Blue Whale strikes Pakistani teenagers

Islamabad: The Blue Whale Challenge has reportedly struck Pakistani teenagers as several have admitted to suffer from severe depression after playing the macabre online game, the health authorities said.

At least five teenagers, including a girl, from different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been admitted to Peshawar’s Khyber Teaching Hospital with symptoms of depression, a psychiatrist in the facility told Samaa News on Thursday night.

“The teens opted to play the game but as it proceeded, the given tasks became increasingly strange such as being asked the participants to carve a whale into their arm, which prompted them to stop and seek medical help.

“The female victim was so depressed that she attempted suicide,” he said.

The Blue Whale Challenge, reportedly created by a former convict in Russia, is said to psychologically provoke players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the “winning” step of killing themselves — and each task must be filmed and shared as “proof”.

It is reportedly responsible for 130 suicides globally that took place between November 2015 and April 2016.

However, no suicides linked to the Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in Pakistan yet.