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  Metros   Mumbai  17 Feb 2017  25 teens depressed monthly

25 teens depressed monthly

Published : Feb 17, 2017, 1:20 am IST
Updated : Feb 17, 2017, 6:42 am IST

Cyberbullying is shattering self image of youths, say experts.

According to psychologists, cases of teenagers being hit by depression and anxiety are increasing by the day.
 According to psychologists, cases of teenagers being hit by depression and anxiety are increasing by the day.

Mumbai: Amid the increasing number of cyberbullying instances, which include using electronic means to intimidate via text messages or emails and rumours, city-based psychologists say they deal with around 25 cases of depression every month. Out of these cases, nearly 80 per cent of them involve youngsters in the age group of 15 to 25 years.

According to psychologist Dr. Manasi Joshi, teenagers have become highly obsessive about their public image and any harm to this image diminishes their self-esteem and pushes them into depression. Recently due to cyberbullying, a student who was wrongly accused of creating a profile on social networking website and making lewd comments committed suicide, leaving behind a note to prove her innocence.

According to psychologists, cases of teenagers being hit by depression and anxiety are increasing by the day. According to a recent survey conducted by Microsoft Corporation, India ranks fourth in instances of cyberbullying, after America, Singapore and Russia.

Speaking about the damage created by cyberbullying, Dr Joshi said, “Due to these modern advancements in cyberspace, we have been getting many patients who are victims of cyberbullying. These patients are either on the verge of depression, or have already slipped into depression. Depression in their case cannot be seen easily, as they are purposely being alienated. They start showing the signs of depression as they are constantly being hammered with wrong accusations” Dr Joshi added, “These problems are becoming very common amongst teenagers who are tech savvy. A child’s mind is extremely tender and it starts taking all these comments and treatments from peers seriously. These comments lower their confidence and puts their self-identity at risk, which plays a pivotal role in the shaping of their adult self.”

In order to combat the menace, psychologists suggest that parents keep a tab on the online activity of their kids and talk to them.

Victims recount trauma, alienation
In November last year, when a city-based advertising professional Sonam Gupta  (27) logged into her account on a social networking site, 108 messages from strangers stared at her. She shares her name with a woman accused of being unfaithful whose name was scribbled on a currency note by unidentified pranksters and then circulated on social media.

While the first message had merely asked, ‘Are you Sonam Gupta?’ The rest were more specific and asked, for instance, “Are you the same Sonam Gupta, the bewafa (unfaithful one)?’ to ‘Sonam Gupta, %&8%&, why did you commit bewafai (infidelity)?’ For the next two months, Sonam continued to be bombarded by such messages,  which caused her to start avoiding going work and going outdoors with her friends. Gupta resumed going to office ten days later only when concerned colleagues called her up and assured her that no one would tease her. Sonam said, “At first, it was all very amusing, but as time passed, it started irking me. To keep myself composed, I had to visit a psychiatrist”.

In another case, Kashmira Bora (name changed), who had gained weight since she is a thyroid patient, was bullied not only in person at college, but also by her peers on social networking sites. Speaking about how she was body-shamed, Kashmira said, “I would often be alienated for the fact that I was a fat girl. I was tagged in Facebook pictures; I was called names like ‘moti’, ‘gendi’ and ‘aaloo’ online. She added, “I used to untag myself from these pictures and if it didn’t stop, I would block that person”.

Tags: committed suicide, psychologists, cyberbullying
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)