Social Anxiety Disorder Case Study

Social Anxiety Disorder Case Study

Primary and Differential Diagnosis

The primary diagnosis for J.T is social anxiety disorder (SAD). Based on DSM-5-TR criteria, individuals can be diagnosed with SAD if they experience discomfort in any social interaction and have significant concerns concerning being judged and embarrassed by other people. They experience anxiety or fear towards particular social situations including being observed, noticed or scrutinized by others (Koyuncu et al., 2019). As a result of social anxiety, individuals might experience distress which may affect their occupational or interpersonal functioning. J.T has SAD due to several reasons. First, J.T has fear and anxiety towards being judged by others and authority figures. He particularly feels that others will view him as dump and has a challenge in raising his hand to answer questions in class. The anxiety has interfered with his normal functioning leading to social isolation, avoiding class and not interacting his professors. Besides, his anxiety is not connected to any medical disorder or substance abuse.

A differential diagnosis for J.T is major depressive disorder (MDD). Individuals with MDD experience depressed mood, and a loss of interest or enjoyment in daily tasks for at least two weeks. Lack of energy, sleeplessness, social withdrawal, isolation from others, thoughts of suicide, decreased focus, and fatigue are additional symptoms to those already mentioned (Patel et al., 2022). J.T exhibits symptoms of MDD since he feels depressed and is significantly stressed about school. He also isolates himself in his room everyday and has a challenging time finding enjoyable activities. His symptoms have interfered with his functioning to the point of affecting his general grades. He also fails to attend class and has a small circle of friends.

Biopsychosocial Plan of Care

A biopsychosocial plan of care takes into account the psychological, physical and social aspects of SAD promoting an integrated treatment approach. Addressing physical symptoms will include calming techniques like deep breathing (Koyuncu et al., 2019). There are many online tools and mobile apps that may assist J.T learn relaxation methods. He can release social tension by engaging in physical exercise. Psychological care can include cognitive behavioral therapy. The main goal of CBT is to reduce negative beliefs and patterns in order to restore J.T.’s self-esteem and enable him to consider constructive coping mechanisms. Insuring him that he is neither a loser or stupid through psychotherapy would help him feel more secure and allow him to speak openly with others. Social symptoms can be alleviated by J.T participating in social events and interacting with people he feels comfortable with.

Comparison and Contrast between Fear, Worry, Anxiety and Panic

The best way to understand the distinction between worry and anxiety or fear is frequently by picturing a continuum. The beginning of the scale is worry, the middle is anxiety, and the end is fear and panic (Derrick,  Green & Wand, 2019). Worries, along with bodily symptoms and avoidance behaviors, are all components of anxiety. Concerns frequently have more context, are more problematic and time-specific. In contrast, anxiety and panic attacks are typically more widespread, persistent, and irrational. The freeze reaction is induced by fear just like it is by anxiety. As opposed to the panic, which is typically associated with an unsettling fear. Panic attacks happen abruptly and unexpectedly, usually last for a short period of time, and are unlike anxiety, which frequently has definite causes. People who have experienced panic attacks have mentioned feeling dizzy, having chest pain, flashes of shivers, and having an upset stomach.





Derrick, K., Green, T., & Wand, T. (2019). Assessing and responding to anxiety and panic in the Emergency Department. Australasian emergency care22(4), 216-220.

Koyuncu, A., İnce, E., Ertekin, E., & Tükel, R. (2019). Comorbidity in social anxiety disorder: diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Drugs in context8.

Patel, T. A., Schubert, F. T., Hom, M. A., & Cougle, J. R. (2022). Correlates of treatment seeking in individuals with social anxiety disorder: Findings from a nationally representative sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders91, 102616.

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