Didaskaleinophobia - children's and teenagers' fear of school


There are situations when a child refuses to go to school. He begins to cry and behave inappropriately. Most parents perceive this behavior as simple laziness, but this is not always the case. Fear of school is a serious mental disorder that cannot be ignored.

Fear of school is not the same thing as banal laziness

School phobia is called didaskaleinophobia. It does not appear immediately. Usually occurs only during classes. It is especially acute in primary school, when children are not ready for heavy workloads.

Didaskaleinophobia – fear of school

The term “didaskaleinophobia” is commonly used to describe a specific anxiety disorder typical of schoolchildren. Literally from Greek it is translated as “fear of school.” This phobia refers to both the fear of school in general and specific fears that are in one way or another related to school. For example, fear of going to school due to poor relationships with the team, poor academic performance, poor attitude of the teacher, and others.

Not in all cases, parents can guess that their child has developed an anxiety-phobic disorder. The fear of going to school and his reluctance to be active in his studies are often perceived by them as ordinary laziness. However, they are not always right. If a child is afraid of school, you should take a closer look at this and ask him in detail what the reasons for his fears are. Indeed, today phobic disorders are widespread not only among adults, but also among children and adolescents due to changes in social lifestyle.

Adults may also not take a child's anxiety seriously because it only manifests itself at school. Many are sure: if a person has a mental pathology, then it appears in all areas of his life. This opinion is wrong, since every phobia has an object. If we exclude interaction with objects of fear from the patient’s daily routine, he behaves completely normally and anxiety does not manifest itself.

It should be remembered that explaining psychological disorders in a child by his laziness and whims, long-term ignoring of his complaints leads to serious psychological pathologies, depressive states and somatic diseases.

Consequences of pathology

Not all parents can call fear of school something serious. Some people think this is just whims and laziness. In fact, any violation in the psychological sphere leads to somatic problems.

The child will become more and more nervous, irritable and hysterical

Over time, the student will develop depression, which will manifest itself as an inability to express emotions and feelings. Apathy and reluctance to change something can become the basis for suicidal thoughts.

Some skin problems, such as psoriasis, develop against the background of problems with the nervous system. Such pathologies are difficult and take a long time to treat.

Another consequence of scolinophobia is a dislike of the learning process. In the modern world, people have to actively learn new things and master different professions. If the child is in panic, it will be difficult to do this.

Therefore, scolinophobia needs to be promptly identified and treated by specialists. The sooner a problem is detected in a child, the easier it is to get rid of it. A school psychologist can help with diagnosis and correction.

Parents need to maintain a trusting relationship with their children. This is the only way they can quickly learn about any troubles. They should not make excessive demands on their child, as this will only worsen his condition.

Didaskaleinophobia: symptoms

This phobic disorder clearly manifests itself at the somatic level with the following symptoms:

  • lack of air, asphyxia;
  • cardiopalmus;
  • increased sweating;
  • tremor;
  • muscle weakness;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • feeling of heaviness in the chest;
  • digestive system disorder;
  • nausea;
  • headache.

At the psychological level, the main symptom is the fear of phobic attacks. That is, in addition to the main panic attacks, didaskaleinophobe is haunted by the fear that everyone will see him in an uncontrollable state.

Children may also develop a fear of losing their minds due to a phobic disorder.

At the behavioral level, didaskaleinophobia is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Nervous walking from side to side.
  • Numbness, emotional stupor.
  • Distracted attention syndrome.
  • Inappropriate behavior (aggression, tears, excessive touchiness and suspiciousness).

Parents should pay attention to such symptoms; they should not be confused with whims.

But who are these children?

Psychiatrists identify two types of children most susceptible to school phobia. Firstly, those who have a sensitive nature and are prone to anxiety disorders. This type includes children who do not tolerate separation from their parents well. These children often suffer from social phobia and panic attacks. They find it difficult to bear the gaze of others, and therefore such children cannot bear questions from the teacher or any humiliation from their comrades.

The second type concerns those who have anxiety - this is a secondary problem. Such children are depressed and suffer from a profound lack of interest in school (this is especially true for children with dyslexia or hyperactivity). They often find that all their thoughts and attention are focused elsewhere, in places where they feel more valued, such as video games or sports.

In addition, modern society requires early professional self-determination from adolescents, which also increases the psychological burden.

Causes of didaskaleinophobia

Didaskaleinophobia only in rare cases develops as a result of a single situation that is traumatic to the psyche. Its formation is mainly facilitated by a combination of negative factors that influence the child’s psyche regularly over a long period of time.

The following stressors may be prerequisites:

  • Psychological pressure, bullying from other children.
  • Their ridicule.
  • Threats of physical harm from peers, or the presence of such.
  • Excessive intellectual and physical stress (for example, school and several clubs, sports sections).
  • Rejection of the child by the teaching staff or one teacher.
  • Ridiculing, public criticism of a child by a teacher in front of the whole class.

The reason for the development of fear of school can also be an atypical event or condition. There are cases when a child was worried that an accident would happen to his family in his absence, and therefore tried by any means to avoid going to school and to stay at home. Also, some disadvantaged children begin to feel responsible for the difficult family situation and stop going to school, believing that they have more important things to do.

However, attending school, academic performance, and participation in social school life are the most important stages for the formation of personality. It is impossible to allow a child not to study. Therefore, it is very important to listen to him and help overcome the phobia.


It happens that the fear of school becomes uncontrollable and manifests itself daily. You need to contact a specialist. An excellent solution is to undergo psychotherapy with a child psychiatrist.

Art therapy

The methodology includes several directions. Each of them is a separate form of art. Among them are:

  • choreography;
  • singing;
  • playing a musical instrument;
  • sand painting;
  • collecting construction kits;
  • handicrafts, etc.

You need to choose the type that brings you the most pleasure. Drawing is often chosen. The essence of this art therapy is to use a drawing to depict the object of fear. It is important to pay attention to the size of the figure and what color palette the student chose. All lines, strokes, ornaments, and figures are analyzed.

Another method is theatrical production. It allows you to see the primary sources of mental illness. The child is asked to show through emotions and actions what makes him afraid of school.

You can invite the patient to be in the role of a frightening object. You need to pay attention to gestures, facial expressions, words, behavior.

Art therapy is good because the child perceives it as a game. This is especially true for first grade students. They are fun, interesting, and have no negative impact on the psyche.

Theatrical performance will help understand the causes of the disorder

Cognitive behavioral therapy

For treating children, the technique is complex, but effective. Young patients perceive it as a normal conversation with a doctor. The goal of such therapy is to change negative attitudes to positive ones.

The psychotherapist asks the patient questions:

  • what happens if you go to school;
  • why are you afraid of your classmates;
  • what happens if you are poorly prepared for classes;
  • what happens when you get a bad grade;
  • who said that school is a scary and dangerous place;
  • why do you worry about your parents while you are in class, etc.

A prerequisite is the child’s interest in treatment. The doctor must establish contact with the patient. The child's active participation is required.

Treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy consists of 2 parts: individual sessions where communication is carried out between the doctor and the student, and homework.

Examples of homework:

  • meet 2 peers in a week;
  • prepare your own lessons and get at least one 5;
  • take part in a school event;
  • perform an act that will earn respect from classmates;
  • come up with a morning ritual that will help you have a positive outlook on the work day, etc.

It is important to get interested so that completing tasks does not cause much stress or horror. After each individual therapy, you need to ask the patient what new he learned. If there is no success, change tactics and return to the stage of identifying the reasons for fear of school.

During therapy, the child will need to meet peers

Treatment of didaskaleinophobia

Your child is afraid to go to school: what to do in such a situation? First of all, you need a confidential conversation with him. But often children, especially younger ones, themselves cannot really explain what exactly scares them, since they cannot objectively look at the situation and identify the cause of their fears. Therefore, the best option for the child would be to contact a qualified child psychologist.

Regular sessions with a psychotherapist will help the student find out the true cause of his fears and understand exactly what situations cause panic. The doctor will also tell you how to properly respond to bullying from classmates and physical violence on their part, and how to competently resolve such conflicts.

With the help of a psychotherapist, the child changes his attitude towards stressors. For example, in a situation with a fear of being left outside the home, or with anxiety for loved ones, they help him master special psychotechniques. They help reduce biased anxiety.

In addition to psychotherapy, medication may be used. Most often, young patients are prescribed mild antidepressants or sedatives. Physiotherapeutic effects – exercise therapy, massage, physiotherapy – have a beneficial effect on the child’s psyche.

How not to be afraid to go to school for your child and overcome fear

Current programs for educational institutions are continuously updated and modified. The material is not easy and students may simply not understand it. Quite often it happens that a child listens to the information he has read, but is unable to understand it, so he has to review the material covered at school at home.

If in the elementary grades you can still understand what is being said, then in the older grades it is no longer easy. Thus, the child begins to be afraid of the educational institution, because homework is not completed, teachers give bad marks, and parents scold them.

The teenager’s psyche cannot tolerate such stress and a fear of school appears, which needs to be gotten rid of urgently.

Fear of school may arise due to a child’s inability to master educational material.

What is school anxiety?

The fear of going to school is called didaskaleinophobia; it is typical only for schoolchildren and appears exclusively during classes. Essentially, the concept of didaskaleinophobia literally stands for “fear of school.” Formally, such a phobia may not immediately manifest itself in full.

Often parents perceive reluctance to go to school as laziness, a desire to take a walk or do something other than the educational process. But it is precisely at these moments that you do not need to turn away from the problem; you need to take it seriously and find the real reason for absenteeism. This is especially evident in elementary school, because

the child has not yet fully adapted to learning and requirements, and heavy workloads without family support can lead to the appearance of a phobia

The mistake parents make is that they consider a phobia to manifest itself in all areas of the child’s life at once, and fear appears precisely in a specific case. If you eliminate the irritant, then the fear goes away on its own.

Such manifestations in a teenager cannot be ignored. The longer time and attention is not given to the problem, the more strongly it grows into consciousness.

Later, it can develop into severe anger, which is associated with panic and depression.

Signs and symptoms of having a phobia

The most complete and accurate description of fear of school was described by Khersov. He believed that problems begin with dubious complaints about the educational institution or with her forced attendance.

Later, this develops into a complete refusal to go to school, not taking into account the persuasion from the parents. The closer it is to go to school, the more the child’s behavior and mood changes.

Many children say that they have a desire to attend school, but when they need it, they are unable to do anything due to panic attacks.

Parents should sound the alarm if these types of symptoms appear:

  • attacks of asphyxia;
  • interrupted breathing;
  • too fast pulse and heart rate;
  • heavy sweating;
  • chills and tremors;
  • the child becomes paler, there is a loss of strength, which can lead to loss of consciousness.

In addition to the above, a teenager may experience nausea, dizziness and intestinal colic.

It is surprising that in the presence of this disease, a child may develop fear of seizures. In addition, the older the child, the stronger such manifestations can be.

Children may rush around the room at such moments, their behavior will be panicky, or they will remain motionless for a long time. Such signs are difficult to attribute to whims and should be given due attention.

Asphyxia is one of the signs of phobia

Causes of fear

It is foolish to think that manifestations of fear before going to school can appear as a result of one stressful situation that occurred in an educational institution. In most cases, this is a protracted process where the student is constantly exposed to negative factors that cannot be eliminated immediately:

  • bullying from classmates that teachers ignore;
  • cruelty towards a child;
  • ridicule;
  • endless threats from high school students;
  • a lot of work and heavy stress (physical and mental);
  • psychological reproaches from teachers.

There are non-standard symptoms of didaskaleinophobia. It happens that a phobia occurs when a student experiences panic, thinking that trouble might happen to his parents during his absence.

It may be that quarrels among relatives and troubles become so ingrained in the student’s head that he cannot get rid of them at school, trying to resolve their difficulties for his relatives, and therefore does not want to attend an educational institution.

Under any circumstances, school is the main period of socialization of a student, so the fear of school must be overcome.

Being busy at school may be one of the reasons for the disorder

How to overcome your fear of going to school

Most often, a student does not have the opportunity to fully understand exactly how didaskaleinophobia manifests itself, how to overcome it and eliminate it forever, and what really prevents him from attending an educational institution. Based on this, professional help is necessary.

In these cases, you should seek help from professionals in this field. First of all, these are child psychologists who can gradually determine all the reasons for such behavior in a child.

A psychologist can explain how to get rid of or prevent peer pressure. It will teach and change the student’s views on the world so that he can look at the problem from a different angle and eliminate it on his own.

If a child is very afraid for his parents, then a professional will be able to explain to him what to do when his relatives are not around.

In conjunction with the work of a psychologist, the student is prescribed certain antidepressants, therapeutic physical training, or other exercises that will distract the child from the problem. Physical education can help a child overcome self-doubt.

If the pressure comes from the family, then it is important to have conversations with relatives. Close people are obliged to reconsider their attitude towards their own child and try to solve the problem without involving the child in it.

Most parents, when they hear from specialists that their child is afraid of school, breathe a sigh of relief - the problem is not so serious. This is only the beginning of a complex psychological illness that can develop into something more.

If this problem is not addressed in time, the child will not want to attend school at all, even to the point of suicidal tendencies or running away from home. This won’t happen right away, but you shouldn’t let it get to that point. Any fear can be eradicated by finding it and eliminating it.

Didaskaleinophobia is no exception if you seek the help of a highly qualified specialist in this field. It is he who will be able to give the necessary advice:

Transfer the child to home schooling. This is necessary and important because the child must have the necessary knowledge.

Do not scold him for some weaknesses - the indignation of his family will only worsen the situation. Only with the help of patience and compassion can one cope with the psychological problems of a student.

The child must be supported, even if he received a bad grade. It is necessary to demonstrate that there is nothing terrible in this, everything can be corrected through better preparation of the material covered.

A little reminder to parents! In order for this phobia to be eliminated, parents should start with themselves; only relatives will help the student eliminate the fear. There should be a favorable atmosphere, trust and mutual understanding within the family.

Close people are obliged to show attention and patience, and not to blame the child for all his failures. Having overcome the fears of constantly being guilty before parents, the child will have confidence in support and protection.

At school, he will find a common language with those children who will accept him for who he is, and will learn to resist all his enemies. He will be interested in going to school.

It is important to convey to your child that he will not be perfect for everyone, which means that you should not always listen to everyone's opinion.

If you notice that the child’s behavior is similar to the symptoms described above, then take the necessary measures and think about the microclimate in the family.

You should analyze your own behavior, since quite often children copy the behavior of their loved ones.

Based on this, you need to set an example for children based on your own behavior, and this will help them achieve unprecedented heights and overcome a lot of difficulties. It is necessary to communicate a lot with the child, learn about his problems and not let him withdraw into himself.

Source: https://urazuma.ru/strahi-fobii/boyazn-shkoly.html

How to prevent the development of didaskaleinophobia?

Phobias can be successfully treated, but not without consequences. Behavioral habits and negative reactions to certain stimuli remain. Therefore, the best treatment for a phobia is to prevent it in the early stages. Prevention is no less important, since almost every student in one way or another encounters stressors at school.

Even elementary school students often exhibit a reluctance to learn, a refusal to do homework or communicate with classmates. This behavior does not always indicate didaskaleinophobia. But this is a critical moment for the child. And at this time he needs understanding and moral support from his parents. He perceives any comments, reprimands, and even more so, parental punishments as additional stress.

It is worth remembering: if a child does not want to go to school, or is afraid, then there is some reason for this. Prevention of fear of school lies precisely in listening to your child, understanding and supporting him, getting into the situation and helping.

A positive and harmonious atmosphere at home, understanding and support from parents is the best measure to prevent children's phobias!

Today, many parents are faced with their child’s reluctance to go to school. If you found our tips useful, share them with other parents by clicking on the repost button below the text. Together we will help many children get rid of their fear of school and cope with developing anxiety disorders.

General information

Didaskaleinophobia is a fear that affects the school period. The literal translation is “fear of school.” Parents are not always able to detect this deviation in their child in time. Often mothers and fathers perceive the child’s reluctance to get ready for school as capriciousness or laziness. Ignoring this condition is a serious omission on the part of adults. You need to understand that the psyche of children is still in the process of formation, it is plastic. In the presence of prolonged influence of negative factors, it can be crippled. In addition, the baby’s nervous system “wears out” much faster, therefore making him susceptible to the development of asthenia, depression and other secondary pathologies.

This phobia can develop as early as the first grade. At first, difficulties appear in adapting to the new team, moodiness, and inability to join the educational process. After a while, the child begins to protest against going to school and even refuses to do homework. This is not yet an indicator of the presence of a phobia, but it is already the first alarm bell, indicating an acute stressful period in the life of a student and the need for emergency support from parents. This is precisely the period when you need to do everything possible to prevent the development of a strong fear of school.

Psychology that gets results

Nowadays, most often children are born with several vectors. Accordingly, they combine different properties. This is exactly what we need to proceed from when preparing a child for school.

You can get effective advice that will really help you avoid fear of school, as well as learn more about other vectors and properties in the free online training “System-vector psychology” by Yuri Burlan. Register using the link.

Author Anna Ryzhkova

The article was written using materials from Yuri Burlan’s online training “System-vector psychology”

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