The psychiatrist’s point of view
Academic failure, although hard to take when it happens, is often just a glitch in a student’s curriculum.
Be that as it may, failure frequently causes acute emotional reactions ranging from a feeling of revolt or sadness to anxiety attacks, sometimes with sleep or eating disorders. These problems are usually short-lived and sort themselves out.
If the symptoms persist beyond a few weeks or become unmanageable, it may be useful to resort to specialist support. Psychotherapy sessions may help to understand how failure fits into the student’s existential progress and what emotions it may have unleashed. Moreover, consulting a phychotherapist sometimes uncovers psychological or phsychiatric problems, such as depression, of which the student was hitherto unaware and which may have contributed to failure.
Student Affairs – EPFL