Anxiety from Being Yelled At? (A guide to stop people from yelling)

In this brief guide, we will look at what happens if you have anxiety from being yelled at, fear of being yelled at, and the psychological effects of being yelled at. We will also consider some ways to feel better when someone is yelling at you and how to stop someone from yelling at you.

Anxiety from Being Yelled at

Anxiety from being yelled at might arise when someone yells at you unexpectedly all the time, and you are unable to figure out what actions of yours may lead to someone yelling at you, and this may be particularly hard if the person is seen as stronger than you in some way.

The person yelling at you could be your boss, your parent, or even your partner, but if they yell at you randomly, and your mind registers that there is no rhyme or reason to their yelling and you can’t anticipate it, you start getting what is known as Anticipatory Anxiety.

Anticipatory Anxiety is common in Panic disorders and sometimes in Generalized anxiety, and in both these classes of anxiety disorders this concept refers to the feeling of foreboding that something bad is about to happen.

Anxiety or foreboding about something bad happening makes sense when we consider that the human reactions to someone yelling at us are those of fight or flight, and as such, there is a great deal of stress involved in the situation.

Where there is stress, there is usually anxiety, and many people may experience anxiety from being yelled at for this very reason because their minds and body are stressed out and they feel powerless in the face of possible danger, and this causes great discomfort.

If you are getting anxiety from being yelled at you might want to do something about it, or ideally get out of the situation, as it can lead to some nasty long-term effects if you don’t take care of it at the outset.

Psychological Effects of being Yelled at

Anxiety from being yelled at falls under the psychological effects of being yelled at, and this means that there are other psychological effects of being yelled at as well, some of which are:

  • Depression 
  • A constant state of Stress
  • Constant activation of fight or flight response 
  • Anger issues
  • Long term effects, like personality problems 
  • Feeling jittery and wired
  • Lack of communication 
  • Breaking down of a relationship 
  • Chronic pain as a result of mental anguish
  • Frequent Illnesses
  • Weakness in the body
  • Learning of wrong behavior (If it is a child) through modeling 

These psychological effects of being yelled at may happen immediately or they may sometimes show up as long-term consequences, but they may almost always show up because being yelled at affects us very deeply.

The psychological effects of being yelled at are only part of the reason why we should not be communicating in this maladaptive way, and should instead find ways to communicate in a healthy manner.

Whether it is the person doing the yelling or the one being yelled at, they both have psychological effects of yelling or being yelled at, which means that intervention is necessary for both.

A major psychological effect of being yelled at may also be Stress. The person being yelled at feels a great deal of stress because their brain is kicking into fight or flight mode, telling them that they are in a dangerous situation.

Fight or flight mode puts the body in a state to act, which is great if there is actually some primal danger for which this trait evolved, but if there isn’t, like when someone is yelling at you, this causes stress which leads to some significant adverse problems in the body as well.

Hans Selye, a well-known researcher in the field of research about Stress, has given a model for Stress which seeks to explain a lot of the things that happen to the body when it is under duress.

This model is called GAS, the full form of which is General Adaptation Syndrome, and it explains all the things that happen to the body when it is put under a condition of stress, like when someone is being yelled at.

This model highlights how a body reacts to perpetual stress, and how badly it can affect your body if it thinks it is in danger for long periods of time.

Stress like this can cause stomach problems, increased alertness that then leads to problems like fatigue and tiredness, and neurological damage that may become apparent as the person grows older.

We also saw earlier than a major psychological effect of being yelled at can be depression, and the reason for this has been shown in some studies that say that being yelled at by someone can lead to some lasting damage to the cognitive processes of the individual, and add to the symptoms of depression like Helplessness, Hopelessness, and Worthlessness.

Fear of being Yelled at

The fear of being yelled at (phobia) may be known as Sonophobia, Phonobhobia, or Ligyrophobia, but some of these may be synonymous with just a fear of the sound of loud noises like fireworks, so one needs to specify which one it is.

In some cases, Sonophobia, or the fear of loud sounds, may imply a hypersensitivity to sound as well, which may be symptomatic of a Migraine.

Ligyrophobics on the other hand may be afraid of loud noises that devices emit or technical sounds that come out of things, presumably because they are afraid of things not working properly or breaking down in some way.

The fear of being yelled at needs to be separated from a phobia, as the defining characteristic of phobia is that it is an unwarranted and irrational fear, whereas the fear of being yelled at in most people happens because they have been yelled at in the past or are in a position where it is a very real possibility.

Fear of being yelled at can also arise from the fact that our brains know that loud voices and yelling may often precede violence or intense anger of an even higher degree, and the fear sets in before it even happen so that the body may take some steps towards getting out of that situation.

Many times fear of being yelled at may arise simply from Hyperacusis, which is a very heightened sensitivity to loud noises and may be symptomatic of either a Highly Sensitive Person or of an underlying physical problem.

Effects of Yelling at a Spouse

The effects of yelling at a spouse can be detrimental both from a psychological and familial point of view, as research has indicated that yelling at your spouse/partner can induce fear in them similar to how it would in a child.

Neurological research shows that our cognition slows down in the presence of fear and therefore it is very difficult to think while in a state of fear.

The neurological studies say that if you want your partner to hear what you are saying, that will only happen when you speak in a way that does not produce fear, which means that yelling to get your point across is never a good solution.

When someone is yelling at a spouse, the spouse’s brain perceives it as a danger and this causes fear, slowing down their cognition, which ironically means that the chances of them registering what is being said reduce drastically.

When we hear yelling, our brains go into a Fight or Flight mode, which is a primal defense mechanism that involves either getting away from a source of danger or fighting it, and this is also the reason behind the General Adaptation Syndrome, which was discussed earlier, coming into play.

Neither of those two behaviors should happen in a marriage, a spouse fighting with you is just as bad as a spouse running away from you, and neither response will make the spouse do what you want them to do with the yelling and neither will give you a satisfactory outcome.

Additionally, the effects of yelling at a spouse may not be limited to the spouse alone, they may extend to the children, who may develop a fear of being yelled at or learn to communicate in the same manner towards their partners in the future.

How to stop someone from yelling at you?

To stop someone from yelling at you you might try the following tips:

  • Try to leave the situation
  • Try to maintain your calm even if the other person won’t maintain theirs.
  • Don’t indulge the person or try to appease them.
  • Don’t make excuses for why they may be doing it.
  • Don’t tolerate it if it is giving you anxiety from being yelled at.
  • When the person has calmed down tell them how it makes you feel.
  • Talk to a professional about what you are feeling and what you can do.
  • If the yelling is happening in a couple, couple’s counseling may help.

What to do when someone yells at you?

When someone yells at you and you feel that you may be getting anxiety from being yelled at, you may try the following things:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Try to think of something positive
  • Drink some water
  • Talk to the person at a later point and tell them not to do it
  • Try meditation to help with the anxiety
  • Try breathing exercises
  • Get some fresh air

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at what happens if you have anxiety from being yelled at, fear of being yelled at, and the psychological effects of being yelled at. We also considered some ways to feel better when someone is yelling at you and how to stop someone from yelling at you.

Being yelled at can be very traumatizing and disturbing, especially if you are in a situation where you feel helpless and stuck, and if you are in such a situation, we hope this blog gave you some idea of what you can do to help with your situation.

If you have any questions or comments about this subject or other things related to being yelled at, please feel free to reach out to us.

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

Can being yelled at cause anxiety?

Yes, being yelled at can cause anxiety, as our brain perceives it as a dangerous situation.

Being yelled at has been proven to cause anxiety in depression in individuals, presumably because of the uncontrollability attached to the situation, in addition to the danger or fear.

Does yelling help with anxiety?

In some cases, yelling may help with anxiety, if it is done in the right context and the right conditions.

If you are yelling at someone else to reduce your own anxiety that is wrong, and that will cause them anxiety as well, while doing absolutely nothing to alleviate yours.

Is anger a sign of anxiety?

Yes, Anger can be a sign of anxiety in some people, as anxiety involves a fight or flight response to stress in some cases.

Some experts do not consider anger a sign of anxiety though, like Dr. Melanie Badali, who is a registered psychologist and board director at AnxietyBC, says that anger is not usually considered to be a symptom of anxiety.

Citations

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2018/The-Problem-with-Yelling#:~:text=Being%20frequently%20yelled%20at%20changes,increasing%20muscular%20tension%20and%20more.

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/effects-of-yelling-at-kids

https://www.lifehack.org/627394/the-best-way-to-react-when-someone-is-shouting-at-you-in-anger

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181207112706.htm

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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