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How To Cope With Fear

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There are time when fear can be overwhelming. The following ideas have helped other people cope with fear. As you read through these ideas, think about what may work for you. Feel free to try more than one idea at a time. If one doesn't work, move on to the next.  If fear becomes overwhelming so that it affects your day-to-day living or treament or taking your meds as prescribed, speak with your doctor and/or consult with a mental health professional such as a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist who has experience with your primary health condition.

Don’t let fear be an elephant in the room. Talk about your fear with your loved ones. And while you’re at it, let them talk, too. Get and give support.  

  • Talk about your fear, at least with the people closest to you. Also consider speaking with:, 
    • Other people in a similar situation such as in a support group.  Support groupos can provide a wealth of  practical information and support in addition to helping to cope with fear. In addition to in person groups, there are online support groups and groups that meet via the telephone. If one group doesn't work for you, try another. For more information, see: Support Groups 101.
    • A mental health professional (a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist.). For information about how to choose a mental health professional, click here
    • Talk with your doctor or a member of his or her office staff.
    • Call a hot line.
    • Speak with your religious or spiritual counselor.
  • Use your fear to empower yourself by taking care of yourself, taking your medications as directed, keep your health care providers up to date.
  • Take a time out and distract yourself. Do an activity that takes your total attention - preferably something you like to do.
  • Calm your body with a hot bath or shower.
  • Change your thoughts. Remember that fear is a thought in your mind. You can change to a different subject. 
    • Focus on the things you can control
    • Work on keeping a positive attitude. For "how to" tips, click here.
  • Look for humor in the situation. 
  • Avoid random internet surfing. Many sites discuss worst case scenarios or include unreliable information.
  • Counteract fear with facts.
  • Embrace your fear. Understand it for what it is, and what is causing it. Accept that it is human to feel fear. Then you can let it go.

To learn how to cope with particular fears, click on the following appropriate link:


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