“School Refusal: Are We Misunderstanding Anxiety?”

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John Duffy Podcast

Today’s guest is Matthew, who in 8th grade, was diagnosed with something called “school refusal”. But what exactly is school refusal? Is it an actual condition in and of itself exhibited by a defiant child, or is it merely a symptom of some larger anxiety issues brewing beneath the surface? Matthew’s story is a prime example of the ways anxiety is misunderstood, even among doctors, teachers, parents, and even the people who are going through it themselves.

Highlights:
-Why he suddenly didn’t want to go to school anymore in 8th grade
-The sneakiness of anxiety; how it can create real physical symptoms of illness
-How his issues continues to affect him throughout high school
-How he saw 9 different mental health professionals, and even had the cops called to his house once for his anxiety
-How he finally began to understand what anxiety was
-His advice for parents trying to help a child through anxiety of school refusal issues
-What ultimately happened when he decided to finish high school online
-His outlook for the future: Does he always see anxiety as being a part of his life?