School Phobia And Adjustment Disorder

We’re in the begining of a new education year. There is a large group of  children and adolescents who will start school, move to the upper class or change school. 


It may take a long time to adjust for children who will start their preschool education since the child will spend his/her time in a strange environment for the first time. Longing of mother and home can challenge him/her. The child will meet new authority figures and be in activities with his/her age group. 


If the child had a prechool education before starting first grade, he/she may not experience so much difficulty. With the begining of first grade, the child will meet a new system of rules; duration of class, and activities performed in class, homeworks and many more. In short, rising of responsibilities and obligations, and expectations from the child will scare him/her. It is important for teachers and parents to understand the child and support him in this process.  


Children who begin secondary school have to readjust their personal studies and programs. So, it may take time to adjust new order. In this age group, the most encountered problem is academic failure. The child will realize that he will have to make more effort in time. In this period, families and teachers should wait in patience and support and motivate the child.


Young people who will start high school will meet a new school environment. A crowded young community from different family structure, and diffierent culture will be waiting for them.  


Children who have difficulty in starting preschool may have a negative perception of school and this may affects the child’s education life.


If the child, who starts first grade, doesn’t supported, negative perception of school may take lifetime.


Parents should be careful about “School Phobia” especially in first grade. The child may experience tension, restlessness, and cryings. Stomachaches, vomiting, bowel problems, sleep problems, and depressive mood can be seen in more severe situsitons. If the family doesn’t approach correctly and act determined, this situation can get worse. School phobia should be worked with a child psychiatrist.


Young people who start high school should be careful about “Adjustment Disorder”. Because, it can cause depression. Many young people drop school because of this. So, help should be provided from a child psychiatrist.


Time is very important in school phobia and adjustment disorder. Parents should be careful in first 2-3 weeks of school. Families or teachers who notice problems should act quickly and intervene.


The reason of the problem can be understood after the child or adolescent consults a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The problem can be solved with early treatments. Late submissions may be required medication treatment.



                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dr. Özlem Özcan, MD.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist




(Published in Habertük newspaper on 19.09.2014 and Yeni Asır newspaper on 20.09.2014 newspaper)


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