Maybe it is just Bangladesh for what the strange term ‘societal pressure’ exists. This term normally means ‘when someone feels a burden of expectation that society puts on him/her and they put it prior to their dreams.’ That’s when they feel a dilemma whether which option they should choose, social or family expectation or personal dream? This source of pressure is not a traditional one that someone feels when he/she is in a certain condition. Majority victims of this kind of depression are educated and came from particularly rural Bangladesh where strong social norms and traditions are still playing a vital role on peoples’ lives. Psychologically, it is very common that society or family tries to fulfill their unfulfilled dreams. It is one of many sources how societal pressure becomes a huge influence on someone’s life direction.
There are some structural factors behind those social pressures. Firstly, From Bangladesh perspective, everyone seeks to be powerhouse because they directly or indirectly suffer from irrelevant power exercise. From registration of land to the villages dispute, on every aspect they feel for taking powers to be able to deal with these unexpected and inevitable issues. On this point, they raise their children with a view to be able to properly deal with those. From this sense, it is structural because, a system has been made through generations which promoted political and ideological preference, has built a system of corruption and fake fame and status by becoming civil service holders. Good governance in Bangladesh is hard to find which propels people to secure their own means to gain their desired public services. As a consequence, a craze has been grown among fresh graduates of the country to become a government service holder regardless their educational backgrounds.
This type of craze is probably only existing in the subcontinent as a serious by product of gaining so called social status. And it is an epidemic among educated youth whom are searching job. Fragile family earnings, aging parents, and social pressure; all those come as a battalion of sorrows. A student who lives in a city during or after his/her study goes through immense psychological pressure. Most of them normally carry their days on tuition. Once the tuition is off, they feel as if an umbrella of relief has gone away from them.
Those are some examples of how a student endures the way of success. But some people always overlook those psychological pressures as a way of success saying that ‘those are very normal in student life, you have to go through such pressure to achieve your desire position’. It is no doubt that pressure is part and parcel of one’s life, but everyone should understand that continual pressure can negatively affect our mental health. And Students of Bangladesh are going such process where some are unknowingly taking those pressures which are killing them inside.
A bunch of people with whom I have a personal contact and friendship have shared their personal experiences of going through depression. And it has been further aggravated by the societal pressure or family expectations. They are giving preference to someone else’s dream over theirs. Moreover, many of them shared that they have stopped going to their localities to avoid unnecessary and often subconsciously insulting questions by their neighbors, and relatives. The questions often are related with such as ‘what are you doing now? why is your salary so low? why did not you become a magistrate? or a BCS cadre?‘
It is an open secret that students suffer from depression mainly due to the fake allure of social status, social expectation rather than fragile family support. No doubt that there have been some other sources of depression such as session pause (Session Jot), influence of social media and the lack of social bondage. Overall, students are confronting many battle at a time.
Social awareness should be made on this serious but neglected issues by NGOs and Government agencies through electronic and print media. If we can address this serious issue as soon as possible, we will all be benefited by it and save ourselves from the demon.
Tufayel Ahmed is a post graduate from Chittagong University and founder president of Umbrella foundation, a non profit social organization.