School stress triggers abdominal pain

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Abdominal or headaches in school-age children often hide problems at school

Children suffering from school problems and stress often complain of abdominal pain and headache. Children's problems at school are often the cause of physical complaints. This is pointed out by Prof. Frank Häßler from the German Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy in Berlin.

Similar to adults, children's problems express themselves with physical symptoms. The headache, nausea or stomach ache often hide stress and problems at school. If children have psychosomatic complaints, it is good to speak to the child openly, as the psychotherapist Prof. Häßler from the German Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry advises. Other stress symptoms may include sleep disorders, difficulty concentrating, or back pain. All of these complaints can also have a psychological cause. The complaints may indicate school stress.

Half of all school children are under stress According to the latest studies, around half of the school-age children surveyed stated that they suffer from stress and are under pressure to perform. The growing pressure to perform and the pursuit of good grades obviously make many students difficult. Parents should therefore convey to their children that they are not alone with their problems. Allegations and further pressure are contraindicated. The children should rather be given a feeling of support.

Problems with the teachers It is not uncommon for children's stressful situations to be triggered by problems with the teachers. A nationwide Forsa survey of around 1,000 parents came to the conclusion that every fifth child (almost 20 percent) feels treated unfairly by their teacher. The problems get bigger the older the schoolchild gets. The survey also showed that almost every third young person between 15 and 18 years of age feels that they have been treated unfairly by the teacher. Teaching would often put too much pressure on the children. That was the result of the survey on behalf of the Techniker Krankenkasse.

Fears of failure and social phobias
Many children also suffer from fear of failure or show signs of social phobia. Those affected have developed a fear of contacting classmates. In many cases, negative experiences and teasing from classmates preceded it. The children are often irritated in such cases and cannot fall asleep in the evening. It is important to give the children the feeling that they can make mistakes and that weaknesses are part of life. Parents should show that serious problems can be solved and that “asking for help” is not a weakness. If there was no improvement, it makes sense to see a child and adolescent therapist. Constructive coping strategies can be conveyed in discussions. (sb)

Also read:
Bavarian students are under stress
GEW expert warns of excessive pressure to perform
Every second student suffers from stress

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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