A cruel trap which should awaken parents to the mental health of teenagers
For the past few days, there is one thing which is a top trend. And that is, of a certain online game named ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’. It’s a simple challenge which involves a task daily for 50 days. Then what is it that makes it newsworthy? The fact that it has already claimed the lives of more than 150 teens across the world, including a 14-year-old Mumbai kid. It is a sadistic game which involves afflicting harm on self, and finishing the game by ending your own life. And this, has been started by a Russian guy, who is not many years out of the teenage himself. In fact, he is just 22. Shocking, isn’t it? As to what would be the mental state of both the creator of the game, and that of the ones who play this game to prove god knows what.
Isn’t it time that we stop attributing hormonal changes in teenage to such drastic personality trait changes in them, and start talking so that our kids and no more teens fall victim to such deadly dares? The mental state of teens is quite fragile, so isn’t it time for us to assess whether it is going in the right direction or not?
India is a country where more than 5 crore of the total population suffers from depression, and many others suffer from stress that ranges from minor to major. And if accurate reports are to be believed, then one out of every four teenagers in the country suffers from major mental health issues. Isn’t it our responsibility to know where are we going wrong with our kids? What is it that has led to this immense pressure which is ruining their mental state?
The Blue Whale Game is nothing but a rude awakening from the slumber that Indian parents have been in, a way of telling us that there is a lot more going on in the minds of our teens, than just teenage hormonal issues, and it’s high time we looked into it. Communication and unconditional support is what we should aim for and base our relationship with our children on, rather than continous acccusations and scoldings for not being up to the mark on not securing good enough score in subjects. These worthless numbers on a piece of paper may not matter in the long run, but a communication always will, remember that.
Now, let’s pause and instead of looking at victim teens, switch the side and look at the young guy, fresh from his teens, who derived pleasure from having control over others’ lives, the one who created this game. Are such kids born like this? Are they born so cruel so as to be happy when the other human plunges to his or her death? When did such apathy creep in? Ignorance is the key here too. We usually have two kinds of relationships with our children; one of over-indulgence, or one of total indifference, and both are equally dangerous for they will not let a healthy mental state prevail. We need to find a middle path of sustainance, a balanced one, wherein we can know about what is going on inside the brain cells of our kids, without being either too interfering or being too dismissive. Paying enough attention to gauge the state, is the key.
Communication is very important for the development of a healthy state of mind. Teens are fragile, and so are their thought, but let’s stop holding it against them, because we too have gone through the same. Let’s start talking to our kids and not let another fall victim to traps like The Blue Whal Game. Let’s bring our teenagers home, let’s bring our kids home. They have gone far away from us, not in body but in mental state, due to the stereotypes of the age that we have built around them, which has created a barrier between them and us. Let’s break that, brick by brick, and take one step towards a better mental health, for our future generation.