Despite several awareness campaigns and efforts via social media, sadly Blue Whale Challenge has entered Pakistan through across the border. The challenge is a deadly virus which started from Russia making its way to the UK, India and now Pakistan.
According to a source, reports from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) suggest that people are playing the notorious suicide game, ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, and falling into its dangerous trap.
The case of a 16-yr old girl was also reported in Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) which is being associated with the Blue Whale Challenge. It is being said that she almost made it to the last challenge.
Dr Azaz Jamal of KTH’s psychiatric ward who treated the girl told a source that she was tech-savvy and a regular computer user. “She completed the tasks and at the end she was asked to kill herself or she would be killed,” Dr Jamal said. He added that she sought treatment at the right time and was now becoming stable.
Peshawar’s psychiatrist, Dr Imran Khan has stated two young boys from Mardan, around the age of 19-21 have approached him for treatment. The reason behind their visit was diagnosed with depression while trying to complete the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’.
Dr Jamal said whoever was running the game was putting people’s lives in danger and urged the public to stay away from it and not click any suspicious links they received.
Dr Khan shared that the boys were optimistic to play the challenge and defy that it does not lead the youth to commit suicide, it’s nothing but a light humor taken as a mere dare amongst the youngsters.
However, soon the boys started to realize that as the game went on, the bizarre challenges started to mess with their heads, which eventually made them realize they need help.
“They realised that the game will harm them, so they decided to see a doctor,” -Dr Khan.
“People start suffering from depression because game moderators warn the players that if they don’t complete the assigned tasks, their families would be harmed,” Dr Khan said.
According to Dr Khan, the youngsters who have accepted to go ahead with this so-called challenge despite knowing that the last task (50th task) asks the user to suicide are faced with mental health illness. Even though it may not seem that way to the individual at first, the tasks have been aligned in such a manner that along time as each task progresses which eventually trigger the individual’s illness.
According to him, suspicious links are shared in WhatsApp groups or other private social media groups are also behind the crime of involving children to play this challenge, encouraging the trend. “Whoever clicks on the link, the game gets downloaded on their device and if they log in, their phone data gets hacked by the game administrator,” he said.
Blue Whale Challenge Precautions
Parents, family members, and peers need to be on a lookout. If the individual is depressed, acting differently, talks about being lonely, sad or even about suicide, mentions that they are playing the game, and other signs are vital to identity if they are a victim.
It is very important to understand that THIS IS NOT A JOKE! It is a matter of life and death! Our children, our family and friends, our country, each and every life is at stake and its something that needs to be taken up in all institutes.