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Old 08-10-05   #1
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lets play 'the choking game'




PARADISE, California (CNN) -- Looking back, Sarah Pacatte realizes she missed the warning signs.

But at the time, the mother of four thought maybe her 13-year-old son, Gabriel Mordecai, was smoking marijuana. She never imagined he was putting a rope around his neck and choking himself for a rush.

"A couple of months before he died, he became very hostile, very angry, and he complained of horrible headaches," Pacatte said. "Then I started seeing bloodshot eyes."

What killed him in May was the "choking game," one of the names for a practice in which children use their hands, arms, ropes or belts to cut oxygen to their brains and pass out.

Pacatte says she wants to warn other parents about the risks before it's too late for them.

"I feel a little bit of anger, but mostly I feel desperation and urgency," she says.

It's already too late for 13-year-old Chelsea Dunn of Idaho and 14-year-old Jason Linkins of North Carolina, whose deaths in recent years were among those thought to be the result of similar suffocation games.

Details of how the "game" is played, once passed among schoolmates, now spread on the Internet.

Gabriel's twin brother and best friend, Sam, says they learned of it from an older boy, who showed them how to hyperventilate and apply pressure to their necks.

"You kind of like pass out for a few seconds," Sam explains.

"It's a sensation ... like we've never experienced before," he said, calling it "weird."

But Gabriel's initial response was more enthusiastic, Sam says.

"It's awesome," he recalls his brother exclaiming.

"I really didn't like it that much," he says, adding that he did it out of peer pressure.

When Sarah found out her sons were playing, she told them to stop.

"Gabriel was argumentative about this game," Pacatte said. She recalls him saying, "What's the big deal? I'm not taking any drugs; I'm not drinking or anything."

"I said, 'The big deal is that every time you cut your oxygen off to your brain, you're causing brain damage little by little.'"

Children have likely been playing the "choking game" for a long time, Connecticut-based child psychologist Dr. Lawrence Shapiro told The Associated Press.

Shapiro, author of "The Secret Language of Children," told the AP that parents should discuss such dangerous behavior with their children, in addition to talking about drugs and alcohol.

"Younger kids don't know that they can die from this, that it's a very dangerous activity," Shapiro told the news agency.

But Gabriel loved the sensation, his mother said.

"It was almost like a drug," she said. "They crave it; they crave the high that they get from the lack of oxygen."

Gabriel began to play alone.

"One day he was doing it to himself," his brother says. "He stopped because I told him I was going to tell Mom."

Despite Pacatte's numerous warnings, Sam says Gabriel kept doing it -- often while their mother was at work.

The day before Gabriel died, she asked him about a mark on his neck.

"He looked at me kind of funny and he said, 'Don't worry mom, it's not a hickey,'" Pacatte says.

The next evening, while Pacatte was preparing dinner, Sam went into his room and found his brother with a rope around his neck. When his brother didn't respond, he yelled, "Gabe!"

"When I got to the bedroom door, Samuel was across the room behind his brother," Pacatte says. "He was holding his brother up under his arms."

Gabriel was airlifted to a hospital in Sacramento. Sarah and Sam made the gut-wrenching, two-hour journey by car.

They prayed at Gabriel's side, but 15 hours later, Pacatte says, "He died on life support. His body shut down."

Pacatte says their apartment is too quiet now.

"It's very hard to watch Sam be without his brother," she says. "We miss him so much."

She even misses the bickering.

"I miss the fighting," she says. "I'd gladly give up my life just to see those two kids fight."

The family takes some comfort in their memories of Gabriel and from the words in his journal.

"I plan to go to college for four years," Sam reads from his brother's writings. "I plan to send my mom about $500 a month to help support her."

Wiping away tears, Pacatte says that months later she remains angry and hurt.

"I have guilt, so much guilt, because I didn't save my baby," she says. "What a beautiful child; what a beautiful gift. And he's gone."

"In the blink of an eye, my boy is gone," she says.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


is it just me or are kids getting dumber and dumber by the minute?
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Old 08-10-05   #2
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A fucking 'choking game'?

What next? The 'Lets run in front of a car on the freeway game'?


Oh my god, kids are getting fucking stupid... All I want to know is what the fuck the mother of this idiot kid going to say to other kids and their families? 'Oh well don't try and hang yourselves for a rush, it can kill you'.

Heh, oh man, I thought most adults were fucking stupid.
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Old 08-10-05   #3
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If that was my kid, I'd have gone out and bought weed for him myself. "What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop that shit and get high like normal kids!"
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Old 08-10-05   #4
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Same shit, different day....



...I can remember some 20 odd years ago kids in my school doing a variation of that. A big kid would squash the smaller ones up against the wall (not bullying the where in on it) and slowly cut their oxygen off and they would go all faint and pass out...


...so no, kids are just as stupid to day as they have ever been.
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Old 08-10-05   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenina
A fucking 'choking game'?

What next? The 'Lets run in front of a car on the freeway game'?


Oh my god, kids are getting fucking stupid... All I want to know is what the fuck the mother of this idiot kid going to say to other kids and their families? 'Oh well don't try and hang yourselves for a rush, it can kill you'.

Heh, oh man, I thought most adults were fucking stupid.
theyre already doing that.
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Old 08-10-05   #6
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"No, mom I'm not using drugs. I just take a rope and strangle myself for a couple of minutes until I drop and bang my head against the night table."



Look at the bright side, atleast that's one idiot less to worry about.
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Old 08-11-05   #7
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Yep,Saw that On 20/20, some weeks ago.According to the report it seems the 'Game', has been around for a couple of generations or so.Nothing new except the abundant rise in stupidity as mentioned before.
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Old 08-11-05   #8
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I think the problem is that when you're a kid you think you're invincible, only old people die right? It's scarey to think what 'games' kids are playing when there's no-one there to supervise. It scarey to think what the next 'big kick' will be.

All in all, it's pretty tragic.
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Old 08-11-05   #9
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You know, I remember playing the "pass-out" game when I was 12...the novelty of it lasted a couple days...and we were smart enough not to tie belts or ropes around our necks...if you're the type to get that addicted to oxygen deprivation, you really don't deserve to live very long.
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Old 08-11-05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowborn
You know, I remember playing the "pass-out" game when I was 12...the novelty of it lasted a couple days...and we were smart enough not to tie belts or ropes around our necks...if you're the type to get that addicted to oxygen deprivation, you really don't deserve to live very long.
Would you say that about any addiction? I'm just curious because I think there is more to an addiction than just being stupid.
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Old 08-11-05   #11
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Never underestimate the power of Human Stupidity!
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Old 08-11-05   #12
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Never underestimate the power of Human Stupidity!
Or addiction!
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Old 08-11-05   #13
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I remember that....
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Old 08-11-05   #14
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It's just that I have had so many friends who have been totally level-headed most of their lives, and then become addicted to whatever (normally drugs) and morphed into total shit-heads. They know that what they are doing is going to kill them eventually, but the rush that they get from the addiction out-weighs the dangers of it.

I know drug addicts, alcoholics, fruit-machine addicts, exercise addicts - all of them are sane people, and they all know that their addiction is going to become detrimental to either their health or their finances, and yet they don't stop. You just can't stereotype an addict, you can't label them all as 'stupid', it's far more complex than that.
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Old 08-11-05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia~ow
Would you say that about any addiction? I'm just curious because I think there is more to an addiction than just being stupid.
Physical addictions are chemical dependancy; there is a certain amount of stupidity involved getting yourself addicted in the first place...after that it's all biochemistry. Psychological addiction, which is obviously what this is, is in the head, and what's in the head is ultimately the venue of the person who owns the gray matter. This mother may have been able to do more, but the kid likely had a personality which would have simply replaced that addiction with something else.

Stupidity wasn't the best choice of words. How about 'mental weakness?'
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Old 08-11-05   #16
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I find that most people who get addicted in the first place do so through peer pressure, and that is normally more potent as a teen. It's not a matter of whether you're stupid or not, it's a wanting to 'belong'.

However, I do agree that parents may be able to do more - they need to re-educate themselves as to what it is like to be a teen / young adult in this society.

I don't even like the term 'mental weakness' The people I know aren't mentally weak. Most of them have highly paid jobs and are respected, I see their addictions as an escape from the day to day responsibility.
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Old 08-11-05   #17
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I'm gonna catch hell for saying this... but I used to do that when I was a kid. I didnt use a rope, I'd just bend over and breathe rapidly then stand up and lock my knees, causing a head rush.

Yeah, we were dumb kids.
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Old 08-11-05   #18
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I think that if there's a mark on your kids neck and they say, "Don't worry, it's not a hicky." You should then reply, "Then what the hell is it?"

I remember people played this in 4th grade only it was choking each other. I thought it was stupid then and I think it's stupid now. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for the fatal victims and their families.
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Old 08-11-05   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia~ow
I find that most people who get addicted in the first place do so through peer pressure, and that is normally more potent as a teen. It's not a matter of whether you're stupid or not, it's a wanting to 'belong'.
Funny. I never did an illegal drug in my life. None of my drug-abusing friends ever said "Hey, he won't get high with us; let's lose him." I think wanting to 'belong' is just an easy cop-out.

Quote:
However, I do agree that parents may be able to do more - they need to re-educate themselves as to what it is like to be a teen / young adult in this society.
Maybe. The thing is, many parents who have kids these days didn't grow up in the 'Leave it to Beaver' 50s. They did drugs themselves. Hell, this game isn't new; I did it myself when I was a kid. I think people just need to keep their eyes open and not bullshit themselves, and try to keep open communications with their kids.

Quote:
I don't even like the term 'mental weakness' The people I know aren't mentally weak. Most of them have highly paid jobs and are respected, I see their addictions as an escape from the day to day responsibility.
Right, but when your escape becomes permanent because you fuck off too much to keep your job, that's mental weakness. I'm not talking about people who come home on a Friday afternoon and have a joint and a couple cold ones to unwind from the week's worth of shit. I'm talking about the people who do shit they know isn't good for them under the guise of being responsible adults or worldy wise kids, and refusing to recognize that they're fucking themselves. Or the people who are addicts who find salvation through God, not realizing they're just replacing one crutch with another.
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Old 08-11-05   #20
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oh and isn't the fake hanging yourself thing kinda an s+m thing?

im sure it's done by some people to get themselves off....
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