Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Why the celebration of A’s is bad

The yearly examination results announcement season is here again and as usual the nation celebrates the achievements of top scorers not realizing that Malaysians' preoccupation with "scoring" in school examinations does no one any favours.

 For the high-achieving students themselves, it instills the perception that straight A’s are the be-all and end-all of school life. Co-curricular activities and simply socialising with friends -- so important in developing a child's social skills -- may thereby be neglected. Moreover, the pressure to keep on getting top marks could prove overbearing, and if the student should fare less well in a subsequent exam, there might be adverse effects on his or her emotional health sometimes resulting in depression or even suicides.

Depression and its many causes

depression-drawing-colourWe all feel “down” or “blue” at times. All of us have days when we feel “depressed”. Usually, these feelings are temporary, and we can have a great day tomorrow. Even when we have a bad day, we can still find enjoyment in things. These occasional bad days are part of life and not depression.

Sometimes though, these feelings may persist for several days or even weeks. This is common following the break-up of a relationship or other unpleasant event.  In many cases, the sadness or depressed mood may accompany problems such as loss of appetite, overeating, sleeplessness, excessive sleeping, lack of energy and drive, loss of interest and joy, etc. This is when depression becomes a medical illness.

Find out whether you are depressed

Are you depressed? To find out, complete the following questionnaire. Check off the symptoms which have occurred to you nearly every day for at least the past 2 weeks.

Some self-help tips to fight depression

If you suffer from long-term or severe depression, with constant thoughts of death or dying, including ideas about suicide, seek professional help immediately. For occasional sadness and depression, here are some ways to lift the fog:

Gratitude is good for the body, mind and soul

gratitude-drawing-colourGratitude, or thankfulness, seems to be a lost art today.  

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others,” wrote Roman philosopher Cicero. “Nothing is more honourable than a grateful heart,” Roman senator Seneca was quoted as saying.

Most religions encourage gratitude. In Buddhism for example, gratitude is said to be a hallmark of humanity.

More Articles...