psychology

School phobia: what to do?

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This massive and oppressive anxiety that now suffer too many children. It occurs from the mention of the word school. Manifested in several forms, the school phobia often takes the appearance through panic attacks, crying … from the child.  3% of students in France today are impacted by this handicap.

But then what to do to fight against this daily hell? 

No one really has a straightforward explanation for it. However, it is clearly linked to a past story, a moment in the child’s life which caused him to have suffered a shock: (moving, change of school, death of a loved one or even separation of parents…).
How do you distinguish it? The obvious symptoms, of course, will be panic when you bring it to school or college. 

It is triggered with more or less great frequency. Usually when entering elementary school. Growing and important, it can push the child to enter a phase of depression. Anxiety is present during school periods, it is presented in verbal form, or through somatic manifestations such as: headaches , stomach aches , nausea , sweating, sometimes going as far as discomfort….

However, if the parents push the child to attend school anyway, the phobia can take on louder manifestations: screaming, agitation, even violence.  No accessibility to discussion or possible reasoning. If the parents give in to his request, he calms down and promises to go back to school the next day: the symptoms disappear. But the scene repeats identically the next day.

It is true that in 99% of cases, the child keeps the taste for learning, he does not refuse to work (at home).

The more he remains confined to his home, the more he will develop this permanent anxiety. So this will lead to a move away from all extra-curricular activities. 

How to do ? 

First thing to know! This kind of behavior should not be neglected! In the absence of rapid support, this phobia can have a process of evolution and lead to a school break, even social, which would pose big problems in the life of the child. Nowadays, many treatments have been set up by national education, by doctors and associations. In order to avoid chronicization of these disorders. We must promote a rapid and safe return to school.
Staying at home is therefore by no means the solution !! This leads to too many bad habits.

The objective of these supports? 

It consists in helping children little by little, by confronting them with their fears. Close collaboration between the pupil, the family and the school takes place step by step. The psychological care of the child is done in a cognitive-behavioral way. Goal number 1 is obviously: reintegration into the school environment. It must be done gradually, first, the child can return to the school premises (duty room, recreation, canteen), before being able to consider a gradual resumption of lessons.

Some child psychiatrists will institute a PAI: individualized reception project, which will allow slowly, but surely, an adapted reintegration.
In some cases, family therapy is necessary because the problem actually goes back to a trauma experienced by the latter.  Many treatments are adapted to each case, sometimes the use of drugs such as anxiolytics will be prescribed. Only in short term situations. 

Learn well that a child affected by this fear must never be alone. School phobia is not to be taken lightly, it can destroy a life. You have to try to understand it, like any phobia, it resolves.

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