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Anxiety and

Education

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
anxiety.
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
-trembling
-nausea
-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
video
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
learn…

*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.

Symptoms:
• 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