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Cape Town - Matric candidates are either celebrating their results or looking at a plan B, but either way stress is involved.

Tracy Feinstein, operations manager of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, said matriculants who pass their exams experience as much stress as those who don’t meet the requirements.

She said pupils who do pass and achieve results may also experience anxiety, as moving to tertiary institutions or the job market can be quite overwhelming because its unknown territory.

Feinstein said that as the first plan does not always work, pupils should take time to make a second plan as it is also a “worthwhile exercise and life-coping skill”.

“Keep calm, parents remain supportive and don’t over-think the results. Do some exercise to keep busy.”

Feinstein said there is no evidence that suggests that suicide is a result of bad matric results.

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“Those experiencing depression and who really battle at this time with additional stress and pressure, who contemplate ending their lives, have also had other contributing issues affecting them during the year. (This) combination, when untreated, leads to suicide.”

She said parents can be supportive but should also stay real about their children’s results.

“Be aware of violent or angry outbursts, look out for extreme changes in sleeping patterns, look out for the loner who wants to withdraw completely. Don’t brush off comments like ‘I hate my life, it’s over’ or ‘I can’t do this anymore’ or ‘I’m so embarrassed and disappointed, I want to die’. These comments need to be appreciated as real and often medical intervention needs to be actioned ASAP.”

Sadag can be reached on 0800414243 or send an SMS to 31393 for free advice.

The Department of Social Development toll-free helpline for pupils can be reached on 0800428428.

Cape Argus