I WROTE in my column last week about the relationship of suicide and failing grade especially to graduating students. The emotion runs really high at this point and since many adolescent learners lack the required maturity in handling such kinds of emotions despite being discussed in the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) and personality development subjects, they do something unreasonable. This is significantly true especially students with depressive tendencies and those medically diagnosed with depression.
In the same article, I mentioned the case of a senior high school student who attempted to jump from the school building after learning that she could not participate on the graduation ceremony though she only needs to attend and pass the summer class for one back subject to graduate.
I made my point that the teacher who failed the student has not done anything wrong for the sake of quality education yet I am happy that the good assistant principal of the school informed me through the guidance office that the student’s case is far from the ordinary. It was not the first time she attempted to take her life. There had been several times she had her breakdowns because of her condition. I was politely informed that the student has a psychotic depression. I appreciate sir assistant principal for the genuine concern.
My knowledge on depression particularly on severe cases is limited on my encounter with students referred to the Open High School Program (OHSP) where I mostly teach and my readings so I googled it once I was informed of the student’s condition.
The online article says that psychotic depression is a subtype of major depression that occurs when a severe depressive illness includes some form of psychosis. The psychosis could be hallucinations (such as hearing a voice telling you that you are no good or worthless), delusions (such as, intense feelings of worthlessness, failure, or having committed a sin) or some other break with reality. Psychotic depression affects roughly one out of every four people admitted to the hospital for depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a person who is psychotic is out of touch with reality. People with psychosis may hear “voices.” Or they may have strange and illogical ideas. For example, they may think that others can hear their thoughts or are trying to harm them. Or they might think they are possessed by the devil or are wanted by the police for having committed a crime that they really did not commit.
Her failure to participate in the graduation ceremony could have deepened her intense feeling of worthlessness or failure. Her coping mechanism seen at that time says the guidance counselor was to end her life. I commend the school especially the concerned offices who helped the student understand the process of graduation despite her very delicate condition. She faces a very difficult challenge and she deserves love and compassion and not condemnation for what she did.
I think it is also timely to mention that some of the students being referred to the OHSP due to depression come from the science and engineering program of the school (STE). It might have something to do with the pressure they feel yet without a conducted study to support my presumptions, I cannot just give opinions that might add to the burden they currently feel.
Emotion is a very strong force that needs to be checked. If we cannot control it, it can destroy us. Teachers suffer from various health problems because of uncontrolled emotions. It can lead to something severe like depression. The topic on emotion and handling them properly is part of the Grade Module of the EsP subject. It says that both positive and negative emotions should be managed. It does not mean that when we have positive emotions we let ourselves be carried by it.
People can harm with too much joy. People kill because of too much love and passion. Anger destroys and fear keep us from taking risks that might be beneficial to us in the end. If we feel too excited or happy, we take a pause and breathe. This exercise should be applied more when experiencing negative emotions.
Emotion gives color to our lives but it can also cause our early demise. Parents and teachers should be wary of the symptoms of unchecked emotions before they turn to something fatal. Conversations can help children express their emotions but it challenging today when social media is the trend. Parents, teachers, and administrators face a bigger challenge in dealing with depression. We can help them by deepening our awareness of the condition and by spreading love to those who suffer from it.