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Distressed Students

Sometimes it can be difficult to discern whether a student's disruptive behavior is a discipline or mental health issue. Some disruptive behaviors can stem from emotional or psychological problems. Listed below are some general disruptive signals and behaviors caused by emotional distress.



  • Depression: poor concentration, loss of interest, withdrawal
  • Agitation: anxious, cannot sit still
  • Disorientation: seems 'out of it', may exhibit bizarre behavior
  • Suicidal expression, thoughts or threats
  • Alcohol or drug abuse: including coming to class intoxicated



  • Increased irritability, undue aggressive or abrasive behavior
  • Excessive procrastination, poor class attendance, little or no work completed
  • Marked change in personal hygiene
  • Dependency (e.g., the student who hangs around or makes excessive appointments to see you)
  • Alarming or dangerous behaviors
by reinecka — last modified Sep 27, 2011 04:28 PM