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Anxiety and


By: Heather Marion

The two Anxiety Disorders which
most predominantly affect
education are:

 Social Anxiety Disorder

 Panic Disorder

However, it is important to note that

even students that are not
diagnosed with anxiety disorders
can be affected by school related
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder: Individuals are overwhelmingly anxious
and significantly self conscious in everyday situations.

*Most common Anxiety Disorder in teenagers

Symptoms: *The extent to which the disorder

-blushing affects one’s life depends on the
-profuse sweating degree of their anxiety
-difficulty speaking

-Since children in schools are constantly forced to interact

with others, students with Social Anxiety Disorder often
find attending school to be a very difficult task
Students with Social Anxiety Disorder often feel most anxious
in the classroom when asked to:
• Speak in front of the class
• Talk with unfamiliar children
• Write on the board
• Perform in front of others
• Interact with strangers

-Social Anxiety Disorder frequently affects student’s grades

-Since the students do not feel as anxious when they are by

themselves, they prefer to spend the day by alone

What can schools do to help reduce social anxiety?

• Establish a partnership between the student’s parents and school

personnel so progress is not outdone by another
• Supportive classroom environments- activities, partners, reward
system, work on specific goals
Panic Diso r der
 Panic Disorder: characterized by “unexpected and repeated
episodes of intense fear”

Symptoms: *Panic attacks are completely

-chest pain unpredictable and flare without
-heart palpitations warning…many times while children
-shortness of breath are at school. This can result in
-dizziness avoidance behavior
-abdominal distress
-constant anticipation
-feelings of dread
Panic Disorder can greatly affect a student’s ability to

*constant state of worry that an attack will occur while in the

classroom = inability to concentrate = low grades
*Rush through assignments

Accommodating students with Panic Disorder

♦ teacher should have individual plans with students

♦ permanent pass
♦ contact with child’s therapist

*If student is in the midst of a panic attack, do not attempt to

stop/restrain them!
-Although Anxiety Disorders account for a number of children in
schools that suffer from excessive worry, it is not necessary for
students to have a disorder to be affected by school anxiety

-Another type of school related anxiety known to frequently

affect students is test anxiety.
-Test anxiety is a condition which occurs when a student feels an
unusual amount of discomfort and/or nervousness when placed in a
situation that requires test taking.

• Muscle Tension
• Nausea
• Excess sweating
• Feelings of worry/ frustration
• Inability of concentrate

What can teachers do to help relieve test anxiety?

-Practice tests: allow students to become comfortable with format, raise confidence
that they have already completed a similar test
-Encourage students to eliminate negative thoughts = boost of confidence
-Mood music
-Teach methods of relaxation