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Is my daughter suffering from school phobia?

Q: My 7 year old daughter suffers from school phobia. She creates a lot of fuss before going to the school, cries and complains of head ache, stomach ache and at times, vomits also. She brings back her tiffin as it is. However, she is very good in studies, well mannered and her teachers never complain about her. After coming home, she gradually becomes fine, has her food, plays and studies. I am very worried about her as this is affecting her health and personality. She is a very talented child but because of her apprehensions, I fear she may suffer in life ahead. I myself am depressed. I am not able to pay attention to my younger child and feel that I am neglecting him. Please help.

A:I think the key sentences in your letter are the last two: one that you feel depressed and two, that you need help. Please do consult a doctor, preferably a Psychiatrist, who can prescribe some pills to make you feel better. After that, it might be a good idea to find someone who can listen to you while you sort out your problems. Your daughter's behaviour could be a reflection of your mood and her distinct unwillingness to leave you and go. If the school were the problem, how would she get a good report from the teacher and do well in her studies? I can make a guess that her problem about leaving home started when the new baby arrived. She may feel that she is being sent out since there is a substitute for her (the younger one) in the home. That is one possibility. If you live in a city where there are many facilities, it would be wise to consult a family therapist and have the expert meet your daughter as well. If such a person is not available, going where you can get help is advisable. In the meantime, you could start Yoga seriously. Ultimately you are your own healer. If you have some insight about what bothers you, it should be possible for you to deal with it. Get whatever help is available. Calm down your daughter, by being calm yourself.

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