Is there any challenge worth losing your life over?
Simple answer – No!
The Blue Whale Challenge has claimed over 150 lives so far. While people are quick to rightfully put the blame on the impact technology is having on young, impressionable teenagers, everyone seems to be missing out on a bigger problem that has existed well before the internet and will continue to do so after the Blue Whale Challenge. The larger problem is that of mental illness, depression and loneliness.
Games like the Blue Whale Challenge scout out people who can be easily manipulated, who are more susceptible to self-harm and then proceed to prey on their weaknesses. Before the internet, there were still loads of people who did this, from cult leaders to drug dealers.
So, let’s tackle the real problem here. Let’s talk.
For those who deal with problems like depression or loneliness, know that you are not alone and you are loved. Suicide is never a solution. It never ends any pain and only leaves it behind for friends and family. Reach out to someone and just talk. You would be surprised by how much your life can change in the matter of a few months.
For those who are participating in this because of FOMO (fear of missing out), what about the FOMO on life? Isn’t life and all that is encompasses something not worth missing out on?
For those who still wonder whether depression is a real problem, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. Which means millions of people are affected or experience suicide bereavement every year. A WHO study has said that over five crore Indians suffered from depression and over two-thirds of global suicides were in low- and middle-income countries like India in 2015.
Someone you know could be dealing with problems related to depression and alienation. Take their problems seriously. These are the very same people that The Blue Whale game attempts to victimise. Be kind to each other. You never what a small gesture of kindness could mean to someone in pain.
If you feel lonely and depressed or know someone who you fear can harm themselves, please reach out to the right authorities who can help you and your loved ones. Here are the contact details of an NGO that works for suicide prevention in a private and confidential manner.
Aasra – 91-22-27546669
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s take away the stigma from depression and loneliness. Let’s talk.