It’s not the end of the world, but that’s exactly what it feels like for some who failed matric

Look out for signs of depression. Picture: Freepik

Look out for signs of depression. Picture: Freepik

Published Jan 21, 2024


The 2023 matriculants have received their end-of-year results, and while the majority of students passed, there are those who didn’t make it.

Of course, those who passed are celebrating right now, but what about those who failed?

Everybody deals with failure differently.

While some kids are able to understand that they have another chance to succeed, for others it can be devastating to the point where they might want to harm hemselves.

It’s not uncommon any longer that we find matric pupils ending their lives after failing due to the immense pressure they or their parents place on them.

Failing simply wasn’t an option and now they can no longer face the world or deal with the consequences.

When a young person ends their life, their loved ones often feel guilty because they didn’t see it coming and didn’t help the person.

But what most people don’t understand is that a person who is suicidal hides it very well.

However, in some cases, there are subtle tell-tale signs that your child is in psychological distress.

Children who fail matric find it hard to deal with the consequences. Picture: Freepik

Here are signs of suicidal behaviour that might be easy to miss but that one should be aware of.

Extreme mood swings

While it’s normal for youngsters to go through different moods, it’s not normal to experience extreme mood swings in short periods.

Look out for signs of extreme sadness and then sudden bursts of happiness.

Withdrawing from activities and relationships

Be on the lookout for a change in social interaction.

Suicidal individuals often tend to isolate themselves from their loved ones and the activities they would ordinarily enjoy.

Look out for self-harm behaviours

Self-harm, such as cutting, burning, or excessive substance abuse, is often linked to suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Those who self-harm will try to hide it so it might be easy to miss the signs.

However, when you see marks, scars, or sudden changes in an individual's appearance, this could be indications of self-harm.

Don’t ignore them. Ask your child about it and talk about why they are doing it.

Expressing feelings of worthlessness

Repeated saying things like “I'm a failure” or “I'm a burden to everyone” can suggest someone is experiencing feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

These types of negative thoughts may push someone towards contemplating suicide.

Expressing suicidal feelings

When someone tells you things like “I want to die” or “I can't go on anymore”, do not ignore it. These should taken very seriously.

Do not try to downplay what they are expressing by saying that they are being dramatic, or to get over it.

Contact SADAG if you or a loved one is struggling.

IOL Lifestyle