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Phobie scolaire : des clés pour comprendre

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Crises of anguish, chest pains, vomiting… Submerged by fear and stress, some children and adolescents become completely ill at the mere thought of setting foot in school. A phenomenon in increase, affirm the specialists who every year more and more cases are presented in consultation.

“School phobia”, “school anxiety”, “anxious school refusal”: so many denominations under which we find the same manifestation: “an intense fear of school, which leads the child to systematically avoid confronting it” summarizes psychologist Béatrice Copper-Royer in her book Peur du loup, peur de tout (Albin Michel). It is difficult to imagine that school, the place of children’s socialization par excellence, but also of apprenticeships, can render some of its students as evil. Et pourtant, ajoute la psychologue, ” vivre avec d’autres du même âge, apprendre, être curieux, être évalué, se mesurer aux autres, faire plaisir aux parents en réussissant ou s’opposer à eux insidieusement en ne faisant rien : les enjeux sont nombreux, et pas des moindres. ”

Un phénomène encore flou

Without official figures, it is difficult to know how many children and adolescents are concerned. The circulating data, which come from studies whose origin is unknown, estimate that between 4 and 5% of students of compulsory school age (from 6 to 16 years old) are victims of anxious problems that prevent them, without them really knowing why, from performing normally in class. Among them, almost 1% suffer from an even more serious form: school phobia.

A term on which all specialists do not agree, as explained by Marie-France Le Heuzey, psychiatrist at the Robert Debré Hospital where she runs a specialized consultation on school-related problems. “School phobia, like that of the elevator or the airplane, does not exist. It is an abuse of language. As for the school refusal, term used by the Anglo-Saxons, it does not seem to be more adapted. The young people I see in consultation do not refuse to go to school, they don’t manage to go there, which is different. Voilà pourquoi je préfère dire plus simplement qu’ils sont malade de l’école, et en rupture scolaire. ”

Absent data, a name that makes debate : the school phobia has become a taboo phenomenon.

A syndrome with multiple visages

How to know if your child really suffers from school? Certain signs must be interpellating. First of all, the physical symptoms: he is suffering from real attacks of panic when he goes to school, crises of anxiety, or even violent pain (in the head, in the window…). And then in his speeches: he cries, begs to be allowed to stay at home, threatens to run away, or even to commit suicide. Finally, he still finds explanations for his desire to go to class (“the teachers don’t like me”, “the other students are teasing me”…). In most cases, the symptoms are triggered on non-school days, such as weekends, and especially during school holidays.

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Mais qui sont ces enfants ? For the psychiatrist Marie-France Le Heuzey, two profiles are revealed. First of all, those whose problems are acute (often, the child has more than one) are at the forefront. This is especially true of children who are affected by separation anxiety and for whom it seems impossible to leave the family home and/or their mother’s home, those who suffer from social phobia and suffer from panic attacks as soon as they go out on the street, those who do not support the view of others on them, or the fact of being questioned by their school? Many manifestations of anxiousness often aggravated and triggered by post-traumatic stress : the child has been subjected or assisted to humiliation in front of his classmates, he has been assaulted on the school road, made the object of threats…

The second profile concerns those whose anxieties only reach the second level. They are depressed, they suffer from a deep dissatisfaction with their schooling, which often does not bring them any gratification, either because they have poor results, or because they feel misunderstood (this is particularly the case of dyslexic or even hyperactive children). It happens then that their attention is fixed elsewhere, in an area where they feel more valued, such as video games more and more often, or sport.

“Anxiety can also arise from the challenges that become more and more acute as the young people advance in their course”, emphasizes Béatrice Copper-Royer. She also points out how much schooling nowadays puts more and more emphasis on a precocious orientation. “We put adolescents in the challenge of determining themselves very late, as if, at fourteen or fifteen years of age, they could have firm future projects and be certain of their choice. ”

Parents in distress and guilty parents

For parents, it is not obvious to understand the child’s suffering. Moreover, explains Béatrice Copper-Royer, it is “not always easy to know how to react to behavior that logic fails us. Every phobia seems absurd to the one who does not prove it and nothing is more disappointing than to find oneself in front of one’s child when he expresses a panic fear and seems indifferent to any appeal to reason. “Sometimes it is also difficult to make the difference between school refusal, a source of stress for the child, and the bullying school, which is more comparable to a bully or an attitude of rebellion under parental authority.

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D’autant que parfois, ce sont les parents qui, les premiers, sont accusés d’être responsables de l’absentisme de leur enfant. A part of responsibility sometimes quite real, especially with parents who underestimate school success, who are constantly in the mood for performance, but also with those who, on the contrary, value school and its learning.

Avoiding deschooling

Faced with the categorical refusal of their child to go to school, parents sometimes find themselves in the obligation to drop out, and to accept, even temporarily, the solution of correspondence courses. A dangerous situation, according to specialists. They affirm in fact that the longer the absenteeism is prolonged, the less good is the prognosis, and that the only way to combat its effects is to confront it.

“As soon as a parent reports difficulties in going to school with his or her child, when he or she says that he or she does not like it and tries to escape, it is necessary to enter into an exchange with him or her and try to understand why, says Marie-France Le Heuzey. It is also necessary to talk to the pedagogical team, the school doctor, and above all, never to neglect the possibility that one may need help. Puis s’adresser à son médecin traitant, qui saura nous diriger, en cas de besoin, vers un centre médico-psycho-pédagogique (CMPP) ou un psychologue. ”

The families who consult Marie-France Le Heuzey’s service generally come back, when their child has not been in school or high school for several months, sometimes several years. “Here, some are hospitalized for several months at times. We work on their anxiety on the one hand, with psychiatric support and often family therapy, and on their school reintegration on the other. We have a school center, where the children are supervised by teachers of the National Education. When they seem ready, we work on their reintegration in their home schools. ”

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Fort heureusement, tous les enfants malades de l’école ne nécessitent pas une prise en charge aussi lourde. For the youngest (in nursery and primary school) and when they react quickly, sometimes a little restraint and conviction on the part of the parents is enough to solve the problem. But whatever the extent of the fear, and whatever the age of the sufferer, empathy, listening and support are the best attitude that parents can adopt.

Ophélie’s 20-year old testimony

” Ma phobie scolaire s’est d’abord déclenchée en primaire, puis véritablement au collège, après un deuil dans ma famille. C’est à ma rentrée en seconde que j’ai véritablement compris qu’il allait m’être impossible de poursuivre ma scolarité normalement.

J’avais des crises d’angoisse, de spasmophilie, des maux de tête et de ventre. Il m’est m’m m’arrivé de m’évanouir. I am also plunged into mental anorexia because of my fear of school, thinking that when I would be too anxious, I would no longer be forced to go.

La raison de ma peur ? Je pense qu’il y en en plusieurs. I’ve always been timid and perfectionist by nature. I put a little pressure on myself to have the best possible grades while I was learning and studying easily. From a relational point of view, I’ve always had trouble getting along with the people of my age, I sat on the sidelines. The complaints of my school friends have not stopped me. The decline in my family was, I think, the drop in the bucket. I had the impression of growing up all at once, and of no longer knowing who to talk to…

À partir de la seconde, j’ai décidé de suivre des cours par correspondance. It was not really easy. I was tired of studying. I was afraid of exams, especially the Bac. So, after the second, I stopped my courses to concentrate on writing.

Today, I think I can say that “I’m on my way out”: I have published two romances and a collection of poems. I continue to write and I really hope to succeed on this path. Néanmoins, je ne suis pas sûre que je pourrais un jour reprendre le chemin de l’école. ”

Pour aller plus loin


À lire : Phobie scolaireby Marie-France Le Heuzey (Editions J.Lyon), Peur du loup, peur de toutby Béatrice Copper-Royer (Albin Michel) and Moi j’aime pas trop l’écoleby Gilles-Marie Valet and Anne Lanchon (Albin Michel).

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Family / Couple

The 4 favorite methods of women to achieve clitoral orgasm

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Despite scientific advances, female pleasure is still synonymous with mystery. Many studies have investigated the clitoris and its secrets, but never has the word been so free on the subject. It is in this continuity that American researchers compiled the responses of a panel of 3,017 women between the ages of 18 and 93 to make their way the secrets of sexual pleasure and clitoral orgasm. Published in April 2021, this study highlights 4 techniques women use to make vaginal penetration more pleasurable: angling, rocking, shallow penetration, and pairing.

Shallowing: multiply the pleasure by a superficial touch

84% of women resort to superficiality to, once again, increase pleasure during vaginal penetration. Behind this name, which translates into French as “superficial”, hides a pretty shallow touch, penetrating right at the entrance of the vagina. It can be done with the tip of the finger, a toy, the tip of the penis, the tongue, or the lips.

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Breath play or erotic suffocation, a dangerous sexual practice

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It is sexual behavior that is controversial. the breathing game which literally means “breath play”, is a form of erotic asphyxiation practiced during sexual intercourse. But its dangerousness is often overlooked.

What is the breathing game?

ends sexual arousal”, defines the English version of Wikipedia. In practice, “erotic asphyxia” consists ofchoking your partner in the middle of a sexual act. However, playing with your breath can be very dangerous, even deadly. “May result in accidental death by suffocation,” the definition says.

However, despite the risk of injury or fainting, this practice has many adherents. A study conducted in 2021 among 4,000 American students indicates that 26.5% of those surveyed had drowned during their last sexual encounter. Another study carried out the same year on other students reveals more worrying figures: 58% of them have already been suffocated by a partner.

L’suffocation erotic it is also very popular in BSDM circles. A french website dedicated to this type of sexual practices, explains that this restriction of breathing is “practiced in different ways: hanging, suffocation, placing the head in a plastic bag or strangulation,” reports an article in female earth.

A sexual practice that can be deadly

Very risky, the breathing game was popularized by the porn industry, making it an act in its own right, especially in sexual relations marked by domination. But in reality, the consequences of this sexual practice can be fatal. Too much pressure on the larynx can cause death.

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Although there are no official figures on the number of deaths caused by this practice, Grace Millane, a 22-year-old woman, died from it in 2018. Police found traces of strangulation that could correspond to a “four to five minute” suffocation. His partner, Jesse Kempton, was convicted of femicide and sentenced to life in prison. The defense had confided “that the young woman had accidentally died at the end of a sexual game that had gone wrong, a version that had been categorically rejected by the jury,” he recalls. paris party.

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Couple: what your position on the sofa says about your relationship

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the posture adopted by couples when they sit on a sofait’s a window into your relationship status. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by Georgina Barnett, a British psychologist, on 2,000 cohabiting couples. “Tell me how you’re sitting, I’ll tell you if everything is fine in your relationship,” says the specialist in an interview with Stylish Maternity.

Sitting next to each other: a sign of imbalance?

While most couples tend to sit on the couch together, there are some pretty subtle signs that it can be signs of relationship problems. When the partners occupy only one corner of the bench and are too close together, this is synonymous with imbalance in your relationship. “The comfortable person in the corner takes up the space, is confident, and has power in the relationship. The other, on the other hand, seems less confident. He is looking for contact and reassurance, ”explains Georgina Barnett.

However, there is a nuance when they sit more in the center of the sofa, maintaining physical contact, such as a hand on the thigh or another. “Couples established in this way have trust your relationship and therefore can afford personal space. It is a mixture of intimacy and freedom”, analyzes the psychologist. But although in love, the latter no longer experience the passion of the first days, according to the expert.

When the position on the sofa heralds a crisis

According to the psychologist, time is serious in the event that the two partners are sitting at two different ends. “It’s even worse if her legs are crossed in opposite directions,” she says. This posture is generally a sign of a Tension in the couple. It can also be a sign that something was left unsaid or resentment, according to Georgina Barnett.

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And contrary to what one might think, if the partners are based on different bases, distanced from each other, it does not necessarily mean that they are in crisis. can only be couples comfortable enough with each other to have their own space. Although this study is based on a fairly large sample, its conclusions must be taken with caution.

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