Learning About Scolionophobia: The Fear of School

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Learning About Scolionophobia: The Fear of School

School is considered to be a memorable place for young people but sometimes, this type of place can be also a source of phobia to some. / Photo by: BlurryMe via Shutterstock


School is often considered a place of many memories. Most of the childhood years are often spent in school so children can learn, grow and develop new skills. In the course of their daily school routine, they may also able to explore their talents and gain friends as they frequently interact with their classmates.

Although many children may look forward to going to school so they can meet their friends again, there are some who developed a great distaste for it. The dread that they feel when going to school may not only be due to the agonizing homework they have to complete, but it may be linked more with other personal factors.

Being afraid of school can be a product of the fear of being separated from their parents and the comfort of their home, the pressure to get higher grades, getting bullied by classmates or being mistreated by the teachers.

This fear of school, which is called Scolionophobia may be so pervasive it prevents them from getting a higher educational attainment. The very thought of school, being within the proximity of it or the act of having to prepare for it may cause an individual with this phobia great distress.



Scolionophobia is defined as the irrational fear of school. It is also called Didaskaleinophobia. This fear is identified as a specific phobia.

Phobia Source states that the main reason that children become extremely afraid of going to school is because it is hard for them to be away from their parents or leave the security of their home. They may get the sensation that they are being abandoned when they are left by themselves to participate in their classes.

It may also be caused by the school forcing them to learn more than being able to manage. This can lead to having low grades which they may be scolded for by their parents.

This overwhelming fear of school might lead a child to avoid anything that is connected to school. They may choose to skip classes, fake illness or tiredness when told to go to prepare for school or show temper tantrums. Being forced to go to school may induce anxiety in them and may even cause them to have nightmares about it or wet their bed in fear.



One of the causes of having an irrational fear of going to school is due to bullying. / Photo by: Tom Wang via Shutterstock


Several factors may make a child have an intense fear of school. Remedies Point states that these can be the cause for them to want to avoid school:

1. Stressful family circumstances

If the child experiences stressful events such as having parents recently undergo a divorce, having conflicts within the family, having a close family member die or having to relocate, this can cause to want to focus on their life at home


2. Being a victim of school harassment

If they are constantly bullied, teased and harassed by their classmates this may be the reason why they would avoid attending their classes.


3. Grades

Being in school can cause an individual to be too conscious of their grades.

A student who may consistently low grades may fear that they will fail more, while a student who excels academically may worry that their grades may drop.



Disorders.net states that a parent can detect if their child has scolionophobia if they display the following symptoms:

1. Extremely anxious when they are within a school building or next to it

2. Feeling anxiety while thinking about school

3. Being unable to handle their strong emotions

4. Feeling anxiety when they look at items linked to school

5. Muscle tension, shakiness and sweating



The treatment for Scolionophobia involves undergoing therapy and medication.



The child affected is encouraged to undergo through any of the following therapies:

1. Exposure Therapy

When the patient is subjected to this kind of therapy, the therapist helps them lessen their fear by gradually exposing them to it. This may involve showing them school supplies or photos of school buildings. The supposed result is that from the habitual and increasing exposure, the patient becomes desensitized to it.


2. Talk Therapy

Under this therapy, the clinician shows the child alternative and effective coping strategies that help reduce or eliminate the anxiety that accompanies the thoughts about school and attending classes. The errors of their thinking patterns can be also be pointed out which can help them change their manner of thinking.

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The aim of this therapy is to change their negative thought patterns to positive ones.


4. Support/Group therapy

Under this therapy, they may be treated along with other patients who have the same phobia.



Antidepressants are the medications prescribed for persons with this type of phobia. / Photo by: kubicka via Shutterstock


Taking antidepressants may also be prescribed to aid in the treatment of this phobia.  

It is advised that along with therapy and medication, teachers, parents and even the academic institution that child attends should collaborate with each other to ensure that the child would recover. With their intervention, the child may realize that school is not something to be afraid of.



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