ZocdocAnswersCan I get a doctors note for a psychological problem not physical?

Question

Can I get a doctors note for a psychological problem not physical?

My son is getting bullied at school and the school said that he should go to the GP and ask for a medical note so that he does not have to participate in PE. My child is healthy and has a healthy attitude to PE its self however that’s where he has to cope with the stress of being bullied the most and I don’t want him to have to go through that. Basically, is it possible to go to your doctors about getting a doctor’s note for a non-physical injury however a physiological issue? – And how long that note will allow him to stay out of PE for? Thanks.

Answer

Thank you for your question about receiving a doctor's note for your child. Doctors can provide several forms of documentation to schools and authority figures. Typically these notes provide an idea of a patient's health to non medical personnel. An annual physical exam form or "physical" is a common form of documentation that doctors provide to schools to let officials know that a child is fit to participate in physical education. For younger children, this examination typically covers vision, hearing, vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate), and a complete head to toe physical exam to check vital organs such as the heart and lungs. If there are any physical signs of abuse, a doctor would record these findings (at any visit) and alert the proper authorities. Bullying is unfortunately very common in schools today and can be especially detrimental to a young child's mental health, causing complications such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts in the worst cases. If a child has developed any of these symptoms, a physician would certainly refer the parents and child to additional resources such as counseling, and may provide documentation to the schools if deemed helpful. It is unlikely, however, that your child is only being bullied during the hours of physical education. As such, it is important to work with your school officials to remedy the solution, whether it be separating tormentors into different classes, or setting up family meetings with parents of all children involved. It would be a shame for your child's education and health to suffer because of the actions of others. Please speak with your doctor and child's school administrators for further guidance on this matter.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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