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Feeling Pressured While Others Don’t? You May Have Duck Syndrome


In spite of the fact that everyone goes through tough times, some may choose to hide their own struggles from the eyes of others. It can be challenging to share your struggles with others.

Some people put an outward appearance of having everything together but in reality, they’re a train wreck. And, this is what we called as ”Duck syndrome”.


Picture: Freepik

For your information, duck syndrome is when you try to hide the fact that you’re having a hard time, but you’re pretending like you have a happy life. Duck syndrome is when you don’t let other people know how you’re really doing.

The term “duck syndrome” is frequently used to describe college students who give the impression of effortlessly ‘floating’ while desperately attempting to keep up with life’s expectations. Interestingly, it’s not an official mental illness, but it’s a term for a phenomenon that has mostly been seen in college students.

Signs and symptoms of “duck syndrome”

Duck syndrome symptoms include:

  • Constantly comparing your own abilities with others
  • Possessing the unshakeable conviction that you’re inferior to other people
  • Feeling that you’re not able to keep up with your life’s challenges
  • You fear criticism
  • You believe that other people are testing you in order to observe how you react
  • Feeling nervous
  • Feeling lonely
  • Behavioral changes: changes in appetite, procrastination, increased use of substances such as alcohol or drugs, or nervous behaviors like fidgeting or nail-biting.

Risk factors for “duck syndrome”

Here are some indicators that show why some college students have emotional problems:

  1. When students are beginning to live away from their families for the first time, and encountering dramatically higher academic, extracurricular, and social expectations. This transition of life can be challenging.
  2. Students may put too much pressure on themselves to succeed academically or be flawless because of internal and external factors.
  3. The influence of social media could be a factor. If students regularly encounter contents that give them the impression that everyone else’s lives are problem-free and easy.
  4. Feelings of tension or exhaustion might be worsened in a highly competitive setting.
  5. Students who are dependent may find it hard to learn how to deal with more demands or disappointments on their own.

How to overcome “duck syndrome”

The very first step to overcome duck syndrome is self-love. One form of self-love that you can do is not to force and put a lot of pressure on yourself. In addition, take some time to reduce stress and fatigue.

Then, if you feel like the problem you’re facing is too heavy, do ask for help and advice from family or friends. With other people helping to find solutions, your burden will be lighter.

Moreover, you also need to change your mindset t be more positive. Perceiving other people’s lives to be more perfect can lead to feelings of anxiety and feeling left behind. In fact, everyone must have experienced a lot of pressure to achieve their respective dreams.

You can also seek professional help if your condition causes anxiety or even depression. This is because this condition will be difficult to handle alone. With the help of professionals such as psychologists, you can get directions to deal with your problems.

Sources: Better Help, Calm Sage, Medicine Net, Psych Central

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