The “Blue Whale Challenge” is not something parents should take lightly, an expert warns, as the deadly game appears to be resurfacing and is making teens in the United States kill themselves.
Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist, recently spoke to Hollywood Life about the dangers presented by the “game,” which urges teens to complete 50 challenges that increase in horror factor in every level and ends in suicide.
Based on the report, the social media game called the “Blue Whale Challenge” has resurfaced and is now being blamed for the death of 15-year-old San Antonio boy Isiah Gonzalez, who broadcasted his suicide via social media.
“These days, teens are feeling more lost than ever,” the psychiatrist said.
Lieberman, who is set to release the book “LIONS and TIGERS and TERRORISTS, OH MY! How to Protect Your Child in a Time of Terror,” revealed that the Internet game may be taking advantage of the personal crises teenagers face nowadays that range from school bullies and family problems to terrorism.
According to KSAT, administrators of the game recruit players through social media and is arriving in the United States after causing havoc in Europe.
A report from Sky News states that the sinister “games” left several Russian families grieving. The outlet reveals that the suicide challenge or what they dubbed as the “death group” poses a real threat to society and was only taken seriously after 130 members of the youth committing suicide in Russia.
First year university student Oleg Kapaev told Sky News about his experience in playing the Blue Whale Challenge and admitted that he was curious enough to try it.
According to Oleg, the administrator began by instructing him to watch horror films all night and asked him how he wanted to die. From there, Oleg admits he started to feel like a “zombie” following orders.
“They start psychologically manipulating you. It is very professionally done. You become a bit of a zombie.”
Based on Lieberman’s expert opinion, teenagers are in danger to such “games” because of personal struggles mixed with societal dilemmas they face. She said children who don’t receive enough attention and love from their parents are most at risk in playing the Blue Whale Challenge.
“When kids don’t get enough love and attention from their parents, they are vulnerable to anyone who shows an interest in them, even if it is a twisted interest in trying to get them to commit suicide.”
“Girls whose fathers are not in the home are especially vulnerable to a guy over the internet who contacts them daily, even if this guy is telling them to do awful things to themselves and threatening them to force them to go along,” she added.
Lieberman also believes that the Blue Whale Challenge brainwashes players into believing that they need to kill themselves through the use of “sophisticated psychological strategies.”
“First, they choose their victims on the internet from social media groups, selecting the most vulnerable teens and creating a sense that those who are chosen are special.”
After that, the players are coerced into becoming addicted to the “game” before sending them the order to committing suicide.
At this point, the administrator would test the player’s loyalty and demand proof, like making them cut symbols into their bodies and showing pictures or videos of it.
Because of this, Lieberman advises parents to spend more time with their children, especially during their adolescent years.
“The best way to prevent Blue Whale and other dangerous temptations is to spend more time with your teens, even if they pretend that they don’t want you around,” she added.
“Kids who would fall for Blue Whale, or simply commit self-harm, even if they have never heard of this game, feel as though their parents don’t care enough about them.”
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