Winneshiek Medical Center behavioral health professionals are dedicated to improving the way of life for all patients. They are available to counsel people of all ages, with different types of problems. Common problems that psychiatrists, psychologists, and independent social workers can help with include stress, lack of self-esteem, anxiety attacks, depression, and family issues. Patients can come in with the comfort of knowing that all counseling sessions are done with privacy and respect.
School anxiety – is it more than first-day jitters?
A new year at school can be an exciting yet stressful time, especially for students in elementary and middle school.
Bridgette Hensley, Psy.D., Mayo Clinic Health System clinical psychologist at Winneshiek Medical Center says, “It’s perfectly normal for students to feel anxious about new experiences or changes in their routine. Parents and caregivers can help them work through their anxious thoughts, and should watch for signs that may indicate the need for additional help.”
Dr. Hensley advises that if prolonged symptoms (two weeks or longer) are interfering with a child’s daily activities, he/she may want to seek professional counseling. Symptoms of anxiety can be:
- An increase in worries or fears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sadness or crying
- Complaints of physical symptoms (headaches, stomachaches, nausea, etc.)
- Fatigue or lethargic behavior
- Changes in sleep habits and appetite
- Bad dreams or nightmares
- Bed wetting
- Refusal to go to school or excessive distress when separated from home or a major attachment figure.
“Parents know their children best,” says Dr. Hensley. “If you notice a general change in behavior or attitude that does not seem to be improving, it may be time to seek help.” Dr. Hensley adds, “Make sure to maintain open communication with your child. Ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer, and specifically ask questions about bullying.”