HYDERABAD: Parents have an important role to play in ensuring that their children do not fall prey to life threatening trends such as Blue Whale challenge game, that has already been linked with five teenage suicides in India. While the Blue Whale game as such does not exist openly, there are theories that sadistic people lurking on internet search for teens showing suicidal tendencies or searching for the game. Once they get in touch with such teens, they administer the game to them by sending out a set of challenges, ending with the challenge of committing suicide.
A group of researchers from Kharkiv National Medical University, Ukraine studying the challenges assigned in Blue Whale game cited a lack of parental love, unshared love, socially disadvantaged families, bad relations with friends and families, loneliness as important factors behind why teenagers desired to take up the challenge. The study says that teenagers are drawn to ‘games’ such as Blue Whale challenge mostly because of loneliness and bad relations between closest friends, family and relatives.
According to the study: “A teenager with unstable psychic, suffering from impossibility to live his emotions in reality, seeks more simple ways of solving problems, which often leads to suicide. Therefore, any person could use teenage problems for his own purpose in view of their imperfect and unformed personalities.”
Dr Jayanti Sundar Rajan, Consultant Psychologist from Hyderabad says that parents can play an important role in stopping teenagers from seeking out dangerous steps like taking up the Blue Whale challenge.
Dr Rajan says, “Not denying children of their feelings, being non-judgemental and showing acceptance is very important. When a child approaches or speaks of some issue, parents should have a good two-way communication with them rather than dismissing their feelings or being judgemental towards the child.”
She further explained, “If the parents dismiss what the child is trying to convey, pass judgements or keep comparing the child with someone else, the child will try to find acceptance in its peer group or from even strangers, like in the case of children taking up the Blue Whale challenge or searching for it on internet.”
Symptoms to look for
Parents can look for symptoms of depression like sadness, hopelessness, anger, hostility, tearfulness, frequent crying, withdrawal from friends and family, loss of interest in activities, sudden drop in school performance, regular complaints of headache, changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
Teenage suicide big problem in India
Teenage suicide is a serious problem in India. As per the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India-2015 report by National Crime Records Bureau, 7,940 persons aged between 14 and below 18 years and 1,468 aged below 14 years committed suicide. Family problems, failure in examination, illness, love failure were some of the major reasons.
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