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November 28, 2018

Anxiety, depression linked to suicide among youths


November 28, 2018

LAHORE: The alleged suicide by a young female student of a private university in Lahore brings to the fore society’s failure to evolve a social system for children’s counselling to develop a strong personality in order to effectively deal with the psychological problems.

Psychology experts are of the opinion that lack of communication and counselling mechanism, in many cases, push children towards “suffering in silence syndrome”, which becomes a main cause of such extreme steps. Loneliness and frustration among children naturally tends to generate negative thinking depending upon the personality of the individual. The negative thinking often ends up in involving in various social vices including drug addiction, criminal activities or even committing suicide. The depression may cause sadism as well as masochism. The young population in Pakistan is, more or less, left alone to deal with the relentless flow and pressures of life as the society slowly loses grip on family system with its thrust on children’s grooming. Talking to The News, Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar, Head of Psychology Department, Punjab University, is of the opinion that the young population has been exposed to too much information, and at times, they had to confront cyber bullying on social media when they themselves are at an age of heightened emotions.

She informed that lack of communication and counselling mechanism is pushing youth in solitude, and at times, they are unable to cope with personal, emotional, economic and psychological pressures. She held institutions and parents responsible for shunning their responsibility in proper upbringing and grooming, character building and career counseling. “Its failure of a society as a whole,” she said and emphasised upon parents to spend quality time with their children and give them confidence to share their feelings and problems without any hesitation. She said parents’ too much expectations from their children or vice versa also create mental pressure and cause friction and intolerance within close relations. Dr Rukhsana Kausar urged the parents to be vigilant not only to keep an eye on children’s activities but to identify changes in their behavior in order to take corrective steps to resolve their issues. Depression has different effects on individuals depending on their personalities as some express outward anger and others suffer from inward anger that leads to self-harm or even suicides.

Therefore, she emphasised the need to create a support system for children in order to maintain a balance in their attitude and demeanor in an environment of cut-throat competition. Prof Dr Riaz Bhatti, former head of Department of Psychiatry King Edward Medical University, informed that mental illnesses in form of tension and anxiety and depression were growing and resulting in frequent cases of suicide, especially among young people. He urged the parents and educational institutions to fulfill their responsibilities towards children in order to keep them away from social vices like drug addiction and criminal activities. In serious cases of mental illness, he advised the parents to consult qualified psychiatrist instead of considering mental illness a taboo. “Children’s involvement in sports and health curricular and extracurricular activities also help in character building of the youth,” he added. Experts believe that parents, family, teachers, close friends and society as a whole must play with the aim to overcome social and religious taboos to help the children deal with their psychological problems and develop a strong personality to come out in flying colours in a hostile environment with all kinds of political, religious and ideological differences.

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