School Refusal - DRHC Dubai Psychiatry Clinic

School refusal, also known as school phobia or school avoidance, is a term used to describe a child's refusal to attend school or difficulty remaining in school for an entire day. It is a complex issue that can be influenced by various factors, including anxiety, depression, bullying, academic difficulties, and family issues.

Causes of School Refusal

  • Anxiety Disorders: Children with anxiety disorders may experience excessive fear or worry about attending school.
  • Depression: Feelings of sadness or hopelessness can make it challenging for children to engage in school activities.
  • Bullying: Experiencing bullying at school can lead to avoidance behavior to escape from the situation.
  • Academic Pressure: High academic expectations or difficulty with schoolwork can contribute to school refusal.
  • Family Issues: Family conflicts, changes in family dynamics, or a lack of support at home can impact a child's willingness to attend school.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Physical complaints such as stomachaches or headaches when it's time to go to school.
  • Excessive worrying or fear about attending school.
  • Tantrums or meltdowns when faced with going to school.
  • Avoidance behaviors, such as missing the bus or feigning illness, to stay home from school.

Impact of School Refusal

  • Academic difficulties and falling behind in schoolwork.
  • Social isolation and difficulty maintaining friendships.
  • Increased risk of developing anxiety or depression.
  • Negative impact on the child's future educational and career opportunities.

Treatment and Support

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help children manage anxiety and develop coping strategies to address school-related fears.
  • Family Therapy: Involving the family in therapy can address underlying family issues that may be contributing to school refusal.
  • School Involvement: Collaborating with school personnel to create a supportive environment for the child.
  • Gradual Reintegration: Gradually reintroducing the child to school through a step-by-step process to reduce anxiety.

Prevention Strategies

  • Encouraging open communication with children about their feelings and concerns about school.
  • Addressing any academic difficulties or learning challenges early on.
  • Promoting a positive and supportive school environment that values inclusivity and respect.


School refusal is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach involving the child, family, school, and mental health professionals. By identifying the underlying causes and providing appropriate support and intervention, children with school refusal can successfully overcome their difficulties and thrive in the school environment


Book Appoinment


If you are experiencing any signs and symptoms of a School Refusal, please don't hesitate to contact our best psychiatrist in Dubai at the Dr Rami Hamed Center, Call +97142798200 to Schedule Your Appointment Today. We have the best psychiatry doctor, and our psychiatry clinic is situated in Dubai Healthcare City.


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