The most common characteristics are that they are adolescents between 12 and 16 years old who may present depressive symptomatology and suicidal risk, ie:
- Significant decrease in academic performance
- Bad mood and irritability
- Sadness, pessimism and apathy
- Personal dissatisfaction with low self-esteem
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Why do they do it? What pushes them to play?
The reasons why a teenager can be started in this very serious problem depends on the situation in which he is. On the one hand, for cases with depression is a way of not repenting with the idea of suicide since the fact of going overcoming the challenges leads them to get more and more involved until they reach the stage of suicide. Likewise, there are cases in which they enter by curiosity and are carried away by a risk exposition, enter into competition of challenges and end up creating dependency.
Are they children with, a priori, suicidal or depressive ideas or do they rather want to be part of something?
They may be teenagers with suicidal ideation, commonly with moderate depression since they still have the energy to initiate and follow the rules of the game. Or, on the other hand, adolescents who are looking for challenges, although the latter may remain trapped or leave it when approaching the final test of suicide. Also, there are also boys who look for their identity by feeling alone, getting caught up in the dynamics of the game.
What should parents look for if the child can be involved in something like that?
It is very important that parents are aware of the "with whom" their children communicate in social networks and monitor which pages they visit. They can also limit access websites and set time limits both on the Internet connection, the computer and other technologies. They should also be alert to warning signs such as abrupt and strange behavior changes, isolation, changes in habits or social relationships.
How to prevent children from these games?
The primary prevention is that there is good communication between parents and children, that parents show an interest in their children's daily lives, their concerns and inform themselves (without judging) about the networks they are connected to, as well as knowing their Friendships and, if possible, the family dynamics of these.
This article has been jointly written by the authors Dr. Jordi Sasot Llevadot and Jenifer Andreu Sanchez (Child-adolescent Clinic Psychology).