Difference Between Agoraphobia and Social Phobia

Main Difference – Agoraphobia vs Social Phobia

Agoraphobia and Social phobia (social anxiety disorder) are two different psychological disorders, which are closely related to each other with a very thin borderline, making it quite difficult to distinguish one from another. The main difference between Agoraphobia and Social Phobia is that agoraphobia is the fear of being in an unfamiliar, embarrassing or unescapable situation whereas social phobia is the fear of social interactions. However, the affected individuals in both condition will experience similar symptoms associated with anxiety and panic, follow a behavioral pattern of avoidance, and they will try their level best to create their own safe zones based on the nature of fears experienced. As far as the method of treatment for both disorders is considered, different and personalized courses of cognitive behavioral therapy will definitely do miracles.Difference Between Agoraphobia and Social Phobia - infographic

What is Agoraphobia

Although many people assume that Agoraphobia refers to fear and reluctance to leave home, agoraphobia actually refers to an anxiety disorder where you fear and avoid situations or places that might cause you to panic and make you feel helpless, trapped, or embarrassed.

People with Agoraphobia often avoid public or crowded places such as trains, buses, fairs, carnivals, etc. They would always prefer staying at home alone or in the company of a trusted companion

Driving alone, being far away from home or even standing outside their own home will be definite nightmares for Agoraphobic people. They will never want to walk into unfamiliar places. Once they get back to their normal and familiar place, it will be so relaxing for them and get relieved.

Main Difference - Agoraphobia vs Social Phobia

What is Social Phobia

Social phobia, which is the fear of facing the society, is characterized by undue shyness and anxiety in unfamiliar social gatherings, resulting in the avoidance of interactions.  For example, they will never be scared to jog alone on the beach as long as there are no people who seem to be watching them, but get restless when walking into a crowded cocktail party.

People with Social phobia will go into the society but will try their best to avoid interaction with others. They might even want to avoid the presence of close companions as well. They will constantly feel that others will notice their trembling and sweaty hands or shaky voice while having conversations. Because of this reason, they get distressed, blush and even experience disturbances in the gastrointestinal system.

Social phobic people will worry about being criticized or rejected by others. They have these insecure feelings in their mind that people will make fun of them on how they behave and what they are doing. Because of this reason, they will even avoid speaking, writing, eating, using washrooms in public, never make eye contact with people around them, act shy, tongue-tied, look down and ultimately walk away if possible.

Difference Between Agoraphobia and Social Phobia

Difference Between Agoraphobia and Social Phobia


Agoraphobia: Agoraphobia is abnormal fear of being helpless in an embarrassing or unescapable situation that is characterized especially by the avoidance of open or public places.

Social Phobia: Social Phobia is the fear of  interaction with other people that brings on self-consciousness, feelings of being negatively judged and evaluated, and, as a result, leads to avoidance.


Agoraphobia: Agoraphobic people experience panic symptoms anywhere outside his familiar, comfort zone.

Social Phobia: Sociophobic people experience symptoms of anxiety and avoidance only during social interactions.


Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia often avoid public or crowded places; they would always prefer staying at home alone or in the company of a trusted companion.

Social Phobia: They will go into society but will try their best to avoid interaction with others.

Avoiding unfamiliar places

Agoraphobia: Agoraphobic people avoid unfamiliar places.

Social Phobia: Social phobic people will have no demarcations for places they visit.


Agoraphobia: Agoraphobic people worry about scrutiny from others when they go through panic attacks in the public.

Social Phobia: Sociophobic people worry about being criticized or rejected by others. They are insecure.


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About the Author: Embogama

Embogama is a passionate freelance writer for several years. Her areas of interest include general medicine, clinical medicine, health and fitness, Ayurveda medicine, psychology, counseling and piano music

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