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INTRODUCTION

Depression is one of the most common psychological
disorders, affecting a worldwide population, especially the younger generation
at a faster pace than concerned. Depression affects many teens and often
goes by unnoticed and untreated. It silently affects their academic
performance, family lives and robs them of their self image.

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With increasing competition and increasing expectations from
the student, they are usually misguided and tend to make decisions wrongly
which they might regret later. The most important decisions are to be made when
they are given the choice between vast streams like science, commerce and
arts/humanities. Some being firm about their future can easily make a decision,
whereas most of these students’ decisions are contaminated due to peer pressure
and burden of expectations from the parents as well as the society.

The result in most of these cases is depression, which itself
leads to stress and anxiety. These are severely harmful to their mental, social
and physical wellbeing.

Limited seats in desired fields and increasing number of
students is one of the many causes leading to obvious stress of scoring better
than their peers in exams paving its way to anxiety, due to fear of not being
able to do so. This may show a considerable low in their performance even
though they have potential to do much better.

 We undertook this
study to determine the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress amongst the
students studying in 12th grade to suggest necessity of
interventions to relief stress, anxiety and depression and to make a
comparative study of these factors in all the streams.

 

                                              

 

                                             OBJECTIVE

1.     To
achieve information about prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress in 12th
grade

2.     To
know which stream is more viable to this exposure

3.     Obtain
data  and statistics by use of DASS
questionnaire

4.     Clear
the stereotype towards science stream being more stressful than non-science
streams

 

 

                                                 

                                            METHODOLOGY

 

v STUDY AREA:

 

Approximately,
400 apparently healthy students will be requested to fill the questionnaire
handed to them. These shall be selected from certain schools providing classes
for all the streams. All the students will be provide the same suitable
environment and time for filling the questionnaire.

 

v STUDY PERIOD:

 

These
questionnaires will be handed to them during the month of  June 
provided it will be an ideal time. This month is selected keeping in
mind that it will be an intermediate period neither too long post examination
nor too close to their next examination schedule.

 

 

v STUDY POPULATION:

 

·       
Inclusion
criteria:

These
shall approximately include 200 students(100 males and 100 females) from
science stream and 200 students(100 males and 100 females) from non-science
stream(Commerce, Humanities). It will be a voluntary choice for the students to
fill the questionnaire. Apparently healthy and willing participants will be
included in this study.

 

·       
Exclusion
criteria:

Certain
questions pertaining to the age group as well as the streams chosen by the students
will be given along with the questionnaire in a separate leaflet. This will
help add relevance to this study. 
Depending on the answers to the below mentioned questions, it will be
made sure that only apparently healthy students are chosen for assessment.

1.     If
the student is undergoing any psychotherapy

2.     If
the student is taking any kind of drug for anxiety

3.     If
the student has done any kind of drug abuse or alcohol consumption in the past

4.     If
he is undergoing treatment for any chronic diseases

5.     Students
who are comfortable with the languages- English and Hindi, will only be chosen

 

 

 

v STUDY MATERIAL:

 

·       
Depression,
Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS):

The DASS is a 42-item questionnaire which includes
three self-report scales designed to measure the negative emotional states of
depression, anxiety and stress. Each of the three scales contains 14 items,
divided into subscales of 2-5 items with similar content. The depression scale
assesses dysphoria, hopelessness, devaluation of life, selfdeprecation, lack of
interest/involvement, anhedonia, and inertia. The Anxiety scale assesses
autonomic arousal, skeletal muscle effects, situational anxiety, and subjective
experience of anxious affect. The Stress scale (items) is sensitive to levels
of chronic non-specific arousal. It assesses difficulty relaxing, nervous
arousal, and being easily upset/agitated, irritable/over-reactive and
impatient. Respondents will be asked to use 4-point severity/frequency scales
to rate the extent to which they might have experienced in near past.1

 

·       
Demographic
questions and history:

These will include questions personal to an
individual student. These may help determine the cause behind the result of his
mental health.

1.     Stream
chosen

2.     Satisfaction
with the choice of stream

3.     Voluntary
decision/forced

4.     Parents’
education

5.     Profession
of parents

6.     Socioeconomic
status and monthly income

7.     Only
child/sibling

8.     Details
about the age and education of the sibling

9.     Nuclear
family/joint family

 

 

 

v STUDY METHOD:

The students will be given the questionnaire in
their respective schools. All the students will be given 20 minutes to fill the
questionnaire. The data from the forms will be calculated and entered manually.
The information obtained from this data will finally give a conclusive
statistics.

The questionnaire
will be printed in the National language (Hindi)4 as well as
English language.3

Two leaflets will be provided:

1.     DASS-42
questionnaire(in English and Hindi) attachment

2.     Sheet
including questions regarding demographic questions,

history and questions for selection
criteriaattachment

 

·       
Interpretation
of incorrectly completed DASS questionnaires:

 

1. If one question is left unattended, it will be
scored 0. But the assessment will be continued based on scoring of the other
questions.

2. If the submitted form is left with more than one unattended
questions, the questionnaire will not be scored.

3. In case of selection of multiple choices by the
subject for a particular question, the higher grade will be selected.

 

 

v DATA ENTRY AND ANALYSIS:

 

The
data collected will be entered in MS excel and a master chart will be prepared
with final calculations.

 

·       
Score
interpretation for DAS scale:2

 

 

Depression(D)

Anxiety(A)

Stress(S)

Normal

0-9

0-7

0-14

Mild

10-13

8-9

15-18

Moderate

14-20

10-14

19-25

Severe

21-27

15-19

26-33

Extremely
severe

28+

20+

34+

recommendation

Hydroxytryptophan complex

Herbal support for Hyper HPA

Ginkgo/Bacopa complex

 

 

v Characteristics of
high scorers on each DAS scale:3

Depression scale  

·        
self-disparaging

·        
dispirited, gloomy, blue

·        
convinced that life has no meaning or value

·        
pessimistic about the future

·        
unable to experience enjoyment or satisfaction

·        
unable to become interested or involved

·        
slow, lacking in initiative

Anxiety scale

·        
apprehensive, panicky

·        
trembly, shaky

·        
aware of dryness of the mouth, breathing difficulties, pounding of the
heart, sweatiness of the palms

·        
worried about performance and possible loss of control

Stress scale

·        
over-aroused, tense

·        
unable to relax

·        
touchy, easily upset

·        
irritable

·        
easily startled

·        
nervy, jumpy, fidgety

·        
intolerant of interruption or delay

 

v ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS:

Permission from institutional ethics committee will
be taken before starting the study. Permission will be taken from the schools
for the study to be undertaken by their students.

The students will be asked to answer the
questionnaire voluntarily. Disclosure of their name will be their choice.

The DASS questionnaire is public domain, and so
permission is not needed to use it. The DASS questionnaires and scoring key
maybe downloaded from the DASS website and copied without restriction.

The data obtained from the study will be kept
confidential and will be restricted to use for this research only.  

 

                                                
 IMPLICATION

The essential function of the DASS
questionnaire is to assess the severity of the core symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. 

We get a comparative assessment for students in both
streams and also that which stream provides a more subtle lifestyle and which
stream can be affective to the mental health of students. The study will give
us an idea whether there is requirement for early intervention in the form of lifestyle
modification and use of relaxation techniques to curtail the extent of
depression, anxiety and stress in 12th grade student.

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