Suicide, a cry for help!
“Every hour a student commits suicide in India”. Newspaper these days are filled with such disheartening news. Situation today has reached an alarming stage leaving us wondering why this issue hasn’t been addressed, even now.
What is the cause of this? Is it due to parents’ high expectations, academic pressure, peer pressure or something else?
Many times, we as parents try to full-fill our dreams through our children. In a race to push them to go that extra mile, we send them to a host of extracurricular activities and coaching classes. We forget to consider the amount of stress that it could put on our children. No doubt these activities are essential for their development, but too many could exhaust them and make them lose interest in all of them.
There is also immense pressure on a child to excel academically. Here prevails an unhealthy competition where children cannot survive just by being the best of themselves. They are expected to be the best among the rest, always. Children feel they let down their parents by underperforming. A constant fear of failure or the consequence of underperformance can also be a reason to trigger apprehensions.
As children are transitioning into young adults they go through several emotions. They often succumb to peer pressure and do things like skipping classes, dressing a certain way, consume alcohol, smoking and using drugs. In the attempt to fit in socially or join the “popular gang”, they go through an emotional roller-coaster leading to more anxiety.
Bullying is another danger that looms around youngsters. Children are targeted for their looks, body structure, social status, physical or mental impairments and their ethnicity. Children are repeatedly exploited verbally, physically and emotional driving them towards depression.
Additionally, family issues like tension between parents, not getting quality time with the parents, death of a loved one or prolonged illness could be some of reasons for a child to go through an emotional trauma.
When children are faced with any of these challenges, their delicate minds tend to wander off academics. When we see a drift from studies, we should ask – “what is causing this?” Any one or a combination of these causes, no matter how simple they seem, are complex for a child to deal with. We lack the courage to see through the “underperformance” of a child and we fail to reach out. This can cause the child to go into undetected depression leading to suicides.
There are certain behavioural pattern that children exhibit when they are depressed – feeling extremely emotional, lack of self-esteem, sleeping /eating disorders, social isolation, irritability, sensitive to criticism, attempting to hurt themselves and having suicidal thoughts. It’s our responsibility to identify these symptoms and help them cope up with the situation.
It is essential that parents keep the communication channel open. Children should be able to comfortably talk about their problems. Through care and support, we can help them overcome challenges and stay on track with their goals. As secondary caregivers, teachers also have the responsibility to identify and, as far as possible, eliminate any situation that may be causing deeper stress on children in general. The most important aspect is to recognize that there is a problem and seek professional help as soon as possible.
Here’s when Carengrow’s preventive healthcare system comes into the picture. It empowers teachers and parents to monitor children’s health on regular basis. Helping them to identifying these symptoms early on, addressing the causes and providing help to save our children. So, let’s be ready with open minds and hearts to recognize depression as more than just sadness and help children.