With youngsters committing suicide almost every hour in the country (according to 2015 data (the latest available) from the National Crime Records Bureau), the need for evaluating a student’s life has become a national issue. The pressure these kids go through is something we all can relate to in terms of hectic schedules, intense competition, urge to win the rat race and a fire and desire to be the best at something or nothing at all, rides on the fact that we as humans are getting tangled in the silly needs of making someone else happy. We all have someone who is young and confused and may be heading towards depression or a vacuum.
When we were children, we had limited access to the internet, played with baggy hand me downs and weren’t worried about having a career, were we? Today’s generation does not have this privilege and more often than not parents start shaping their child’s career from as early as 4 years onwards! With the need to earn more, score more and own more, it is we- the parents, who need to address the issue on a personal level with our children. Adding fuel to fire, the rape cases, murders at offices, scanty jobs and the ever-growing lifestyle that defines what is cool and what’s not, and you have a cocktail that is made for depression, Think about it !!
If you are wondering how to figure out if your kid or someone else is depressed or simply how to reach out to someone before an acute depression or a possible suicide, you must read on.
- Understand and explain the difference between good grades and success: The worries of many students are the sheer completion and hence the grades are made to sound like something that will change your life. What we need to do is to understand that good grades don’t necessarily turn to a happy and successful life.
- Talk it out: The best way to make sure any person around you copes with depression is to talk about it. Address the issue at hand and be frank and kind enough to figure out a pattern and to come up with a fresh new perspective to avoid isolation and anxiety. If you get awkward talking to your child, try to connect more by spending some quality time together by taking up a sport together or by finding a common interest, listening is caring!
- Talk about the Big picture: The one thing that most parents swear by is by always talking about the larger things in life. When your child is depressed, talk about the higher goals in life. Helping each other out, reaching out to the poor and needy people and discussing about real things helps keep a perspective that is bigger and have a greater sense of purpose. In real time, it will help your child to think about things that are far more bigger and better and how to truly contribute to society, this in turn will help them have a happier and truly meaningful life.
- Make it Gradual: Students dealing with depression often break away from people who want to show pity. We say take it slow and keep the discussion short, simple and positive. Make sure you are consistent with talking to your child every week over a cup of hot chocolate or a quick bite.
- Lend your Ear: The idea to listen without judging anyone is something that we all need to work upon. Try to listen more and without forming extreme conclusions. Remember that we all are human and that errors are a part of life. The results will not only astound you but will inspire you as well.
- To Travel is to Grow: There is no better way to get out of your headspace than to travel. Explore people, places and cultures to keep the stagnant negativity at bay and see the world from a different point of view. Make sure you explore the new places like a local and truly rejoice the hustle bustle of the non-touristy places.
- Share your Experiences with your Kids but Don’t Spoon-feed them: Talking about how you cope with your life does make a whole world of difference to someone who is just getting to see, how life can be. Loading your kids with your own experiences and learnings will not make any difference as your experience are not going to match their unknown future. Instead, you should focus on providing them with the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, the strength and courage to step out of a situation on their own or seek help if needed, and most importantly the freedom to express their true feelings and trust to make their own decisions, and learn through it. Talk about how you coped with depression, tricky situations and always end with a happy note that will leave a pump of positivity without spoon-feeding them.
- Talk to a professional: In many cases, depression is something that people grow to have prejudices about. In cases where you just can’t seem to help others, seek the help of a an online counselor or professional psychologist to address the issue, analytically or clinically.
- Meditate: There is no better truth than seeking what is inside our soul and the best way to get there is by meditating every day. The journey inward is the one that counts and soon you will start accepting your whole self- your positives and negatives and your true nature. Result? You will not care much about what people think of you. This in turn will leave you more confident, positive and self-assured.
- Define your own idea of success: There is no better way to be successful than to define what success means to you. If you want to be a musician, a C+ in Math will mean nothing more than that. Start early and explore just what you want to do with your life and don’t wait for someone to define it for you. Money does help to survive but it does not guarantee a happy and satisfied life.
- Set an example: Children absorb the auras of their parents and if they see you having a good sense of humor and leading a happy-healthy life, you are bound to leave your child wanting to feel the same! Start with small steps and teach your child to laugh on criticism, stand up for bullies and grow in something that they love not what you or society want them to become.
Student suicide has its roots in how we have defined the society and to de-condition our thinking about how students should live their lives, is something that needs to change. The best way to deal with suicide possibilities is by making sure isolation, bullying and anxiety are addressed in every home and that teachers combine forces with parents to make sure students stay curious about learning and exploring life not merely surviving the rat race!!
“Everyone faces challenges in life that can feel overwhelming and can impact us in very significant and unique ways. If you or someone you know have depression, stress, anxiety, anger, pressure or grief become seemingly insurmountable to the point that it impacts your/ their daily functioning. It’s about time that you must seek some help and vent out. Talk to our Wellness Coach at UrWellnessBuddy, because we all deserve a happy and fulfilling life !”
Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is at risk of self-harm or suicide, please contact your nearest hospital immediately!