Etiology Behind Blue Whales

Dr. Mitu Dash, Assistant Professor,

Department of Psychology,

Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College(University of Delhi), Delhi



Blue whale game has created a furore not only in India but the world wide among the children, school teachers and parents for its serious consequences. It has created panic, anxiety among the parents towards the security and protection of their children. This anxiety also is seen among the sibling and also among the children, when told by the parents and teacher. It demands immediate attention to understand the psychological impact of Blue Whale, its etiology and challenges for parents to encounter such deadly game.

As learned from the social media about the game, it is not a new thing to me. Ifthe etiology is seen then the root of the game evolved in Russia. The places where there is snow and white clad mountains.Loneliness is always there where there is less population and communication.Snow call a person for suicide as cognitively man makes a vicious circle seeing the white snow, talking with the white snow, playing with the white snow when lonely or simply free. The color ‘White’ stands for purity, peace, innocence, light, cleanliness, sterility, spirituality, perfection.  White symbolizes death, mourning and bad luck in Korea, China and in some parts of Asia (Wang (2015)). According to indigenous view in Indian Hindu society also white color is traditionally  associated with the color of mourning and is wore in funerals.We wear white clothes when we go to a death ceremony; a person if he is dead is covered by a white coffin.Therefore white snow is associated with loneliness. However, New York Times (May 18 2013)has already warned that loneliness is found more in American people and due to this they commit suicide.Also Stravynski 2001 talked about links between loneliness and different manifestations of suicidal conduct in Canada. Mountain areas and sea beaches are psychologically more lonely, thus more alcohol, more drugs and more of violence. ‘The Sea is calling’ is a new phenomenonand phrases used by the teenagers who live nearby sea. The waves are calling and I must go is the language the teenager of today speaks. Also the T-shirts are available on the net. Thus environmental factors, gravitational pull and tides play a very important role which cannot be denied.

Biologically the genes play a very important role in depression; suicidal tendency and introvert personality of the people .the children of these symptoms of parents are more prone to depression and ultimately suicide. Hormonal fluctuations, neurochemical changes, congenital or acquired defects , accident’s and its  after effects, restriction of  Differentially abled people, disruptive emotional processes makes the life miserable.The most important thing is the intelligence of the children witch isincreasing day by day due to awareness in the society. There are more gifted childrennow a day. The education system should increase the curriculum and revise according to the present need, unfortunately they are reducing their syllabus day by day as compared to the early days in 80s (tenth class syllabus consist of ninth and tenth class). These gifted children are very difficult to bring up as home work is not given by the school authorities. They have bundle of energy what Freud (1939) called it libido in his psychoanalytic model and is not utilized in a proper manner.School authorities, parents and caregivers are afraid of punishing the children as they are more aware about human rights and sometimes it is misused.Optimum punishment given to the child explain the child what is right and what is wrong. Now a day’s physical punishment is not given which creates confusion in the child’s mind. Instead, the worst punishment is the psychological punishment is given which is non-verbal in nature. Urbanization is making the situation worst as the children are no longer playing the outdoor games. In psychology it is said that balance in work is also very important that is physical and mental work should go side by side. Thus they have enough time left after their studies are over. The only source of entertainment left is video games, internet and mobile, which unfortunately parents also feel safe as compare to the outside world of pedophilia, bullying by senior children and challenging outdoorgames.

There are other factors in contemporary World which give unnecessary stress to the teenager and adolescence is- unhealthy competition is sometimes taught unconsciously,large difference between competition vs. own achievements, comparison, jealousy among friends, inadequate preparation for adolescence and above all nuclear family make the situation worst. Adolescence do not understand the right concept as it was  in the joint family system, that  someone in the family  is there to look after and understand him and also check him if he is doing any mistake. Faulty parental model, extramarital affairs of the parents, marital discords, broken homes, faulty discipline, faulty frame of reference,and rejection,overprotection dominance, over indulgence, rigid, unrealistic moral standards, perfectionistic demands, contradictory demands and above all double mindedness make the situation worst for the adolescents to adjust in this competitive world. These are some behaviors which are learned in the social systemin the family as well as from the society itself. The behaviorists view these as a learned behavior, also in social learning theory given by Baundra .RabindranathTagore in his short story ‘Home coming’ mentioned about the role confusion of a teenager boy who go to his uncle’s house for studies. When he sits with the adults, he was discouraged that he is not as old as they are and people use to laugh when he use to play with the kids. Thus the confusion is there with the teenager and is realizing all over the world in the cognition. This is a very delicate age. At this tender age a child is left alone to solve problems alone.According to Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development (1950, 1963), every person passes through the eight interrelated stages, but in these stages (industry vs. inferiority and identity vs. role confusion) an individual is responsible for creating and accomplishing numerous new skills and knowledge, thus developing a sense of industry and self-esteem. Also a child is negotiating, struggling with social interactions and ‘fitting in’, and developing a sense of morality and right from wrong in these stages. He had already developed trust or mistrust by now on individuals around him from his early childhood experiences and now is the time to execute the parental behavior he is longing to do, when he will be in the young adult stage (intimacy and solidarity vs. isolation). Young adults seek deep intimacy and satisfying relationships, but if unsuccessful, isolation may occur. (financial, emotional, psychological ) ,envious status comparisons, personal limitations ,un-relatedness and lack of meaning in the world leading to self-devaluation.Also some core conflicts and  factors of the contemporary life enhance the conflict among a human being-as facing the reality or just avoiding it, either integrity is important or self-advantage is important. Fear and positive action do not go side by side, love vs. hate,pressures of employment, studying, perfectionist demands, drugs and alcohol are good or not for an individual are contradictory demands. These are conflicting among a human being until he or she is not matured enough. These contradictory demands lead to confusion and then he starts searching for solution. Human behavior is the result of the interaction among the id, ego and superego (Freud (1939) and due to the conflict between them, instead of realizing the real anxiety, moralistic and neurotic anxiety is developed among them. An individual do not discuss these small things, rather want an instant solution for this confusion. They want to solve the problems themselves as their ego and self-esteem is not harmed. The working parents, conflicts in the homes and all problems of the environment force a child to solve the problems and the best solution is internet. They go and start searching for it and become addicted to it. Behaviorists say all the addiction are learned behaviors and are conditioned. Solving a task one by one is an addiction in Blue whale game. Any game on internet is the cardinal tool for which they are conditioned.However, if this vicious circle is checked then something can be done. Some sadistic people are there on the internet and are trapped in it. Sadistic people were in the previous days as well, but it was confined to little people. Now the story is different as far as internet is concern, access to too many people is there in seconds for these sadistic people. Diathesis stress model also view thatgenetic, hormonal or any other factors may predispose an individual to develop a distress or disorder (in extreme case of suicide) but that distress will develop only if the person is exposed to certain kind of stressful environmental condition.

At last it is it is our own view, our own cognition. We should know the cause and affect of everythingwe and our children do. Real cause can be one or many or the combination of them, may be they are in the above list or not.Identify it yourself. You are responsible for your own deeds. So — Stop and Think for a while- what we want from an individual, as a group and from the society. What is our essence? Why are we born? What are we contributing to the society? Are we really taking care of our children in the manner what we wanted? Are not we making them addicted? First feel your own responsibility, yourself, your real self and not the ideal self. We have to teach our children their own responsibility, their own self (karma) and the difference between right and wrong.  Integrating mind, body and soul.Doing physical and mental work side by side.Eating good and nourished food (satvikbhojan).Yoga and meditation is important daily in our life. Discover, more what our predecessor told. Which is very important as the energy is utilized in the right directions. Teach the children in those lines in the school as well as in the home. Gurukulsystem was all about engagement and involvement of the teacher with few students. In the same manner parents are responsible for taking out time for the children and checking them after self-involvement and self-engaging in the task with the children. Then only right and wrong can be discovered and corrected on the first stage. The increasing penetration in the mobile phones, selfie system  should be stopped by the parents,teachers,caregivers, society and the government also. Some law should be implemented to identify such games by different names. The phones, internet, twitter, Facebook, selfieculture should be trapped on the individual, society as well at the governmental level. Active copping, planning, positive competition, psycho-education should be encouraged at the school level. Psycho-education is an important field in psychology which teaches people about worry, their causes, the physical and mental behaviour feelings, thoughts, and the behavioral influences. The idea of psyco-education should be compulsory at the individual at the end an individual is dealing with his problem. The cause and the effect can be identified on the individual level itself. The psychology should be taught at the primary level. The child understands(at all level) about their behavior, also a sense of understanding should be encouraged at that level.