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Should psychology be a compulsory subject?

In this article, we will try to understand what psyeducation is and examine whether this topic should be a part of the core syllabus in school. But first, I would like to ask you if you understand what psyeducation is. I can assume that most people reading this article have completed their high school or are currently pursuing it. Did you ever have a chapter about subjects related to psychology in your science syllabus?


 


I don’t remember how I came across this word, but it has since cemented its presence in my mind. When I typed the word “psyeducation” in the word document, it underlined the word in red, meaning the word doesn’t exist.


I was baffled too. I’m a psychology student and I hardly knew anything about this. I never knew that this topic would intrigue me so much that I would decide to sit and write an article about it. To find out more, I researched this subject on Google. I was surprised to find the results. The search resulted in articles that were focused on educational psychology.


 


Psyeducation is not the same as educational psychology.


Even Educational psychology is not a common word, so I’m taking this opportunity to define that word too.


Educational psychology involves the study of how people learn, including teaching methods, instructional processes, and individual differences in learning. The goal is to understand how people learn and retain new information.


Psyeducation on the other hand is the education of psychology. It involves spreading knowledge and information about the subject of psychology. Back in the ’90s, and until recently, psychology was a taboo topic. We often associate this word with serious mental illnesses not in an educational manner but in a humorous aspect on those suffering from it. But today, psychology has become an important and interesting topic.


 


So the question that arises is, why isn’t this subject taught in school?


 


In school, we have studied human anatomy and the different diseases that can plague us. If learning about our bodily functions is important, then shouldn’t psychology also be included? After all, it is the study of the brain, the most important organ. To explain the importance of psyeducation, let me share a real life example, from a person who has been kind to speak up.


“During my high school years, I was suffering from depression and anxiety which crippled me in every possible manner. I was unable to concentrate on my studies, seldom moving around in the house and rarely out of it. I was confined to one room where I closed the shades and sat as if there is no tomorrow. Neither I nor my parents understood what was happening.


 


After 2 years, I took psychology as an optional subject. By studying it for a year, I was able to recognize my behavior stemmed from depression and anxiety. If I could have known this back when I was suffering, it would have eased my pain. I would have known how to treat it. Learning this subject helped me recognize the problem and solve it. I was able to analyze my behavior and help myself get better. Apart from that, I also recognized behavior patterns in children and adults around me and warned them to visit a psychologist as they were showing symptoms. Though I didn’t choose psychology as a career, learning it has made it possible for me to lead a happy life as well as help my friends and family”.


 


From this story, we can gather that the person benefited by learning psychology. Imagine if the person had learned this subject in their school years, they could have avoided 2 years of unknown suffering. If you are still not convinced whether to add psychology as a subject or not, I would like to take you back to your school or college days. I can comfortably say that at one point, all students feel burdened and need help. Experiencing anxiety and depression during teenage is unfortunately as common as liking cottage cheese in India. It is a bridge a lot of us sadly walk on before we reach our 20s or 30s.


 


If you have an increased white blood cell count, you know to go to the doctor because that is abnormal. One knows that because it was taught in school that increased white blood cell count can be troublesome. The same way, if we teach kids psychology, they will be equipped to deal with mental health problems. Apart from the fact that psychology is important for self-help, it also plays an important role in building and making relations.


 


Let us assume that a friend of yours in class has OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). He hasn’t been diagnosed yet and you’re not well versed with psychology. You and a group of people bully this person every day for their actions. Is it safe to assume that this might push them to a darker place, causing more problems? Yes.


Now imagine, you have learned psychology for 2 years and you meet this person. You are now able to identify the problem and are more likely to not bully that person because you understand that he might have an issue. Education in any subject can change the world for the better. However it is not good to self-diagnose, seeking professional help in this matter would be best.


 


I’m a student and I can speak for all my fellow students when I say that we take immense stress about our studies and life. We are constantly writing exams, taking up internships, and trying to cope. If there was any way that there could be a subject in school or college to help me cope with this stress, then I would happily attend it.


 


To know where teachers stand on this, I asked 5 lecturers their opinion. All 5 of them have deemed psychology as an important subject and have shared their stories of dealing with depression and anxiety and how if their classmates were aware of this topic, they could have avoided all the bullying.


 


This brings us to the end of this topic. To summarize:


 


 We must include psychology as a compulsory subject for teenagers so that they can:



  • Identify their symptoms

  • Help their friends

  • Refrain from making fun of those suffering from mental disorders or have mental health issues.

  • Learn to cope with stress

  • Build better relations with people around them

  • And finally, become well versed in an interesting subject.


 


Let me know in the comments if you would have liked to have psychology as a subject in school or college?


 


 


 


 image credits: google (thechicagoschool.edu)


 


 


 


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