school blues: Depression levels rising among city teenagers, say counsellors

If the psychological tests conducted by city-based school counsellors are anything to by, the rate of depression has gone up among students of Classes V to XII in the last few years. The counsellors say a lack of emotional security and particularly the lack of adequate attention from parents, has begun to frustrate children.

City schools, nowadays, conduct regular sessions, where counsellors personally meet parents and let them know about their child's strong points. The school counsellors also state that in most cases it is the parents, who require counselling, more than the children.

"To see your mother cooking food after you get back home from school, is a rare sight now. A child might have been bullied in the school bus, or might have had a bad day at school, but there is no one to listen to him," says Megha Sharma, counsellor at St Stephen's School in Sector 45.

"There are many things that children do and it goes unnoticed in the eyes of the parents which usually makes them feel incapacitated. Parents do not spend quality time with their children, to compensate that, they provide their children with everything that they ask for. The children get so much ahead of time, that they do not have to wait for rewards and this has turned them impatient. A single denial of their wishes thereby leads them to think that they are not being loved and cared for," adds Megha.

The counsellors also noted that the level of expectation has increased from both sides (parents and children). "You know more, you want more. This is the principle being followed now," says Kanika Manaktala, a former counsellor of Vivek High School in Sector 38, Chandigarh.

She also points out that children, these days, have become vocal and do not hesitate in expressing themselves, and thus with no guidance, they tend to reflect everything they imagine.

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