Researchers Believe That Due to Covid Closures Teenagers are Suffering More Than Ever from Mood Disorders Such as Depression, Schizophrenia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) And Even, In Some Cases, Become Suicidal.
One of my previous batch students recently approached me and shared that he wanted to end his life as he does not see any worth. Upon asking, he said his parents always fight with each other, even on a simple matter which can be resolve through dialogue. When he intervenes, his father accused him of being underage to understand such home matters and sometimes, he even takes out his rage by beating him along with his mother. Due to such circumstances, his academic performance is close to nothing, and he might even fail his finals as well. He approaches me just to inform me that there is no point to continue living this life. Because according to him, his parents had seen him as a problem solver or a responsible adult, which he thinks he is not. After hearing all his concerns, I consult him for at least an hour and let him decide whether these issues are resolvable or simply it’s a dead end. Luckily, he starts accepting things and I forward him to certain institutions that are professional in dealing with such situations. After a day and a half, it becomes clear that his father’s revolting behaviour was due to their financial constraints as he recently lost his job.
All in all, the situation on both sides is now under control. The questions that puzzled me during and after this incident were why my student concludes that it’s the dead end and that his life is suddenly worthless to him? What makes him reach that conclusion without considering any available options? Whether it was his father’s abusive behaviour or whether he considered himself not worthy as his parents thought about him? What if he was unable to reach me or whether I missed his call on that day?
Also Read | Teen Depression | Are You Feeling Suicidal?
Emotionally Super Strong People
There are people everywhere, and they are the ones who don’t complain and who caretake others, even when others are disagreeable, unthankful, and abusive. These people believe that they are invulnerable, and this mindset holds their emotions in them. They act as if they never need rest or emotional support. They rarely ask for help or say “no” to others who demand their time and energy. Christine B. L. Adams M.D., a child psychiatrist, has conducted a research where she studied that ‘By the age of three, adolescent’s parents emotionally condition and respond to them that creates a very pronounced ability to assume an invincible role in life’. She lists down certain conditions as:
- Parents impose extraordinarily high standards for behaviour
- Strive for perfection in school, sports, and social activities
- Focus on ability to perform for others
- Expresses few needs and is punished or admonished when they do
- Expresses few emotions.
The Drawbacks of Invincible Mindset
Christine highlights that when a person is emotionally conditioned to believe that they are omnipotent and not helpless sometimes, they become prone to the following emotional problems:
- Not resting or enjoying leisure time
- Daily exhaustion
- Overwhelmed with doing too much and trying to please too many people
- Upon failing to resolve any issue makes them miserable, and they even found themselves in a dead-end position
- Suicidal feelings and attempts with not pleasing others
- Rarely speaking up for yourself Rarely asking others for help
Being invincible means dealing yourself down to being in a weaker role. This mindset will lead you toward emotional health. Say no when others ask too much of you. Ask others for help when needed, share your thoughts and emotion more often. Try to find out a hobby to distract suicidal or similar thoughts.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Another condition where a person can have suicidal or suicidal like thoughts are borderline personality disorder. According to NAMI, “Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition characterized by difficulties regulating emotion. This means that people who experience BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods. It is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event. This difficulty can lead to impulsivity, poor self-image, stormy relationships and intense emotional responses to stressors. Struggling with self-regulation can also result in dangerous behaviours such as self-harm (e.g., suicide)”.
The causes of BPD are not fully understood, but scientists agree that it is the result of a combination of factors, including:
Genetics. While no specific gene or gene profile has been shown to cause BPD directly, research suggests that people who have a close family member with BPD may be at a higher risk of developing the disorder.
Environmental factors. People who experience traumatic life events such as physical or sexual abuse during childhood, chaotic home environment or neglect and separation from parents are at increased risk of developing BPD.
The treatment options include psychotherapy, medications, and group, peer, and family support.
Also Read | The Silent Killer: Why Is Depression Silently Taking Away Our Teens and Youth?
According to Gallup and Gillani research conducted in 2020, only 7% of Pakistanis report either knowing someone who attempted suicide or someone who committed suicide. It is because either the victim doesn’t know about the channel to safety or close ones to that person doesn’t know how to approach that person even, they are aware of their situation. Although there can be other remedies available for the suicidal symptoms discussed above, the essential therapy is to make one self-aware about such suicidal thoughts and how to handle the victim of such thoughts.
If you or your adolescents struggle with depression and have suicidal thoughts, call the national suicide hotline at 042-35761999 or dial 15 from a landline.
For immediate online counselling services in Pakistan, visit UMANG or call +92 317 4288665.
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