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Saturday, May 9, 2015

‘Depression is experienced by 64pc of students during results’ Afternoon Despatch & Courier

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‘Depression is experienced by 64pc of students during results’

Friday, May 08, 2015
By Priyanka Ramalingam & Devina Teotia
Just when students were done with the stress of writing in exams, it's already time for their results. Depression is very common and is experienced by 64 percent of students during the time of results, according to a research scholar at Panjab University.  Questions like “Will I be able to live up to my parents' expectations?” and “Will I be able to get into a good college?” keep haunting the minds of students awaiting their results. All these self doubts and insecurities lead them to depression.

One shows the symptoms of depression when one experiences sadness for a prolonged period of time, loses interest in life and has excessive or inappropriate guilt. One may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities. Most of the students do not consider it as a serious problem and neglect it until it goes out of hand.

“I felt like I was a disappointment to everyone. I feared that I could not achieve my goals and fail miserably. Letting down my parents' expectations was the last thing I wanted to do and it was my biggest fear,” said one of the students who was a victim of depression.

Excessive sleeping usually referred to as hypersomnia and the inability to sleep, ie insomnia are the signs of depression. When the problems feel overwhelming and associated pain becomes unbearable, negative thoughts such as committing suicide enters one's mind.

“I felt like I was drowning, except I could see everyone else around me breathing. It felt like I was a burden on everyone, an unwanted presence.

'Everyone would be better off without me' was my constant thought. I did not want my parents to be ashamed and being taunted because of my poor results,” said a first year college student who suffered from clinical depression.

Adolescent suicide is one of the leading causes of death in India among youth. There is a significant  increase in the number of suicides during the time of results.

“Depression is a serious issue among adolescents these days. One needs to understand that it is a real illness with real symptoms. The student should recognise their feelings and share them with their parents. After the revelation by the child, the parents should not take the issue lightly and should understand that it is not something that can be snapped out of. They should take the kid to a psychotherapist or a psychoanalyst and start the treatment right away,” said Dr. Yusuf A. Matcheswalla, well-known psychiatrist, who also works for Mumbai Police as a consulting counselor.

Depression has a high risk of suicide. Since this is a very serious and common issue, there are various helplines these days. One of them being AASRA of Mumbai whose 24 hours hotline number is 27546669.

Johnson Thomas, the director and co-founder of 'AASRA' said, “We receive around 50 to 60 calls per day. Most of the people who call have already planned their suicide and are just waiting for the right moment. We usually listen to all their problems and help them overcome their negative thoughts and see light in their life.”

AASRA even gets calls from parents who are seeking advice on how to help their child to get over depression.

More than just a bout of blues, depression is not something that one can overcome by 'pulling yourself together' or by 'sleeping it off'. Depression is a serious illness that requires long term treatment which includes medication, psychological therapy or both.
To overcome depression:
  • Recognise that you are suffering from depression
  • Talk to your parents and tell them how you feel
  • Seek help from a doctor
  • Think positively
Parents suffering from depression should:
  • Communicate with their child
  • Listen to their problems attentively
  • Do not leave the child alone anytime
  • Consult a good psychotherapist or psychologist

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