Burden of family expectations weighs heavily on fragile adolescents

Prevalence of suicidal tendencies is highest among adolescents, reveals Psychiatry and Mental Health studies.

According to former Director of Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Dr Nimesh Desai, psychological changes of maturity, identity crisis and social factors at times push adolescents to resort to such extreme steps.

Second important fact, he said, “As we are living in societies which are transitional or are undergoing rapid flux, this happens more. Again, because of the transitional nature of the society, the pressures of expectations and academic everything are exactly over the limit on adolescents.”

Referring to the recent suicides in Kota, Dr Desai said, “Because there is such a congregation of educational institutions and coaching, the sense of competition and success burden weighs heavier.

“Along with the second part, having these three sets of factors across suicide attempts is emotionally instability. It is the psychological crisis of identity, the social pressure to succeed, and then the lack of availability for expression and sharing. All these factors operate in Kota”.

The IHBAS ex-director said further that the social construct has become so complex that parents or families’ prestige depends on their children’s academic success. Unfortunately, in middle class societies, parents often unknowingly want to fulfill their dreams through their children’s career.

Dr Narendra Kumar Singh, Senior Consultant, Department of Neurosciences, Ujala Cygnus Bright Star Hospital, Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh), said: “A number of factors are associated with suicides among students, such as emotional breakdown, lack of family support, mental health, and performance pressure.”

Many of these students are state or school toppers and when they come to Kota, their parents or teachers have high expectations. “When they find themselves defeated or fail to meet the expectations, they tend to get into depression. In such cases, emotional support from family or friends is very important,” Dr Singh added.

“We cannot hold the educational system solely responsible. If a student is planning to attempt suicide, he/she might give indications. If they have friends to talk to or interact with their family regularly, their intentions might be conveyed, and the loss may be prevented.

“If they do not have any such support system, such unfortunate incidents are more likely. To prevent these, parents should be very friendly with their children, always give them emotional support, and never scold them for any failure,” he added.

20221218-131404

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