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Blue Whale challenge claims another teen life – Friends, look out for each other!

As the deadly blue whale challenge claims another life, we look back to applaud teens who saved a friend's life...

Even after constant warnings from the government and the continuous alarm that has been raised across Social Media, the vicious and life-threatening online game – Blue Whale challenge has managed to claim yet another innocent teenage life.

A 19 year old engineering student from BITS PILANI Hyderabad campus has reportedly committed suicide by suffocating himself with a plastic sheet wrapped around his face.

The victim T Varun was found dead at his residence in Maple Town Villas at Gandipet in Hyderabad. "We suspect he might have committed suicide while taking the challenge in the Blue Whale game. We have recovered his laptop and sent it for detailed forensic analysis" – said Inspector of Police, V Umender as he spoke to India Today.

Earlier the Hyderabad Cyber Crimes Police had issued an advisory on the game, asking parents, education institutions and children to be cautious.

Watch out for these signs and symptoms

The government has specified that parents, guardians and most importantly friends must watch out for these signs and symptoms to detect a Blue Whale victim…

  • Watch out for long online presence at odd hours
  • Look out for the teen waking up at odd hours of the night (3-4 a.m) and watching a movie or videos (Horror or Psychedelic)
  • Watch out for cuts, marks or pinpricks on the body. Victims are usually urged to cut or hurt themselves and carve "f57" or a blue whale on their body.
  • Look for sudden changes in temperament, odd behavior and mood swings. If a teen – be it in your friend circle or family – suddenly becomes reclusive or moody, you need to wary.

Friends avert tragedy, save a teen from Blue Whale

In August 2017, a Kolkata student playing the Blue Whale game was rescued by his friends as they spotted the whale etching on him and alerted the teachers who in turn informed the registrar Mr Tapas Satapathi.

Tapas Satapathi, later in an interview to NDTV said "I had seen some awareness campaigns on social media done by the Criminal Investigation Department or CID of the West Bengal police. So I immediately knew the gravity of the situation. I called the police for help. And the parents."

The CID inspector who had intervened was glad the awareness campaign had come in handy. "I did not initially tell the student I was police. I said I was a counselor. He was afraid that if he stopped playing, he might start getting phone calls from people called curators and engage with those who continue to play after the first few stages" he told NDTV.

The boy was lucky as his friends managed to avert the tragedy just in time. The boy was then counseled in presence of his parents. "I am very grateful for the intervention of my friends, teachers and the CID officer" the boy said.

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NEXT STORY


How to be a friend to someone who is Suicidal

If you feel that your friend is suicidal or is self-harming, here is a guide to help them

The one joke that you shouldn’t laugh on is the one in which a friend jokes about killing themself. If this friend talks about death more than usual, recognize the red flag. Your friend might be depressed and would want to commit suicide.

How to identity if your friend is suicidal:

  • If your friend talks about the pointlessness of life
  • If your friend mentions that he/she has nothing to live for
  • They start giving away their possessions
  • They ask you for ideas to kill themselves

How you can help:

“Do not term your friend as a pessimist and dismiss them,” says Teentalk therapist Avanti Malhotra. She shares an incident she witnessed with her own client. One of her clients, who was a top performer at a big company, committed suicide. Avanti recalls that the client started paying off her loans, wrote a will and sorted out all the finances for the family before committing suicide.

To have a friend who is suicidal can be overwhelming. Not only are you afraid to tell anyone, you might also feel responsible for their well-being. Being in such a position is not easy, rather it is courageous. But do not worry, here are some things you can do to avoid the catastrophe.

  • Point out the positives about life
  • Emphasize that they are young and have their whole life in front of them
  • Talk to them and understand their point of view
  • Confide in a trusted individual; parent, teacher, friend or a family member (see the ‘Who you can talk to’ tool, in the toolkit)

How to move on if you’re friend commits suicide:

In the worst case scenario, if you have in fact lost a friend to suicide, you will probably experience a range of emotions. You might feel shock, guilt, anger and despair. However, here are a few things you can do to lessen the pain.

  • Take your time: “This can’t be happening,” might be your initial reaction. You can take as much time you want to accept and believe the fact that your loved one is gone.
  • Express and vent: Feeling betrayed and helpless are normal outcomes. You should vent your feelings to a trusted friend.
  • Celebrate their memory: Maybe you can plant a tree in the memory of your loved one in your garden or have their photos up on the mantelpiece.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.