National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences(NIMHANS) has reported Indian students in the age group of 15-30 to suffer from depression and mental health problems. Every hour one hears of a suicide case in India and the frequency is more when the results of exams are declared. It is said education is important for every child as this is the passport for a great future. Then why are students so unhappy gaining knowledge that they suffer from both physical and psychological problems. Irrespective of gender, belonging to both urban and rural strata of society students are suffering from mental issues like mood disorders, Attention-deficit, anxiety, drug abuse, depression and suicide attempts.
We keep using the term depression but what exactly is this menace which is gnawing the students like canker and causing deleterious effects.
In the lines of J.K Rowling ‘Depression isn’t just being a bit sad. It’s feeling nothing. It’s not wanting to be alive anymore.’ People get isolated as they are wrapped in a blanket of pain and sadness which fogs their minds to think clearly. It is like a bruise that never heals or goes away.
But now we must find out why there has been a sudden spurt in the rate of mental diseases among students. Earlier these were unheard of and now it seems students in their adolescent years are falling prey to stress, loneliness, depression and even resorting to suicide. It has become a pan-Indian problem.
Several factors like family conflicts, nuclear family, relocation, parental pressure, peer pressure, substance abuse, academic pressure, social media addiction are all leading to mental problems among students today.
There are more distractions in a student’s life today. They are not physically active, instead of playing or exercising they sit cloistered in their rooms studying a major part of the day. With working parents and living in nuclear families, they have no one to listen to their problems. They are resorting to the internet to find solutions to their problems.
Instead of interacting and playing with children of their age, they live in the virtual world. They become addicted to social media which can even lead to cyberbullying can lead to depression and mental disorders.
Parent’s erratic work hours can create psychological problems in children. Not getting quality time with their parents can lead to resilience among students. Students suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, anger outbursts, adjustment disorders and even suicidal tendencies due to loneliness. Students suffer from disturbed sleep patterns due to these problems which further leads to mental disorders.
The next factor is poor eating habits which can lead to poor growth of a child. Students don’t want to lead a healthy lifestyle, which can enhance these issues. Junk food, unhealthy lifestyle can lead to these mental problems. Eating disorders, body shaming, obesity can lead to depression.
Studies are an important part of a student’s life. These too create several problems in a student’s life. There is so much competition among students to excel come up to everyone’s expectations that some students start wilting under this academic pressure. Getting admission to good colleges is not every student’s cup of tea and failure can lead to depression.
If students manage to procure admission in colleges of their chosen stream, settling down in the new environment can take its toll on a student. Leaving home for the first time and living in a new place can cause jitters to a student. Homesickness and loneliness can lead to depression if a student is unable to adapt to his surroundings.
Exorbitant college fees which may have created a hole in the parent’s pocket can lead to worry and stress about academic performance among students. This worry may escalate into depression and anxiety in them.
College studies to enhance academic pressure which some students are unable to cope with up leading to depression. Due to depression, loneliness students resort to alcohol, drugs and smoking which further leads to mental disorders.
Spending too much time on social media too leads to depression. Failed relationships among students is another factor leading to mental health problems.
Sometimes parental pressure where parents try to lead their life through their children can lead to this problem.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Loss of interest in activities
Talk therapy and antidepressant medication are useful. A good diet, exercise, family, teacher and societal support can help students come out of depression. They only need a hug, a smile and positive words to get rid of the emptiness and darkness in their lives.