Anxiety from being yelled at (+5 tips)

In this guide, we will discuss “Anxiety from being yelled at”, understand why it may happen and some tips on how to cope/manage your anxiety.

Anxiety from being yelled at?

Anxiety from being yelled at is very common in people that have endured yelling or verbal abuse for quite some time.

Being yelled at can trigger an anxious response due to the fact that our brain recognizes such behavior as a potential threat.

As a result, we can feel emotional pain, scared or sad. 

Can yelling give cause anxiety?

Being frequently yelled at can cause anxiety as it changes the mind, brain and body in a number of ways such as increasing stress hormones in the bloodstream, increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing muscular tension and more.

Getting Yelled at for No Reason

Getting yelled at for no reason can make the person experience anxiety, because it can teach them to not expect the yelling. If there is someone in your life that keeps yelling at you for no reason, it is not something you should be around, If your parents are yelling at you for no reason, you need to stay calm and try to focus on your relaxation, but if it gets violent, talk to someone about it.

In families, dealing with anxiety can be difficult, check out the best anxiety books for parents and teens.

What is the Phobia of Yelling called?

The phobia of yelling, or hearing yelling, can be known as Phonophobia, which is essentially a phobia of loud sounds. Phonophobia is also called ligyrophobia. The name for a phobia of yelling, “Phonophobia” originates from the Greek words for sound and fear.


If you grew up in this type of environment, you probably may have heard  “I just want what is best for you, because I love you” but sometimes you wonder if your parent’s parental skills were the best. 

When kids do something considered “wrong” then their parents get frustrated at them because they would want them to understand why what they did was wrong.

However, expressing that frustration by yelling can have implications in their personality development in the short and long term.

This is precisely what may have happened when being exposed to constant yelling, meaning our brain learned to process “yelling” as a threat and now, no matter who is yelling at us, we will have the same fearful response.

 Moreover, we need to consider how yelling can be considered verbal abuse and due to its “invisible” nature, compared to physical abuse, it is said to have the same traumatic effect.

Lets mention some characteristics of yelling according to NAMI:

  • How loud (volume) someone can scream or yell.
  • The shrill tone of voice.
  • Body language.
  • The content of the yelling, meaning, being disrespectful, insulting, humiliating, etc.
  • The duration of yelling.
  • The feeling of abandonment.

 “Being frequently yelled at changes the mind, brain, and body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the bloodstream, increasing muscular tension and more. Being frequently yelled at as children changes how we think and feel about ourselves even after we become adults and leave home.”

Are there any effects on the brain?

Yelling alongside harsh parenting strategies can change the way your child’s brain develops.

The reason behind it is simply because the human brain seems to process perceived negative emotional information and events more quickly than positive ones.

Moreover, researchers agree that sight and hearing are two of the major senses that allow human beings to detect threatening and potentially harmful situations.

This has a scientific explanation since it has been shown that our brain can quickly differentiate between an angry and a happy voice.

This means that when parents yell at their toddler, who has an underdeveloped brain (specifically the pre-frontal cortex), then their brain will start to release neurochemicals that will lead to either fighting the possible threat, running away from it or freezing, but none of those options is considered good.

Additionally, if there is constant yelling, the behavior becomes ingrained and in the end, they will reproduce the ineffective ways of communicating you have taught them later on in life.

Yelling may lead to psychological issues

According to Psychology Today and a study from 2011, published in the Journal of Child Development, children who are raised in an environment where they are constantly yelled at as a way of correcting their behavior, have a higher probability of developing psychological issues such as anxiety, behavioral problems, stress, and depression. 

In addition, many researchers and clinicians agree that yelling is considered a form of abuse.

The issue with yelling is that it is not as evident or noticeable as physical damage and since it appears to be “silent”, without being aware, we are contributing to our child’s mental health in a very negative way. 

Why do people yell?

People yell, scream and shout for many reasons but mostly because that is the way they think their message will come across, or they think it is the most effective way to be heard.

Moreover, they believe it is justifiable since it is part of their communication style and it seems to work for them. 

The problem with yelling and screaming at someone to get heard is that anger is the emotion that takes over, meaning, it is common to be hurtful, humiliating, belittling and disrespectful in the process of communicating the message.

Our society has managed to accept and permit yelling as part of (PsychologyToday):

  • Parenting strategies
  • Teaching and correcting students behaviors
  • Get attention from others
  • Assert oneself over another
  • Inciting or stirring up emotions in others
  • Encourage, inspire or stimulate others

When is yelling accepted?

If someone is yelling at you during a discussion, and they seem frustrated, angry and usually start calling names at you, intimidating or just making you feel bad about yourself then, this is something no one should endure or tolerate.

However, there are certain cases where yelling is a matter of survival or a warning sign.

For instance, if we are walking down the street, and we cross the traffic light, but we haven’t noticed it is in green because we are talking on the phone or texting then someone would probably yell at us “Watch out!” or “Stop”.  

In addition, imagine we are hiking, fall down the hill and break a leg, then we feel the need to yell and scream for help, that is what our instincts will tell us to do as a matter of survival.

In contrast, yelling can also be used as an act of threat, intimidation, control, bullying, etc.

We all have been involved or have heard this type of yelling.

It can be considered as verbal abuse and can even contribute to someone’s low self-esteem, self-image and depression.

Remember that anxiety is actually part of our lives and our human nature, meaning that feeling a bit anxious from time to time is normal.

However, if our anxiety is too overwhelming and it has impacted our lives negatively or significantly then it is recommended to be evaluated and diagnosed by a mental health professional.

Benefits of not being yelled at

There are many benefits associated with not yelling, (especially for the yeller) starting by being more in control of our emotions and displaying resilience during challenging situations.

In addition, we will acquire better communication skills meaning, a healthier way of communicating. 

Also, remember how we are role models not only for kids but for the people we interact with every day.

Instead, try practising the following:

  • Active listening: when we are having a conversation with someone, it is easy for one or both parts to disengage or misinterpret the message. Try committing to the conversation and do not interrupt the speaker, you will get your turn. 

  • Be empathetic: this is one of the hardest things to do for many people. When we need to deliver a message and want the receiver to understand what we are feeling or thinking, we forget how important it is to acknowledge what the other person is feeling or thinking. 

  • The tone of voice: try to have a tone of voice that reflects you are calm. It is very easy to raise your tone of voice and the volume so you can be heard at any cost, but by doing this you are not guaranteeing the message will be received as you expect.

Moreover, if you have identified how yelling can make you feel frightened and uncomfortable due to the intense emotional response that it produces, then not being yelled at will certainly have the opposite effect.

However, it is not about doing whatever it takes to avoid being yelled at but learning to manage your emotions and coping with your anxiety.

Why is this blog about Anxiety from being yelled at important?

Anxiety from being yelled at is very common in people who have been exposed to yelling repeatedly or those that grew up in a harsh environment.

However, yelling has many negative psychological effects that will be carried over through our adulthood, sometimes without even knowing.

Remember that yelling is considered a form of verbal and emotional abuse so it should not be tolerated.

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder and you have identified already yelling makes you the most anxious, then it is recommended to seek professional advice on how to overcome your anxiety.

Various methods of therapy, medication and even products such as weighted anxiety blankets can help you overcome your anxiety.

Please feel free to comment in the comments section!

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Anxiety from being yelled at

What is the fear of being yelled at called?

The fear of being yelled is known as phonophobia, ligyrophobia or sonophobia.

This is the aversion to loud noises or sounds.

However, if our emotional reaction to being yelled at involves crying, running away or freezing, then we could have developed anxiety.

What being yelled at does to you?

Being yelled at has many long-term effects such as anxiety, low self-esteem, self-image, increased aggression, depression, suicidal behavior, among others.

Yelling in general, is an expression of anger, frustration, wanting to be heard, control, manipulation, etc.

It is very likely that someone with a lack of effective communication skills will start yelling to express their emotions and point of view.

Can yelling at a baby be harmful?

Yelling at a baby has been suggested by scientists and researchers as being just as harmful as physical abuse.

According to WebMD “the two-year study, effects from harsh physical and verbal discipline were found to be frighteningly similar.

A child who is yelled at is more likely to exhibit problem behavior, thereby eliciting more yelling.”

Why do people scream?

There are many reasons why people scream.

Some of them do it to express anger, frustration, signaling danger, asking for help, out of excitement, wanting to gain control or manipulate, wanted desperately to be heard when nothing else seems to work, intimidate, belittle someone, among other reasons.

How do you talk to an angry person?

Talking to an angry person can be difficult but not impossible.

First, it is important to avoid ignoring the person, this will feed their anger.

Also, listen attentively and validate what they are saying and how they are feeling but you are not obligated to back down if you disagree.

Keep your voice calm even if they keep raising their voice and try to talk things through. 

Recommended reading

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

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Online Therapy

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Light Therapy

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References 

Goldman, R. (2017, Apr.) 5 Ways Yelling Hurts Kids in the Long Run. Retrieved from Healthline.com

Hendel, H.J. (2018, Feb.)  The Problem with Yelling. Retrieved from Nami.org

Brown, A.D (2017, Apr.) Please Yell at Me. Retrieved from Psychologytoday.com

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