Identifying School Anxiety

While some kids look forward to the beginning of school, it causes others to feel extreme anxiety.

“School related anxiety is often brought about for kids when they either have a social piece where they’re worried about being judged or embarrassed or there’s an academic piece where it’s more about homework and speeches and tests and things like that,” said Dr. Laura Koehler, a Clinical Therapist III at Linden Oaks.

But this goes beyond the traditional levels of stress that school may bring.

“How much is it interfering with your life? So if you’re still being able to sleep and you know eating the appropriate amount of food, not under or over, you know that’s when it probably would be considered more stress. Versus anxiety, where it’s going to kind of be higher for longer periods of time,” said Dr. Koehler.

And it can affect students of all ages. But there are ways to cope.

Dr. Koehler suggests, “Making sure that we’re eating appropriately and getting enough sleep, and you know if we are taking medicine, taking it regularly. Getting some activity in there. Making sure that we are spending time with friends, spending time with family, doing some hobbies and interests. I think is going to be one of the best ways to prevent it.”

If that doesn’t help, it’s time to turn to a professional.

“If multiple panic attacks are happening, if they’re getting to the point to where the physical sensations are moving over to migraines or like throwing up or diarrhea, those types of things on a daily basis, I would definitely seek help if they’re having trouble eating or sleeping,” said Dr. Koehler.

Dr. Koehler also recommends seeking help when the anxiety starts to negatively affect grades and academic functioning.

Linden Oaks offers a 24/7 help line, at (630)305-5027, for those wanting to learn more about their anxiety treatment programs.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.

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