What is the difference between autism and social anxiety

what is the difference…

I know that people with autism can have obsessive traits
And not understand humor

Wheras people with social anxiety may differ to that

I’m sure there’s more differences

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I have social anxiety myself. The other day my dad asked me if i thought i was on the autism spectrum. I didnt know. I was wondering @firemonkey if you had an opinion on this? what is autism compared to social anxiety? Are they the same

Those with ASD can have social anxiety, but they are not the same thing .

Here are some quotes from a PDF I found .

Previous research has demonstrated a significant overlap between symptoms of SAD and ASD. A large proportion of indi-viduals with ASD also fulfill the criteria for SAD (Cath et al. 2007; White et al. 2009; Simonoff et al. 2008). Simi-larly, elevated autistic traits are prevalent in individuals diagnosed with SAD (Cath et al. 2007; Puleo and Kendall 2011). The symptomatic overlap between the conditions is mainly found in areas of social interaction and social skills, whereas restricted and repetitive behaviors and atypical social cognition may be unique to ASD (White et al. 2011). Learning disabilities and language impairments are preva-lent in a large proportion of children and adolescents with ASD (Baird et al. 2006), but are typically not seen in SAD. Finally, social anxiety is more likely in older, high-func-tioning children and adolescents with ASD, suggesting that increased awareness of social difficulties may be a contrib-uting factor (White et al. 2009).

Individual differences in SAD symptoms in individuals with ASD may be related to atypical functioning and struc-ture of the amygdala, a subcortical area linked to fear pro-cessing, association learning and social cognition, particu-larly orienting to human faces (Amaral et al. 2003; Whalen et al. 2013). In line with this, South et al. (2011) found that autonomic fear conditioning in a group with ASD was positively related to social anxiety, but negatively related to autistic traits. Taken together, this suggests that a dimen-sional approach is important for understanding the biologi-cal mechanisms underlying ASD.The overlap between ASD and SAD can be attributed to a number of causes. First, it is likely that some individu-als with ASD or autistic traits develop social anxiety over time, as a consequence of repeated difficulties in social interactions (Bejerot and Mörtberg 2009; White et al. 2011). Secondly, the high incidence of social anxiety in biological relatives of people with ASD suggest a degree of genetic overlap (Piven and Palmer 1999). On the other hand, there is also a concern that superficial similarities in overt behaviors result in inflated correlations between self- or parent-report targeting the two conditions (Cholemkery et al. 2014). For example, a lack of close friendship could be the result of reduced social motivation (Chevallier et al. 2012b) or a lack of social skills (Jobe and White 2007) as well as anxiety driven avoidance.

While overlapping, there is also ample evidence showing that SAD and ASD are distinct phenomena. For example, relatives of people with a diagnosis of ASD are more likely to have signs of ASD than SAD, suggestive of a dissociable genetic background (e.g. Piven and Palmer 1999). There are also differences in phenomenology between the two conditions. Whereas repetitive behaviors and a preference for sameness are characteristic of ASD, these behaviors are rarely seen in SAD. Similarly, some individuals with ASD may prefer to be by themselves, whereas individuals with SAD typically desire social interaction (e.g. White et al. 2011; Chevallier et al. 2012a).


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I have social anxiety but not autism

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How do you get the Social Anxiety as a diagnosis? If at all?

My doctor treats me for it, but it has not been made official

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I think if you have a diagnosis that involves psychosis that the SA and GA are regarded as a secondary aspect of the more serious mental illness .

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Social anxiety is the first symptom I got and I have it from the age I remember.


I have generalized anxiety disorder and it’s help, every morning I wake up anxious and go to sleep anxious. Panic attacks are the worse, when I am exposed to too much anxiety and stress it just triggers me and also worsens my schizophrenia. 20 minutes looks like 5 hours

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Autism is more inability to deal with sensory overload, I think. Anxiety is fear.

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I had a friend with SAD. He takes Lexapro.
I find his disease much less disabling than my SZ.
He can work, have friends, manage money, and bathe regularly. He told me his only issue is with girls. He sweats and stress with them. He never had a gf.

SAD involves an overactive amygdala which increases fear sensibility. Autism involves the frontal lobes like the orbitofrontal cortex responsible for social behavior. Ppl with autism can be violent just like SZs especially when unmedicated. Pdocs use antipsychotics in autism to control aggression. Autism is closer to SZ than SAD.

SAD can reduce if negative symptoms increase. SAD is hyper activation of fear linked with social situation while negative symptoms make it hard to achieve that state. I have severe anxiety from birth which slowly reduced when negative and cognitive symptoms got worse.

Thus negative symptom have uses too especially if have severe anxiety.

What we now know as SA was the first overt symptom I got a few months before I was 14 .

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For me, it’s more like social cues, lack of awareness, poor facial recoginition, poor social skills, and more. I also have a tendency or used to before schizophrenia to hyper focus for hours. I have a mild version. I get anxiety socializing and sometimes I don’t want to, but social anxiety is much different. Sometimes to the naive observer it looks like I have OCD, but I don’t.

i have had social anxiety since the age of 4. Got treated for it at about 19… got off the meds myself big mistake…then came psychosis which was due to stress most likly …now the pdoc went back to original anxiety dx guess its trail and error

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