Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveal that in 2015 alone 8934 cases of student suicides were reported. Another older statistic puts suicide rates in the age group of 15-29 years as highest in India. What we are looking at is the tip of the iceberg. Suicide being illegal, there are lot of cases that go unreported. Disturbing isn’t it?
What if you knew you were abetting the suicide? Yes, you, us, the parents, peers and society at large are a few prime perpetrators. The research puts the spotlight on what drives the stress levels to the extreme. Some of them are –
- Fear of Failure: Principal cause of stress related extreme behavior. The inculcated values of ‘do or die’ put the fear of the unknown beyond failure. It is not seen as a choice.
- Compromised career choice: Forced into career paths one is not suited for proves difficult to cope with. Stress and frustration in this line can make one take their life.
- Competitive v/s Nurturing education: Less about learning and more about where your career graph goes. The rat-race that education system has started is killing students. Forget happiness and youth, the students face bleak and traumatic life. Rather than learning to grow, it is learning to fight harder and reach farthest.
- Peer pressure: Comparison with your friends mark sheet or recent admission. Peers that rag you about your grades. Such social bullying done both by contemporaries and guardians is dangerous. Never compare how well your ward does with the best student. No one is the same.
- Family pressure: The bottom line in many a case, family pressure remains a prime culprit. Parents blinded by thoughts of a glorious future for their child, drive them too hard. Ambitions are transferred but the shoulders are not the same. Bear the child’s pressure and help. Don’t add is what the psychologists say.
- Lack of sharing: Students with too many friends or too little, both are at risk. Not having some one to communicate with abets suicidal idealization. Feelings and frustrations get bottled up and release in bizarre ways. Parents who are not understanding, peers with malicious intent, social media loneliness all lead the road to disaster.
- Substance abuse: Accessibility of drugs and additive substances has become easier. The age at which students get exposure to substance abuse is reducing. Addiction coupled with the immaturity to deal with the effects and after-effects of drug abuse ruin life. While some students live it out, others succumb to it.
- Social media: No less than a drug, the bane of modern existence is social media. Starting from a misrepresented reality to an exaggerated emphasis on superficial joy, social media is killing youth.
The question we must bear in mind is how might we help some one we know.
- Parents need to nurture rather than prepare children for a rat race. If you find your ward to be stressed and lagging behind, help. Comparisons and threat don’t work. Helping hands do. Let students live and do what they love.
- If your friend or your classmate feels depressed, becomes an introvert or changes behavior suddenly, it’s a red alert. Refer to a school/college counselor, speak to his/her parents and try to be there for them. In more cases than not, alienation precedes suicides. Don’t let them be alone. Call on other friends to help as well.
- Academics must watch out for students and help them tide over troubled times. Instead of deadlines and reprimands, educational counselling will help. Help your students make right career choice.
The buck stops with loneliness and acute stress. Help someone who you think is at rick to feel cared for and strong. A ind word goes a long way. In any doubt, always refer to professional help.