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To Study Psychiatric Morbidity in Students Preparing for Civil Services Examination

Arvind Sharma, Mamta Singla and Balwant S Sidhu

Background: Present educational system is most competitive and lesser opportunities in educational institutes and services later on. High expectations of family and future insecurities among students force them to take pressure of competitive exams beyond their compromised abilities by various factors. It leads to psychiatric problems among students at very young age. Aim: To study psychiatric morbidity in students preparing for civil services examination. Material and method: two study groups of students for preliminary and mains examinations of civil services were made and later divided into repeaters and fresher students in each. Students were subjected to structured and standardized PGI-HQ 1 and SCL-80 scales to assess psychiatric morbidity. Data was collected and later subjected to analysis using chi square and p value. Results: Clinical diagnosis on ICD-10 revealed that significantly more (p<0.05) depression (F32) among preliminary students in 28% of cases than only 16% of mains student. On SCL-80 scale, significantly higher (p<0.05) number of students in preliminary group had higher symptoms on anxiety subscale (p<0.01), on interpersonal sensitivity and anger hostility and significant number (p<0.05) of preliminary students in 26.67% and 36% had symptoms, though mild as compared to 13.34% and 14.67% of students from mains group. Repeaters from preliminary group in significant number (p<0.05) had higher severity of symptoms than fresher. Conclusion: Civil services exam is one of the toughest exams to appear for which subject students to rigorous physical, psychological and financial burden putting them to high risk for various psychiatric problems. Timely intervention at various levels of stress can make them perform better and keep them healthy psychologically.