 
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