I was a child with Didaskaleinophobia - the first 27 years of my life were ruined by high anxiety and school phobia, so this is a subject VERY close to my heart.
Children don't deserve this discomfort, this fear and sadness... trust me I KNOW. I used sit on mum's bed and cry... all night sometimes. I'd be considering life, death, the isolation I felt... I remember it well.
I thought I'd die, my family would die or similar thoughts and I was scared of leaving home in case they did! At school, I would run out of the classroom and hide somewhere in the school, run to the school nurse or use the payphone to beg mum to collect me... I can't tell you how horrendous it was... I still remember it so clearly now, which is why I feel so strongly about taking action to prevent others from suffering for too long or, indeed, at all!
I told mum that I wanted to die on the way to school one day and ONLY THEN did she listen to me and take me to the doctor... I took meds but they didn't help and I suffered for another 16 years. I know what you are going through and how desperately you want to help your child.
I developed the Junior Version of my program, which includes extra recordings of me for your child to listen to, specifically because I KNOW how kids feel and I passionately want to STOP it for them.
I personally helped 11 children in MY children's school alone THIS YEAR... there are 140 kids in that school! Imagine how big the worldwide problem is! It terrifies me to think of the numbers. The same year, we helped over 4000 children worldwide.
The programs we have developed for direct use by sufferers and parents, the programs developed for schools, for organizations and for government agencies all work in the same way; they all contain the same materials and support but the way they are communicated is different in each case... BUT, in all cases, when adhered to, the changes that happen quickly are incredible.
My name is Charles Linden - because I want to help you, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to be reassured before you join my program. I was just like your child is now and I know how terrifying it can be. I also know what it is to be the parent of a child with so much sensitivity and intelligence... the two prerequisits for the development of high anxiety conditions.
I know that the frustration and sadness you experience witnessing your child's distress is horrible but I can assure and reassure you that experience tells me and my team that because children are maliable and tend to be more compliant than adults, our program is quickly more effective with children than with adults. Adults ask too many questions... children want to be nurtured, guided and cured.
From personal experiences having helped many thousands of young people to recover from high anxiety conditions, I can tell you that the relief experienced by our child clients is almost immediate as they realise the true nature of their experiences and quickly move forward becoming the young person they want to be instead of standing still, enveloped by their fears.
My team are, not only, qualified mental health practitioners, but they are also experienced communicators, having worked in education and general practice and, without exception, they are all parents.
Pick up the phone, drop as an email BUT get in touch with us. The central team are based in the UK but we have tens of thousands of clients all around the world and our residential events are visited by a truly diverse international client base... we are here for you wherever you are.
School Phobia (Didaskaleinophobia) is itself a symptom of anxiety disorder in childhood. It is also known as separation anxiety, which is an inappropriate fear of leaving their parents, a person or place of trust or home for example.
Most children find going to school exciting and enjoyable although of course nearly all children have times when they don't want to go. This happens commonly at ages where children are faced with tougher school activities or exams or may have fallen out with friends. All of this is a normal part of growing up.
Children who develop school phobia, however, become terrified, trying every avoidance tactic in order to stay away from school. Parents should be aware if their child regularly say that they are too sick to go to school, they could be doing so in order to avoid anxious feelings.
School phobia can present itself in a number of ways:
This period of a child's life is not only disturbing and scary for the child but also frustrating and worrying for the child's parents.
School phobia develops in much the same way as an adult anxiety disorder. It is always difficult for a child to break away from home after an extended period of being at home, such as the school holidays or time off sick.
Factors such as moving to a new area, a divorce or a bereavement can cause immense stress to a child and set off disturbed, anxious behavior that can escalate into school phobia.
Additionally the child's family often unintentionally reinforces school phobic symptoms. When a family undergoes a major stress such as moving house or a bereavement it is common for a child to express mild refusal to leave the primary caregiver (who may also be anxious, distressed, depressed.)
This can escalate if the child is not firmly encouraged to leave the caregiver; in fact, they are often inadvertently rewarded with extra attention from their parents. The child's anxiety about leaving is reinforced and the child doesn't have the opportunity to develop ways to cope with the separation.
At the age of about 13, I went through a period of what my doctor called 'school phobia'. I became irrationally anxious, depressed and scared. I would regularly seek the assistance of the school nurse, call my mother to collect me and sit alone somewhere, hiding.
Feeling that way at such a young age is dreadful, it is not only scary but confusing too The psyche of a child is very superficial until this age and the sudden realization that life is not all about play and fun and in fact quite daunting, challenging and delicate, comes as quite a shock to a child.
Children discover their mortality a varying ages but this realization too, can cause a child immense distress if not handled correctly by parents or guardians.
A study in the US by Burke et al showed that 1.3% of teenagers aged 14-16 years and between 4.1 and 4.7% of children aged 7-11 years suffer from school phobia and that 5% of school-aged children are identified as 'school refusers.' A later study showed that Internationally there is a 2.4% overall prevalence rate.
The average age for onset of school phobia is 7.5 years and for school phobia age 10.3 years.
There is never a time, at any age, at which anxiety should be tolerated. Anxiety is the inappropriate manifestation of fear... fear should only ever be present when it is required to fight or flee from a real risk... at any other time, it is both inappropriate and damaging.
No child should ever have to have their days tainted by an inappropriate emotion and we very work hard in order to bring about relief and recovery quickly so that the anxiety does not impact too heavily on the child's enjoment of life, their social lives, their school work or extra-curricular activities.
The extended implications of school phobia can be far reaching. In the very long term, it can lead to anxiety and panic disorders in adulthood, as in my case, although there is little evidence that these children are more susceptible to serious mental illness.
Studies which have followed children who were successfully treated for school phobia and returned to school, have shown that some of them have long term impairment to their social skills and functioning, not to mention the detrimental effects to their education of being absent from school for prolonged periods.
All of the research suggests that much more effective treatment is required for school phobia to prevent problems in later life.
Our experience at our centers, is that children who are treated appropriately and who are coached in other aspects of their lives simultaneously, become much more focused, happy and productive people, immediately and in the long-term.Our Linden Method program, not only, creates anxiety recovery, but it teaches all program users to become much more effective and fulfiled in every aspect of their lives.
It is obviously extremely important that school phobia is dealt with as early as possible.
For this reason The Linden Method has extra resources dedicated to Child Anxiety which shows parents how to implement the method with their children.
The Method works on the root cause of anxiety disorders and has been proven to quickly and permanently cure school phobia. It has been used with equal success by children and adults alike.
We will continue to support you and your child no matter how long you need. Our aim is to have your child relaxed and anxiety free in days, not weeks or months and working together, we can make things much better fast.
The Linden Centers
Romulo Valdez, Jr., Ph.D.
"Charles Linden is the world's most influential authority on anxiety."
Louise Hay - Founder