• 6 months ago

    Fire Drill Anxiety


    Ever since Pre-K, I've been absolutely terrified of the sound of fire alarms. I'm not worried that there's an actual fire, I'm just extremely scared of the sudden presence of the sound, it makes me jump. After the alarm starts going off, I'm fine. I'm currently in 9th grade, and I don't know when to expect drills. Please help me.

    - Leo


  • RE: Fire Drill Anxiety

    Hey Leo,

    Sorry to hear that. My son has something similar, anxiety combined with difficulty in make instant changes. He hates surprises of any kind, not just fire drills. After a while he is fine too, but initially it's really scary or frustrating for him.

    As with him, there is not much you can do yourself. It's more the responsibility of the adults in your school who need to make some changes to your environment, at least a little bit. Here is what needs to happen.

    First of all, the school administration and your teachers need to know and understand that this is your situation and is serious enough.

    Second, they should be able to let you know ahead of time, maybe even secretly, that a fire drill is about to happen and the alarm will go off. That will at least prepare you ahead of time. And I am betting that this would help you cope better. They should know that if a real fire happened and the drill went off you would be able to react properly. As you said, you're OK afterwards. So, it's not like your going to burn up in a fire because of your condition. You just need help in dealing with the drills. Right?

    I would suggest you talk to one of your teachers about it first. Pick one that seems the most nice to you. Tell her of him about it after class. Just tell them its private and they will make sure nobody hangs around listening.

    Then ask them how you should tell your other teachers and your school principal. They will probably be able to give you some advice. Also ask them if they could help you. Maybe they can talk to the other teachers and the principal on your behalf. I suspect you feel a bit shy because you don't want to look different and have people in your school make fun of you. Your classmates don't need to even find out. This should be just between you and your teachers. Plus, lots of kids have something anyways. Some have allergies, some have disabilities, so everyone needs to be accepted. You do too.

    I hope this helps.