Without access to Tiktok, droves of Russian teens admitted to mental hospitals


Photo courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

As of March 6th, 2022, TikTok implemented restrictions on users in Russia

In response to Russia’s “fake news” law, TikTok has placed restrictions on the country’s users as of March 6th, 2022. Users in Russia no longer have access to live streams and new content, which, according to TikTok, prevents the spread of misinformation. Experts from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation mark a causation trend between TikTok usage declining and the increasing numbers of teenage mental asylum patients. 

 “We have seen a collective 1,000,582,698% increase in teenager admittances to mental asylums all throughout Russia. You’d figure they’d be better off now that there isn’t some trend telling them to eat Tide Pods, but we now realize that may have been a better option,” said Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation official Andrei Morozov. 

Teenagers, who have virtually nothing else to do but suck on their thumbs, began acting out at home. Parents, who were the first to notice their kids’ abnormal behavior, were forced to admit their kids to mental asylums.

“Dmitry said he needed new audio to start a trend, so he started following me around everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The bathroom, which I thought quite invasive, the grocery store. He even got me fired from work. Last night, I caught him standing at the foot of my bed. It reminded me of that Stephen King movie, Children of the Corn,” said parent Nikolay Petrov. 

Although Russian parents reported abnormal behavior in their teens, each family describes their own unique situation. 

“After the TikTok ban, Ekaterina just started staring at herself in the bathroom mirror and lip-syncing to songs that weren’t there. Then she bought colored light bulbs for the bathroom because she wanted to try out ‘different filters’,” said parent Valeriya Volkov. 

Mental health physicians do not foresee the situation easing any time soon, but there is development in identifying the reasoning for some common cases.  

“We’re admitting new patients every day. It’s only getting worse. They’re usually around the ages of 13-18. We have some common cases. We have a ward full of borderline catatonic teens who just stare blankly at the wall and scroll up. They sit there, looking like the Walking (or Scrolling) Dead. We theorize it substitutes a phone screen and are now conducting studies with other professionals,” said Sidorov Mental Health Hospital director Damien Mikhailov. 

Teenagers feel they are back in the “dark ages” of the early 2000s, and mental health professionals have decided to match some of their mental health practices to the actual dark ages. Facilities have reported they are forced to resort back to previously outlawed mental health practices. 

Bloodletting, widely used during the medieval period, is intended to balance the patient’s “humors.” Lobotomies, which were a common practice in the 1940’s, were outlawed in the 1950’s. Although electroconvulsive therapy, which was first introduced in Italy in the 1940’s, is still used for mental health treatment today, many associate it with the era of mental health treatment malpractice. 

“We found some old instruments in the storage room, and we’re out of ideas, so lobotomies, electroconvulsive shock therapy, and bloodletting are going to be trending treatments,” said Moscow Mental Health Hospital physician Elizaveta Trusova. 

Sidorov Mental Health Hospital is resorting to even earlier practices that have been virtually abandoned in the 21st century. These treatments are not only cost-effective, but also immensely successful.

“We’ve seen great improvement in patients whom we had find hobbies, such as painting, playing piano, or reading. To others, we’ve prescribed a daily dose of going outside and breathing fresh air. It’s working wonders, and these patients are on the road to recovery,” said Mikhailov.