Emotional Meltdown at School - Are People Going to Judge Me?

Published: December 20, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I had an emotional meltdown at school today im okay now but many people kept asking me why I was crying the whole day im a bit worried that people are gonna be judging me tomorrow
Signed: Emotional Meltdown at School - Are People Going to Judge Me?

Dear Emotional Meltdown at School - Are People Going to Judge Me?,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate that you are feeling concerned about other people’s reactions to seeing you cry. Adolescence is definitely a period of time where fitting in and the views of peers are of utmost importance. Crying in school might have made you feel different from your peers and clearly left you worried about critical responses from others. While this is a very normal reaction, TeenHealthFX invites you to look at people’s questions about why you were crying as their genuinely caring that you were upset and wanting to be supportive of you. While you might feel alone in crying at school, the fact is that pretty much every teen at your school knows what it’s like to feel embarrassed in front of their peers and can relate to having felt overcome with emotion at some point. Rather than judging you, they can probably empathize with your experience.   

If you get a gut feeling that someone is asking to be nosy or that the person seems judgmental, you can always just brush off their question by saying something like, “Oh, everything is fine now, but thanks for asking.” But, again, in general go with people asking you about it because they care and want to be helpful. And if someone who feels kind and trustworthy does ask you about it, consider talking to them about what was going on. For one thing, it could help you to feel better about whatever it was that you were sad or angry about when you share it with someone you trust. Second, there is a good chance that you will find someone who can relate on some level to what you were going through which might help you not to feel so alone with it.

Again, try and remember that your peers can relate to and understand what happened with you at school more than you think. Whether they had moments of their own when they felt embarrassed or upset and appreciated that they had someone there to comfort them, or whether they didn’t have that experience, many of your peers will be left wanting to be there for someone else in need.

You said that you are “okay” now, but if anything comes up for you again, please reach out to a trusted adult to talk about what is going on so you can get the guidance and support you need to deal with it. You could speak to a parent, extended family member or even a counselor or nurse at school. And if you need some ongoing help, consider meeting with a private therapist. If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX