It was timely detection in the behaviour of a teenage boy by his mother, and immediate consultation with a psychologist, that saved this Dwarka teenager from certain death – at the hands of the Blue Whale Challenge, the deadly internet-based game that has claimed more than 10 lives in the country so far.
This 17-year-old boy was brought to the Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka Sector 18 with scratch marks on his face made by an instrument in his geometry box.
Dr Bhagawat Rajput, a psychologist, began talking to the boy, who was reserved at first but opened up a little later.
In fact, the boy’s mother had approached the hospital for an appointment after noticing that her child had gone silent, was staying aloof and had scratch marks on his face. Dr Rajput examined the boy, who was reluctant to speak at first, but after a little digging admitted to playing the Blue Whale game.
According to a source at the hospital, the doctor found out that the boy was an introvert and suffering from an inferiority complex. He used to be a loner and often occupied himself with playing games on the internet.
Hospital sources said that the boy admitted to accepting the first few tasks of the Blue Whale game administrator, and had even completed a few.
The Blue Whale Challenge is a psychological game which at first includes easy tasks to condition the player and gradually drives the child to the final task – committing suicide.
“Till now, I have treated cases where players have completed up to the sixth and the seventh challenges, which include self-isolation and avoiding interaction, watching horror or psychedelic movies at odd hours, leaving the room or house at odd hours, and small steps towards self-mutilation. Children participating in this game tend to share, attract and motivate others doing the same, and this comes across as a challenge that goes up to dangerous levels,” Dr Rajput said.
This game also directs the players to keep their involvement a secret, and it remains so unless the child speaks to someone, Dr Rajput said, adding that “changes in behaviour and activities were the best way to identify a suspect player. Digital supervision is must. Parents should check the browsing history of the child's computer, which gives an idea of what he or she is going through. In case parents come across suspect behavioural changes in their children, they should consult a psychiatrist at once.”
The doctor said they will try to help the child as much as possible. “We usually employ psychotherapy, counselling and medication for such cases," Dr Rajput said. "The boy has been counselled, and so have the parents. The parents should give the boy maximum support, which is a must in such cases. Some medications have been prescribed to balance the adrenalin rush and other aggravated hormones.”
Watch Dr Rana talk about steps to take if you suspect anyone is getting involved in the Blue Whale Challenge:TAGS: Blue Whale game / suicide / Dwarka / Venkateshwar Hospital / psychiatrist / inferiority complex /