Adam’s Story

Adam struggles with writing. He knows lots of information and answers questions correctly, but the writing part is difficult for him and it affects every lesson he has. Every morning, when Adam wakes up, he constantly thinks about the struggle ahead, falling behind and being the odd one out. This triggers anxiety and before he has even got to school, Adam is clammy, his heart is beating fast in his chest and he feels sick. Adam would do anything to avoid having to write to make the feeling go away.

Lesson 1. Adam distracts the class to waste time. He is moved to the back of the class. When he gets there he purposely takes ages getting his books out. He then sits and looks out of the window.

Lesson 2: Adam is already on a roll. Whilst he answers the questions well, he claims to have lost his pen, then makes out the one he has been given doesn’t work.

Lesson 3: Drama – brilliant! Adam works really well here but when it comes to writing an evaluation he becomes frustrated and is rude to the teacher. He questions why he has to do this? Adam is given detention.


‘I can’t write well enough, I am the odd one out, I am stupid’


Fight or Flight. Adam does both.


Sweating, increased heart rate, nausea, fear of failure & ridicule


Avoidance, rudeness, aggression

Adam’s thoughts about being different and fearing failure are the root of his anxiety. If he could change the thoughts, he would find that the anxiety disappears and he would progress much more easily.