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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Academic pressure pushes teens to suicide, say doctors - The Hindu

VISAKHAPATNAM, March 28, 2016



SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

About two weeks ago, a tenth standard student in Visakhapatnam city committed suicide, unable to bear the academic pressure. Suicides among students, especially during the examination season from March to May, has been on the rise, and according to the City Crime Record Bureau (CCRB- Visakhapatnam) the total number of suicides during the last five years stands at 22, and of which 13 have ended lives due to the academic pressure.

As per Assistant Commissioner of Police (CCRB), Annepu Narasimha Murthy, the age group varies between 14 and 19 years. “They are either tenth class or intermediate students. During this particular academic phase, the pressure from schools or corporate junior colleges, peer groups and parents are at the highest level,” said the ACP.

Sharing statistics over the last four years, the ACP said: “ In 2013 there were six cases, in 2014 there were two cases, in 2015 the number recorded was six and in the current year till date the figure stands at six.” There were eight girls among the deceased students, he told The Hindu .

According to Prof. N.N. Raju, former superintendent of Government Hospital for Mental Care, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The records at the CCRB indicate just the official figures; there are many cases that go unrecorded and are hushed up.

Comparisons that kill
According to Prof. Raju, the main reason being the direct and indirect comparison by the teachers, peers and parents at home.

“Comparison wreaks havoc on the minds of the students and they develop an inferiority complex, which leads to depression and finally to suicide. Most of the cases that come to me, share this feeling,” said Dr. Raju.

According to Dr. Deepa Mohan, Head of the Department of Psychology, GITAM University, the ambience and the environment in the corporate junior colleges that are engaged in EAMCET and IIT coaching, act as a catalyst to this problem.
“Students are discriminated on the basis of the marks they obtain and are subjected to humiliation.

Instead of being considerate towards the under-performing students and helping them to do better, they are segregated and sent to a different classroom and are branded as ‘no good fellows’,” said Dr. Deepa.

Noted clinical psychiatrist from Vijayawada Indla Vishal opined that students with average academic record should avoid joining the corporate colleges, as the stress levels are very high.