School gives me depression: What should I do?

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In this blog we will discuss a few things you can do if you feel like your school gives you depression. 

We will also briefly discuss how prevalent depression is amongst students as well as what causes depression in school children. 

School gives me depression: What should I do?

Here are a few things that you can do if you feel like your school is giving you depression:

Seek Professional Treatment

Getting professional help is the first thing you need to do to help the person who is affected with depression. You can try all your personal methods to motivate the student but if it has something to do with their biology- in most cases it is- it is not going to help. 

So start with going to a physician who can help you get the help you need. If you are a student who is a part of a non supportive family- seeing your school counsellor is the first step you can take for yourself. 

Your school counsellor should be equipped to help you deal with stressors however, if you are dealing with clinical depression they will be able to identify with and refer you to treatment. 

Remember, your school counsellor is your advocate to get you the help you need and this might require them to rope your parents in even if you don’t want them to.

Work With Your School

Seeing the school counsellor will often lead to a collaborative effort between you, your teacher, and your parents. If you think you need additional support, your teacher and counsellor will help you along the way. 

Seek Out One Key Teacher

If you know that you need help to cope up with your grades, find a teacher that you trust will help you. The teacher has to be someone you are comfortable with and someone you know will help you figure things out. 

Having one teacher who is the point of contact for school communication will keep the school teachers communicating with each other instead of trying separate strategies that can overwhelm you. 

Ask for Modifications

If You have fallen far behind, catching up may be downright impossible. If you or your child believe that, a private time to talk with the concerned teacher is the right way to go about it. 

Be sure to include all parties  in this conversation. Understand that you have a say as a student to be able to do better- be your own advocate. Let them know what is going on with you and collaborate to come up with a solution for you.

Organisation and Daily Routines

Fluctuating energy levels and mood can make studying difficult. Take effort to notice when you are beginning to feel overwhelmed so that you can take breaks and cope with relaxation methods when needed. 

Rather than working continuously for one full hour on homework, perhaps fifteen to twenty minutes right after arriving home from school, followed by a long break, and then working on homework again after dinner can be another strategy.

Encourage Social Interaction

If you are depressed you might be withdrawing from your friends and classmates due to whatever negative perspectives you might have about yourself and the world around you. 

Even if you do not want to, understand that healthy and positive relationships are very important for your mental health so take the effort of talking to someone you trust and opening up about your struggles. 

If you don’t want to do that, spend a fun day in or out and do some things you enjoy with them. The intent here is to interact and scialie with other people. 

Another way you can deal with bad grades is through peer study- taking time to study with other people and learn from and with them is a good strategy to help yourself do better.

Consider taking time off 

If you have been noticing that you are experiencing symptoms of depression that are affecting your well-being, and that school is aggravating your symptoms- it is advisable that you speak to a professional mental health service provider.

This includes talking to your school counsellor, your parents if you are a minor, and/or a doctor to consider taking time off school to treat depression. 

How prevalent is depression amongst school children?

Depression among school students is quite common. Due to having depressive symptoms at such an early age, they are much more likely to develop depression during college and other higher education levels. 

A study was conducted in 2020 aimed to estimate the prevalence of depression among urban school going adolescents.

The researchers concluded that the overall prevalence rate of clinical depression was 8.4%, out of which only a small fraction would have received the help they needed. 

According to the CDC, approximately 300 million people worldwide and in that population the CDC estimates that 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression. 

The impact depression has on a teenager is extensive- it can impact their ability to socialise, maintain relationships. It can affect their physical health, sleep, and diet. Depression is also known to impact a person cognitively- affecting their ability to focus and concentrate which can make it difficult for a student to study and complete assignments. 

Another challenge of depression is the deep sense of worthlessness due to low self-esteem. A student who is also struggling with peer pressure and competition can also struggle with feeling like they are not good enough.

The extreme pressures of change in their lives and the constant need to do better can make them feel hopeless about their situation, especially when they feel like they lack positive support. 

Students who are depressed are also at high risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts which make them highly at risk. There is also a risk of dangers such as substance use, non-suicidal self injury, pregnancy, and bullying- all of which teens usually lack healthy coping skills which can add to their risks of depression and anxiety. 

What causes depression in school going children?

The causes of depression in school students are:

High stress

The syllabus in schools’ overtime is becoming more and more taxing on a student. The standards and requirements of the schools become more difficult to keep up with.’

Being in a state of continuous stress with these symptoms can lead to deteriorating health, continued low moods, decrease in productivity which can impact your occupational life and also cause strain in your relationships. 

These negative impacts can lead to feelings of hopelessness, dread, doom, and also feelings of worthlessness and the sense that one is a failure in their ability to cope with life all of which can be internalised, leading to developing depression and anxiety. 

Trauma

Many times, depression in school students is caused due to childhood trauma. This childhood trauma causes them extreme anxiety, gives them stress and sometimes maybe even trust issues which make them unable to make connections with people and this loneliness leads to depression. It also leads to negative or pessimistic thoughts and views of life.

Bullying

Bullying is very prevalent in schools; it is directly related to adolescent depression in school. Research has stated that bullying and depression are often connected. It is not only the bullied who are at the risk of developing depression, but also the bully themselves who run a risk of developing depression in the long run.

Social media

Social media is one of the prime sources of anxiety and depression. Since interaction is taking place more on the social platforms than in person communication, the students tend to compare themselves with others which causes their self-confidence to fall. They often compare their lives to the people that they follow on social media and this leads to depression

How does depression impact school going children?

Some of the major impacts that depression has on the well-being of children and their performance include:

Changes in the way they are able to deal with and cope with their emotions as well as their ability to express their emotions. 

Emotional changes occur where the person faces feelings of sadness, frustration or anger, they often feel hopeless or empty.

They might also begin to lack of interest in activities and studies and have low self-esteem and confidence, sometimes they may have frequent thoughts of dying or have suicidal intentions

Students also engage in negative behaviours as well as experience behavioural changes that occur include loss of energy, trouble sleeping, poor eating habits or changes in appetite, use of alcohol or drugs, social isolation and may complain of physical symptoms such as body aches and headaches.

Depression also has effects on learning, where depression affects their motivation, concentration, decision making abilities, memory, organisation and time management skills and focus on studies. 

If the child already has some learning difficulties, they may be affected due to depression. If the student does not know how to cope with this it will lead to them becoming very frustrated, editable and angry with themselves. 

As depression affects the learning abilities of the student it also affects their school performance. Research states that students who suffer from depression are less likely to graduate in comparison to others. 

Depression can lead to a significant drop in the students’ performance. Inconsistent academic performance of the student is the biggest sign of depression and should not be brushed aside.

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed a few things you can do if you feel like your school gives you depression. 

We have also briefly discussed how prevalent depression is amongst students as well as what causes depression in school children. 

References

‘Prevalence of childhood depression in school going adolescents in an urban Indian school’

Raja, D., Singh, H., Chail, A., & Dangi, A. (2020, November 7). Industrial Psychiatry.org. Industry Psychiatry Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://industrialpsychiatry.org/article.asp?issn=0972-6748;year=2020;volume=29;issue=1;spage=29;epage=32;aulast=Shoib;type=5

‘Adolescent Depression in Schools’. Newport Academy. Retrieved on 29th April 2022.

https://www.newportacademy.com/resources/mental-health/adolescent-depression-in-schools/

Jula Utzschneider . ‘Excessive homework negatively impacts mental health, causes unnecessary stress’.  ARHS Harbinger. Retrieved on 29th April 2022. https://arhsharbinger.com/27706/opinion/excessive-homework-negatively-impacts-mental-health-causes-unnecessary-stress/

‘Teen Depression and School Performance’. Paradigm treatment. Retrieved on 29th April 2022.

Ben Lesser. ‘The Effects of Depression on Learning’ Dual Diagnosis. Retrieved on 29th April 2022. https://dualdiagnosis.org/how-depression-affects-learning/

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