Academic Pressure, Parental Expectations Taking A Toll On Students’ Mental Health

Mental health effects due to academic pressure

In recent years, academic pressure on students has reached an alarming level due to the ongoing competitive environment. The growing expectations of parents create extreme academic stress on students and lead to severe mental health effects. It often results in serious distress and drives them to childhood anxiety and depression.

About one week ago, Sumeet, a seventh-standard student in New Delhi, was hospitalized due to mental trauma and chronic anxiety attacks. One of his family members revealed that Sumeet’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bhatia, were pressurizing Sumeet for a long time to secure better grades than other students in the class. The family member said, “Sumeet’s parents are extremely strict and they were making Sumeet try harder to get admission to a more reputed institution.” Sumeet’s family member added, “They used to compare Sumeet with his classmates. It is a wrong thing to do and it created a huge impact on Sumeet’s mental health.”

According to a renowned mental health specialist, “Students often prioritize their study over their health and well-being, and due to the fear of failure, they mostly suffer from depression and other mental health problems.” He argued that parental pressure is the leading trigger for depression among students. Mr. and Mrs. Bhatia tried to make their son the brightest student in order to maintain their reputation in society. Over time, Sumeet failed to meet his parents’ high & unrealistic expectations and faced extreme criticism & rebuke from them. He started to have chronic anxiety attacks and was eventually hospitalized due to his poor mental health. He is still coping with the symptoms of his mental condition and it may take some time for him to recover fully.

“Today’s generation has zero tolerance in terms of criticism, they refuse to accept any kind of negative feedback and mostly fail to deal with emotional turmoil”, explained psychiatrist Shiladitya Roy. To prevent such situations, parents should not criticize or be extremely harsh toward their children. Don’t rampantly compare your son or daughter with his/her friends and peers. Always look after your children if they are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and routine or not. Try to take a more compassionate, empathetic, and friendly approach with your children as it will help them be comfortable with facing life’s challenges and share anything with you that’s troubling them. Never hesitate to seek medical help if you observe any early symptoms of depression or anxiety.

P.s. (Names and places are changed due to privacy issues)

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