Scolionophobia (Fear of School)
Scolionophobia is the irrational fear of school. Someone suffering from this mental illness may experience a great deal of anxiety at the mere thought of school. It is important to note that merely having a distaste for school or not liking to study is not intimation of having scolionophobia. This is a mental illness that is likely due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, though more research is needed to know for sure.
Someone dealing with scolionophobia may make major life decisions based on their irrational fear of school such as choosing not to continue their education to further their careers for example. This may bring forth a plethora of additional symptoms along with anxiety, such as feelings of ineptness and even self-loathing.
Besides their fear of actually attending school, they may even experience intense bouts of anxiety by merely driving by a school or by hearing news about a school on TV. Depending on the severity of their individual symptoms, as well as other factors such as their genetic makeup, they may even have full blown panic attacks as a result of their scolionophobia. However, this will likely vary from person to person.
Someone with scolionophobia may find it very difficult to think rationally about school and may often be quite emotional when discussing or thinking about the subject of school. Besides actually fearing the idea of school itself, they may also be extremely fearful of school buildings, school books, and other things that are related to school.
Symptoms of Scolionophobia
Anxiety will likely be the most profound symptom associated with scolionophobia. As previously mentioned, they may experience intense bouts of dread and terror when near schools or even when thinking of them. They may understand that their anxiety is very much out of touch with reality. However, when near a school or in the midst of a panic attack, they may be unable to think coherently enough to rationalize their way out of their anxiety.
Depending on many other factors, someone with scolionophobia may also experience feelings of shame as they may realize the irrationality of their fear or they may experience anger as they may become angered by their ineptness to control their emotions or to at least cope with them. Such an occurrence may open the door for them to develop additional mental disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or even obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, this will likely be predicated on genetic and environmental factors.
Below, you will see some common symptoms of scolionophobia:
Intense anxiety when inside or near a school
Anxiety when thinking of a school
Anxiety when looking at school items (e.g. backpacks, etc.)
Inability to cope with strong emotions
Muscle tension, shakiness, and sweating
Causes of Scolionophobia
There is no known cause of scolionophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may play a crucial role in someone developing this condition. Someone with a family history of mental illness, especially with anxiety disorders or phobias may have an increased chance of developing scolionophobia. This may be due to the increased potential of them having a genetic predisposition to developing mental illness.
If such a genetic predisposition where to manifest, then it may only take them experiencing some sort of traumatic event for them to develop full blown scolionophobia. Such a traumatic experience may be that they failed out of school or were constantly teased when at school. It is also not implausible to think that someone may develop scolionophobia after experiencing a school shooting.
Other factors that may cause someone to develop scolionophobia are that perhaps they were already suffering from a mental illness before they developed scolionophobia. For instance, someone suffering with GAD or OCD for example may eventually develop scolionophobia due to countless environmental reasons.
For example, someone with GAD may begin to worry about the vast amount of school shootings reported in the news. Such fears may eventually lead them to become irrationally fearful of schools in general. Another example can be seen with someone who suffers from OCD. It may only take a traumatic event of some sort such as being harshly bullied at school or some other damaging event for someone with OCD to begin obsessing about the fear they associate with school. Such convictions may eventually develop into full blown scolionophobia over time.
Scolionophobia Treatments (abridged)
There is no form of treatment that is specifically designed for scolionophobia. However, talk therapy, exposure therapy, and anti-anxiety medication may be able to help significantly reduce the symptoms associated with this mental illness. Talk therapy may be very advantageous for someone suffering from scolionophobia as it can be a way for them to learn new and effective coping skills that they can use for when their anxiety becomes exacerbated. They can also expect to learn how to better identify the faults in their thinking patterns.
Exposure therapy is one of the most common forms of therapy used to help treat people who suffer from phobias, as well as other anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy is not for everyone and it should be implemented by a very experienced therapist as this form of treatment is known to cause incredibly high amounts of anxiety in patients.
Just as the name implies, the therapist would work with the patient with scolionophobia by trying to slowly expose them to their fear over time. This may mean exposing them to school supplies (e.g. notebooks, pencils, etc.) or pictures of schools. The therapist may also have the patient try to go near a school on their own time to try and expose themselves to their fear. The goal with exposure therapy is to try and desensitize the patient from their fear by repetitively exposing them to their fear.
If you think you may have scolionophobia or if you suffer from any of the symptoms described in this article, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may refer you to see a specialist such as a psychiatrist or a therapist.
Yoga Poses for Scolionophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from scolionophobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with scolionophobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with scolionophobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with scolionophobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of scolionophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Scolionophobia
MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to help people who are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other sorts of mental anguish. MBSR may be able to significantly help someone who is suffering from scolionophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with scolionophobia can expect to learn a plethora of different skills that can help them to relieve the intense anxiety that’s associated with their specific phobia.
Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you to reduce the intensity of your symptoms of scolionophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Meditation for Scolionophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from scolionophobia. Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to be quite beneficial for helping people to enter into a more equanimeous state. There are many different ways with which you can implement mindfulness meditation and there are also many different meditation apps which are designed to make things as easy as possible for you.
Mindfulness has the potential to significantly help those suffering from scolionophobia due to how it will help one to distract themselves from their fear by refocusing their attention onto something else that does not have any sort of emotional baggage attached to it, such as by focusing on the breath for example. This is one of the most basic ways that one can meditate and be present.
For someone with scolionophobia in the midst of a panic attack, redirecting one’s attention to the various sensations felt when breathing can actually help to reduce the amount of mental anguish experienced during such an influx of anxiety.
To implement mindfulness meditation to help relieve one’s symptoms of scolionophobia, you can do so by paying close attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest contract and relax with every inhale and exhale. You can spend time dwelling on how it feels as your chest expands during each inhale and how it sinks in with every exhale.
Besides focusing on your breathing, you can also focus on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels as you touch certain objects, the way foods taste, as well as the way certain aromas smell. Essentially, honing into your 5 senses can significantly help you to reduce some of the anxiety that is associated with scolionophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Exposure Therapy for Scolionophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as scolionophobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Be that as it may, it is imperative that the therapist implementing it on their patient is very adept at doing so. For example, if the therapist were to slightly expose someone with scolionophobia to their fear, then it may not be very effective as they may need a higher amount of exposure to truly trigger any sort of worthwhile change in the patient.
The same can be said for the antithesis of this scenario. If the therapist were to excessively expose someone with scolionophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their scolionophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with scolionophobia has a very strong sense of just how severe their symptoms are so that they can know the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Scolionophobia
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve one’s mental health. It is a modality that is often used to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Someone with scolionophobia may also be able to benefit from CBT as well seeing as how it would allow them to have a much better understanding as to why they think and behave the way they do in relation to their irrational fears.
CBT can be immensely helpful for someone with scolionophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with scolionophobia is exposed to their fear, they will almost always have an instantaneous subconscious reaction to their fear. Such a lack of introspection is likely a large part of why someone with this condition will suffer to the extent that they will. CBT can help you to take a step back and analyze your fears more deeply than you typically would.
Besides learning to be more fastidious with regards to understanding one’s specific fears, someone with scolionophobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Psychiatric Medications for Scolionophobia
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe scolionophobia due to the fact that people with phobias often experience panic attacks as well. Some common anti-anxiety medications include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, among many others.
These types of drugs are not typically taken on a daily basis, but they may be insofar as their scolionophobia is severe enough. However, this is something that you should first discuss with your doctor before you decide to do so to ensure that it is safe and effective.
These types of medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders as well, such as scolionophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of scolionophobia.
These types of drugs are typically taken on a daily basis. They can indeed help prevent panic attacks from occurring, but they are more so used to help reduce people’s daily anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if taking antidepressants can help to reduce your symptoms of scolionophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
Exercise for Scolionophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including scolionophobia. Specifically, cardiovascular exercise can significantly help to relieve one’s stress. This is not to say that weight-resistance training would not benefit someone with anxiety, but rather that aerobic exercise is has been shown to be more effective at releasing those feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can help to condition the mind to better cope with stressful situations. This makes sense when we take into consideration the high amount of stress that the body is put under during strenuous exercise. So, if you yourself are sedentary, then engaging in some form of aerobic exercise may be able to significantly help reduce your symptoms of scolionophobia by making it much easier for you to cope with the anxiety and stress that’s associated with this condition.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of scolionophobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with scolionophobia over time.
Limiting Caffeine for Scolionophobia
It is no secret that consuming large amounts of caffeine throughout the day can aid in making you more anxious. This makes sense when we look closely at how caffeine affects our body’s physiology. When we consume a high dose of caffeine, our heart will start to beat faster and we become more tense. Essentially, our body will begin to go into a “fight or flight” state of mind. Such a frame of mind is often a precursor for someone with scolionophobia to experience panic attacks.
So, consuming little to no caffeine throughout the day may be able to significantly help reduce your day to day anxiety. Although doing so will likely not make all of your anxiety go away, it will indeed help you to reduce any unnecessary suffering that you would have otherwise experienced if you were to consume a large amount of caffeine.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with scolionophobia.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Scolionophobia
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like scolionophobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group.
One very effective DBT skill for helping someone with scolionophobia is half-smiling. This technique works by having you think about that which you fear or upsets you all while slightly raising the corners of your mouth by lightly smiling, thus the term “half-smiling.” Although, it isn’t enough to just think about your fear while half-smiling, you also have to try and refrain from entertaining those painful emotions that your specific fear may evoke.
Mindfulness meditation is also heavily used in DBT and can greatly benefit someone with scolionophobia as it is done in a group setting, which helps to put the patient out of their comfort zone. These group mindfulness practices may include drinking warm tea to hone in on the sense of taste and tactile senses or simply focusing on the breath.
Coping ahead is another very useful DBT skill that can help someone with scolionophobia. With coping ahead, you will want to find a place where you can sit down quietly without distraction. Close your eyes and then think about the many different possible scenarios where you would face your specific fear and overcome it or cope with it. Doing so will help you to be much better adept at coping with your scolionophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.