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Students and Stress

by Dr. Kumarshri Shriniwas Saraswat at 12.Nov.2016 on Emotional and Mental Health



The recent epidemic of student suicides is not only disheartening and unfortunate but also happens to represent the tip of the iceberg of a highly prevalent and often neglected phenomenon namely ‘student stress’.

Image: Students and Stress

Here is a brief summary of the various factors that perpetuate student stress and what each one can do in alleviating it.

For Students:

  • Before or during any examination, quite a few students tend to think around these - What all is at stake in these exams? What if I fare badly in them? What if my friends get more marks than me? How will my parents and teachers react to my poor performance?”
  • This is exactly the kind of negative thinking that creates stress and in fact hinders performance rather than enhancing it by adversely affecting concentration.
  • The trick to get out of this trap is to realize that thinking about negative consequences beforehand is not going to do you any good. In fact it is best not to think about any consequences at all, and rather concentrate all your energy on preparing for your performance.
  • Realize that a poor performance is undesirable but it is no way a marker of your failure in life and certainly not the end of the world.
  • If you fare badly as compared to your friends, it means that your current study technique is not very effective and you can either devise a better one yourself or with someone’s help. It does not signify that you are in any ways inferior to anyone. However, if you are harboring any such feelings of inferiority, you need to communicate it with elders before you develop any symptoms of the so called ‘inferiority complex’.

For Parents:

  • Accept the child for what he/she is and not for what he is going to achieve.
  • When a child is not performing well, he is in a greater need for support, words of encouragement and some morale boosting.
  • Instead, quite often he becomes the receiving end of harsh criticism for his performance which could potentially cause a nervous breakdown and increase the distance between you and your child.
  • Do not relate your ward’s academic performance to your personal success or failure. Tying your ego with it is highly irrational and will only bring you and your child misery in the long run. Try to maintain a detached but cooperative attitude in this matter.
  • Do not compare him with any of his classmates or your friend’s children. This makes children feel insecure, vulnerable to stress and inculcates feelings of inferiority.
  • You know that you love your child a lot but let him know that once in a while as well.
  • Keep the communication channel between you and your child wide open by means of which he/she can express their feelings to you.

For Teachers:

  • A teacher is usually best placed to pick out a depressed child because he can compare the child’s current behavior with others as well as with his past behavior under similar circumstances.
  • Instances like recent irregularities in attending or completing school work, crying easily in school, inability to pay attention in class, fearing exams could be a marker of childhood depression and warrant their communication with the child’s parents and evaluation if needed.

It is a sad fact that while a lot of schooling stresses on academics, there are so many professions where it is not your academic excellence but qualities like creativity, social skills, technical expertize or business acumen that matters. These, unfortunately are not reflected in any examination results.

Timely treatment can prevent long term and ghastly complications from occurring. If needed, do not shy away in taking professional help from a child psychiatry specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist/child-psychiatry

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