Why am I scared of everything?

Why am I scared of everything?

Feeling scared of everything? You're not alone. Anxiety is common, but it can be debilitating. Learn about the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders, and how to get help from a psychiatrist.

Reviewed by:
Austin Lin, MD
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October 20, 2023
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Key takeaways

When temperatures dip and the days start getting shorter, some people flock to the movies (or their couches) for some scary seasonal fun. If you’re usually thinking something like, “no thanks, real life is scary enough,” this guide’s for you.

There’s nothing wrong with not enjoying the adrenaline spike that comes along with a good scare, whether it’s onscreen or IRL. But if your everyday life gets your heart racing faster than any horror film, that might be a sign that your mental health needs some attention.

Is it normal to be scared everyday?

Everyone gets scared sometimes—fear is your brain’s security system keeping you alert to the possibility of danger. Those mental and physical symptoms you feel when you sense danger are known as your fight-or-flight response and it’s your body’s way of protecting you from potentially life-threating situations. Sometimes though, that security system can go a little haywire, and you may feel those mental and physical symptoms of fear (AKA anxiety) in response to everyday stressors like an upcoming exam, or even when stressors aren’t there (ever had anxiety ruin a perfectly good beach day?).  

So how can you tell if your brain is a little too good at keeping you safe? Well, you’re the best judge of your own situation. Ask yourself if feelings of fear are stopping you from doing things you want to do, like taking on new challenges, or are disrupting your daily routine. You can also check in with your body throughout the day. If you often notice physical symptoms of fear, (or panic attacks or anxiety attacks), such as an increased heart rate, sweating, or an upset stomach, that could be a sign that fear is becoming a problem for you.

Want to learn more about panic attacks and anxiety attacks? Check out: Panic Attack vs. Anxiety Attack: Understanding the Differences

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Why might I be feeling afraid all the time?

Intense or frequent fear that disrupts your daily life can be a sign of a few different mental health conditions such as:

Depending on your other symptoms, you might be dealing with one of these types of anxiety, or something else entirely. Talking to a psychiatrist is the best way to know for sure what’s causing your symptoms. Fear can feel suffocating and all-consuming but it is possible to heal and live without fear holding you back.  

Want to learn more about anxiety symptoms and treatment options? Read how Talkiatry treats anxiety.

How do I stop being scared of everything?

If what you’ve read so far sounds like you, you’re not alone—anxiety rates among young adults in the U.S. were going up even before the COVID-19 pandemic, which only made matters worse. So what can people with anxiety do to ease their fears? Here’s what experts consider most effective:

  • Regular exercise: Moving your body can help relieve some of the physical symptoms of anxiety. Don’t worry about starting up an intense regimen if that’s not your jam: Even a short walk can make a big difference for your state of mind.
  • Relaxation techniques: While physical activity can help prevent bouts of anxiety from happening, relaxation techniques help find you calm in the moment and prevent your anxiety from spiraling out of control. Ready to check out some relaxation techniques? Try these deep breathing or grounding exercises.  
  • Write it out: When mobilizing your senses isn’t enough to stop your mind from racing, try writing down your worries instead. Putting it all on paper can have a cathartic effect, even if you never read it.

What if that’s not enough?

For some people, even the best coping mechanism or creative outlet won’t be enough to ease up those feelings of fear or anxiety—and that's okay. Sometimes professional help is necessary and there’s no shame in asking for support. If you are experiencing an anxiety disorder or another mental health condition, treatment works and typically includes therapy (like cbt or cognitive behavioral therapy), medications, or both.  

Seeing a mental health professional, like a psychiatrist or therapist, is a good place to start if your mental health is making it hard to go about your day.  

When fear is doing its job, it helps keep you safe by letting you know when something’s a little too far outside your comfort zone. But when it escalates into anxiety, fear becomes more like a cage, keeping you trapped.  

Only you can know if your fear isn’t helping you anymore, but you don’t have to figure that out on your own. Talk to one of our psychiatrists to get help taking control of your anxiety.

About Talkiatry

Talkiatry is a national psychiatry practice that provides in-network, virtual care. Co-founded by a patient and a triple-board-certified psychiatrist, Talkiatry has over 300 doctors, 60 insurance partners, and first visits available in days. We treat patients with anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, and more. Get started with a short online assessment.  

The information in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and should never be substituted for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you or someone you know may be in danger, call 911 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 right away.


Journal of Psychiatric Research|Trends in anxiety among adults in the United States, 2008–2018: Rapid increases among young adults

World Health Organization|COVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide

NHS Inform|Why do I feel anxious and panicky?

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Frequently asked questions

Does Talkiatry take my insurance?

We're in network with major insurers, including:

  • Aetna
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Even if your insurer isn't on the list, we might still accept it. Use the insurance eligibility checker in our online assessment to learn more.

Can I get an estimate of my visit cost?

The best way to get a detailed estimate of your cost is to contact your insurance company directly, since your cost will depend on the details of your insurance.  

For some, it’s just a co-pay. If you have an unmet deductible it could be more.  

Call the number on your insurance card and ask about your plan’s coverage for outpatient psychiatric services.

What kind of treatment does Talkiatry provide?

At Talkiatry, we specialize in psychiatry, meaning the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Your psychiatrist will meet with you virtually on a schedule you set together, devise a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and preferences, and work with you to adjust your plan as you meet your goals.

If your treatment plan includes medication, your psychiatrist will prescribe and manage it. If needed, your psychiatrist can also refer you to a Talkiatry therapist.

What's the difference between a therapist and psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are doctors who have specialized training in diagnosing and treating complex mental health conditions through medication management. If you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or similar, a psychiatrist may be a good place to start.  

Other signs that you should see a psychiatrist include:  

  • Your primary care doctor or another doctor thinks you may benefit from the services of a psychiatrist and provides a referral    
  • You are interested in taking medication to treat a mental health condition  
  • Your symptoms are severe enough to regularly interfere with your everyday life

The term “therapist” can apply to a range of professionals including social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychoanalysts. Working with a therapist generally involves regular talk therapy sessions where you discuss your feelings, problem-solving strategies, and coping mechanisms to help with your condition.

How does Talkiatry compare to face-to-face treatment?

For most patients, Talkiatry treatment is just as effective as in-person psychiatry (American Psychiatric Association, 2021), and much more convenient. That said, we don’t currently provide treatment for schizophrenia, primary eating disorder treatment, or Medication Assisted Treatment for substance use disorders.

Who can prescribe medication?

All our psychiatrists (and all psychiatrists in general) are medical doctors with additional training in mental health. They can prescribe any medication they think can help their patients. In order to find out which medications might be appropriate, they need to conduct a full evaluation. At Talkiatry, first visits are generally scheduled for 60 minutes or more to give your psychiatrist time to learn about you, work on a treatment plan, and discuss any medications that might be included.

Austin Lin, MD

Dr. Austin Lin is a double board-certified adult and addiction psychiatrist who has been in practice for over 9 years. At the center of Dr. Lin’s clinical approach is a strong emphasis on establishing trust and using a collaborative approach to help patients develop an individualized and cohesive plan so that they are able to achieve their goals.

Dr. Lin's practice focuses on medication management. Typically, he offers this in conjunction with supportive therapy, motivational interviewing, and/or cognitive behavioral therapy in 30-minute follow-up visits. Occasionally, Dr. Lin may recommend that additional therapy is needed and ask that you bring a therapist into your care team in order to provide the best outcome.

Dr. Lin received his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine. He went on to complete his residency in psychiatry at Harvard South Shore, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, where he served as Chief Resident and earned his 360° Professionalism award. He then had additional training in Addiction Psychiatry through his fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. After completing training, Dr. Lin has worked as an Addiction Psychiatrist and Director of Adult Services in the Trauma and Resilience Center (TRC) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). He specialized in treating patients with a history of depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance use disorders.

Dr. Lin has held an academic appointment at UTHealth, and he has spent his professional career supervising and teaching medical students and psychiatry residents.

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