Rise in students reporting exam stress-The Hindu
All through school, Sindhu (name changed) was what teachers called a ‘good performer’. She aced her Class X exams, and for a while it was smooth sailing. But by Class XII, the 17-year-old felt her life starting to unravel. The pressure to do well and succeed was growing to the point of claustrophobia, and she felt constricted by the expectations from parents, teachers and even her peers. It got to the point where she began thinking of dropping out.
Her anxiety began manifesting itself in different ways: she began experiencing migraines and bouts of depression, and refused to interact with others.
There are many students like her who suffer silently until they crumble under the intense stress and pressure. With exam season around the corner, help-lines, psychologists and psychiatrists have seen a rise in students battling exam-related stress disorders. They also expect more students to approach them in March when the final exams are held.
Mental health professions that The Hindu spoke to reiterated that the onus is not on students but on society and the education system.
Some of the symptoms, such as depression, not interacting with others, decrease in sleep and appetite, fatigue and lack of concentration, are indications that a person needs medical help. "If the child is suffering from emotional or behaviour disorder, then the psychologist counselling him/her needs to decide if the counselling is helping or the patient needs more help
It was only after experiencing these debilitating effects that Sindhu agreed to see a counsellor. “I felt suffocated in my college and at home. With counselling, I was able to express all my problems, such as issues with my college and the unreasonable expectations set by my college and parents.” Her parents wanted her to become either an engineer or a doctor. “After attending these sessions, my parents stopped pressuring me and allowed me to pursue pure sciences," she said.