Panic disorder is often difficult to separate from social phobia (fear of social situations). However, some differentiating factors between the two conditions do exist:
- Panic disorder needs no preliminary triggers, it may strike like a lightning from a clear sky.
- In social phobia there normally always is a preceeding situation which triggers the fear episode.
- In panic disorder, one often asks for help from any person in sight.
- In social phobia, the person would rather vanish from the scene as quickly as possible.
When it comes to ESB, it is not of high importance to define whether a patient suffers from social phobia or panic disorder, since in many cases the treatment is the same. Both conditions respond readily to sympathetic block.