Anxiety has a negative and detrimental effect on academic performance. Depending on the type of anxiety you have, it can affect your school work in different ways. The following explains how the different types of anxiety disorders can negatively impact your academic performance.
If you have test anxiety, you have significant problems completing tests, although you are able to do the homework and you know the material. Test anxiety is a performance anxiety, where your mind goes blank and you are unable to recall the information from your brain, when in a testing (performance) situation. And since your test scores are a significant portion of your grades, you will most likely fail your class if you don’t get a handle on test anxiety.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Or you may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), where you worry about everyday things, including school work. You spend so much time worrying, that it makes you anxious and tense. And when you are anxious and tense, you are not able to study adequately, and your grades reflect your lack of focus on your studies.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Yet another anxiety disorder you may have is social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, where you avoid crowds of people due to fear of social scrutiny. So you may avoid going to school and your classes due to the fear of being embarrassed in crowds of people, like your classmates in school. Avoiding school has obvious consequences for your academic performance.
If you have panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia), you may avoid your school or classes due to fear of having a panic attack there, and you may be afraid no help will be available. If you have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), you may have an obsession that you have not read everything completely, so you might compulsively read and re-read your books and assignments. It takes a long time to complete your homework and studies as you have to re-read or re-write everything.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you might have experienced a traumatic event at school, and you avoid the school due to the anxiety of being exposed to reminders of the trauma. If you do attend your classes, then your concentration and focus may be disrupted by flashbacks of the trauma.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is a common reason for younger persons to have difficulties at school. People who have separation anxiety disorder have problems separating from their primary caregiver or loved one. If they do separate, then the affected person worries constantly about the well-being of their loved one, or that something bad will happen to them. This constant separation anxiety makes it virtually impossible to do any school work, and the affected person is not consoled until they reunite with their loved one.
With selective mutism, although you are able to speak freely with your caregivers or loved one, you are unable to speak with others. Because of this inability to speak with others, you are not able to communicate, and your school performance suffers, given the social demands of interacting with teachers and classmates. Your inability to speak with others, despite having intact language ability, stunts and arrests the learning process.
If you have an extreme fear of an object or situation, then this can negatively impact your school performance, as your feared object or situation may be encountered at school. For example, you may have a fear of closed spaces (claustrophobia), and being crowded into a small classroom may trigger this. Also, you may have a fear of bridges and heights, and you are not able to go to school as the route to school involves crossing a bridge.
As you can see, anxiety can take different forms, and each type of anxiety can negatively impact your school performance. But each anxiety disorder affects school performance in different ways. Therefore, if you have anxiety and your school performance is negatively affected, then the first step is to figure out what type of anxiety you have. Once you know what type of anxiety you have, then you can begin to eradicate that anxiety and your school performance can be optimized to your capabilities.