When your child is heading back to school, it can be a stressful time for everyone. Nervousness isn’t uncommon, but it can develop into full-blown anxiety. It may become debilitating, distressing, or interfere with you or their ability to function. Below, you’ll find more information on the symptoms of school-related anxiousness and what can help if you or your child is struggling.
What Is School-Related Anxiety & Its Symptoms?
Back-to-school anxiety occurs when the thought of your child going to school causes unusual and intense feelings of fear or nervousness, either in your child or yourself. Whether it’s the pressure of fitting in, the stress of having so much work to do, or the thought of taking more tests, many aspects of school can cause anxiousness. Similarly, the thought of being away from your child can cause fear for you as well, particularly if they’re going off to college.
Symptoms of anxiety can be physical — such as panic attacks, fast heartbeat, or sweaty palms — and mental — such as racing thoughts, avoiding situations that cause nervousness, and thoughts of fear or failure. Sometimes, anxious feelings are part of a panic disorder, wherein you or your child experience multiple panic attacks, characterized by four or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Fear of dying
- Upset stomach and vomiting
- Abnormal sensations on the skin, such as chills, heat flashes, and numbness
Occasionally, panic attacks occur where less than four symptoms are experienced, known as limited panic attacks.
What Can Help?
Knowing how to cope with anxious feelings or helping your child with theirs can be a challenging part of parenting. The best method for addressing anxiousness is to pinpoint the cause of the nervousness, such as not knowing the layout of the school or not knowing if your child will be okay, and trying to find a solution that alleviates some of this concern, like touring the school before the year begins or asking your child to contact you at a certain time on certain days. Also, talking about it will help you both gain a better understanding of where the fear stems from and be able to better comfort one another. If the fear or nervousness is so intense you cannot handle it on your own or you aren’t sure how to help your child, then you should consult professional counseling, where you can learn how to cope with the symptoms of the condition and work to lessen your fears.
If you or your child need help coping with back-to-school anxiety, let the compassionate team at Counseling Solutions of Alaska, LLC, be there for you. Committed to helping you overcome your mountains and be confident you can handle life’s challenges, our practice offers essential services, from grief and panic disorder counseling to guidance for those struggling with the pressures and complications of parenting, relationships, and life. With years of experience, our team includes certified and licensed individuals who can provide the support, guidance, and understanding you need, including Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Counselors. Make the change you need by viewing our services online and calling us at (907) 644-8044.