Kota suicides: Strenuous studies, lack of sleep take toll on students

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kota
  • Updated: Dec 28, 2015 14:03 IST
More than 1,00,000 teenagers head to coaching institutes in Kota every year with the dream of cracking IIT or medical exams. (Ah Zaidi/HT)

Dr ML Aggarwal, a psychiatric expert and director of the Aggarwal NeuroPsychiatry Centre in Jawahar Nagar in Kota, says stress and depression are the root causes behind the rising cases of student suicides in the city.

He explained that teenaged students leaving their homes and families behind are forced to spend their time around a small number of friends, and they often get homesick and develop a sense of loneliness. Lack of sleep and strenuous study hours also take a toll and add to the problem.

The growing competition doesn’t make things any easier. As a veteran psychotherapist in the field explained, feelings of inadequacy or incompetence can often make matters worse.

Dr Surbhi Goyal, psychotherapist and author of ‘Hostel Life’ book, said she has served as a medical officer with a premier coaching institute for 10 years and would see at least two to three aspirants a day with symptoms of depression.

“Study stress is the main cause,” she said. “They are doing well in their studies in their hometowns, but once they arrive in Kota, they are surrounded by more talented students … developing inferiority (complex) after failing to match up to them … parental pressure adds to them developing suicidal tendencies.”

She said, “Parents, family and teachers can play a crucial role in identifying depressed students and help them to recover. Such students show depression-like symptoms such as keeping aloof, bunking classes, and turning quiet.” Dr Goyal also suggested that students spare some time for sports and leisure activity during their stay in Kota.

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