A Parent's Take On '13 Reasons Why'
Start writing a post

When "13 Reasons Why" first aired on Netflix, I was immediately intrigued. My husband and I pressed play and were drawn into Hannah Baker's short-lived life and the reasons that led her down that ill-fated and irreversible role of taking one's own life. Hannah Baker was a typical teenage girl that was trying to fit in. She had the usual school-girl crushes on the wrong guys and falling outs with her friends over what may seem like trivial issues. What was seen from the outside looking in was just the tip of the iceberg for Hannah.

Before seeking help, Hannah decided to make cassette tapes narrating the reasons that led her to her final decision of suicide. The viewer can tell that Hannah was looking for a way out from the choice she was about to make. She wanted to see that someone cared enough to notice. Her parents, her friends, her teachers, her counselor...someone.

13 Reasons Why, Youtube

Hannah's character was undergoing so much. An innocent photo of her at the park was taken and sent to the entire school, making her appear in a different light. And that is when Hannah's problems began to escalate. She would be approached by guys because they believed the rumors that surfaced around her. To add fuel to the already burning building, Hannah was raped by a classmate.

The rape affected Hannah so strongly. The viewer could just feel the pain, shame and humiliation she was feeling during this time and sympathize for her while feeling all out rage for the rapist. Hannah walked home from that event broken and crushed. In her face, you could see the instantaneous change. The decision was made. To Hannah, her life was meaningless.

13 Reasons Why, Youtube

Before actually following through with her decision, she took one more step. She sought help from an adult, a school counselor. Who better to help her work through her issues?

In the end, we knew that session would not be beneficial to Hannah since we already knew she committed suicide. However, there was hope on my part that there would be a plot twist and Hannah was alive and well, tucked away in a rehabilitation facility.

I wanted to scream at the counselor, portrayed by Derek Luke, to listen to Hannah. Just look at her and see she is not alright. The signs were there. Instead, he made the fatal mistake of stating maybe Hannah regretted what happened that night. Her guard went up. She realized he wasn't taking her seriously and she left. Her last cry for help before her mother found her, dead, in the bathtub.

I replay that scene in my head and imagined myself, as a mother, walking in and finding my young daughter dead. I knew the reactions I felt, just imagining me in her place, was the intent of the staff while filming this series. It was a very real and very harsh wake up call to parents. I know there are many parents out there that will disagree with my opinion. Many wish that the writers would have kept to the original story, where Hannah overdoses with pills instead of showing the graphic scene of slicing her wrists and the pain that comes with bleeding to death. I can understand why they would say it was not necessary. No one wants to imagine a child actually doing those acts and for it to be displayed on screen, it throws away the theory that death is quick and painless.

Kate Walsh did a phenomenal job in portraying the grieving mother. I could only bring myself to watch the season one time around, but the impact still holds strong. I found myself crying as hard as Olivia Baker, holding her lifeless daughter to her, screaming in agony, feeling like a part of myself died with Hannah.

Unlike many articles that have come to light after the airing of "13 Reasons Why," I feel this show needed to be told and we as adults needed to see it. We need to be able to recognize and see the signs of suicide before it actually happens. With this show, we saw Hannah undergo physical, mental and social changes that should have been a red flag to anyone that was truly paying attention. I believe the creators' goal was for us to recognize and talk to our kids or the kids that we have influence over, not to gloss over it because it is such an ugly word, but to thoroughly discuss what is going on and why they feel the way they do.

Not talking about a situation does not make it go away. You can only push it to the back burner for so long before it starts to eat away at you.

"Families blame '13 Reasons Why' for 2 teens' suicides" wrote a tragic story where two teenagers, who were battling depression and hated school, watched the entire first season and a few days after, committed suicide. The article goes on to state that the show "may not be the teen suicide prevention tool some think it is."

According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "the rate of U.S. adolescents and young adults dying of suicide has reached its highest level in nearly two decades."

In 2017, there were 47 percent more suicides among people between the ages of 15-19 than in 2000. To lay blame on a television show for the decisions of others is not reasonable or logical. Dr. Susan Lipkins, a school psychologist and CEO of Real Psychology, stated that those who commit suicide are suffering from some underlying psychiatric disorder that is triggered by environmental issues.

Suicide is not a taboo topic and should be talked about openly between parents and children and school staff and students. That was the message "13 Reasons Why" gave me.

I am grateful for the creators allowing viewers to see the effects that come from bullying. At the expense of Hannah Baker, maybe other teens can seek help and be saved before that final note.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Dunkin' just announced that they'll be releasing their fall menu earlier than ever — set to debut on August 19 — and that it'll include new menu options this season, including a new signature pumpkin spice latte. Let me just say, Starbucks has some fall-menu competition now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

CBD Lip Balm Is The Calming Presence You Need In Your Life, Trust Me

I tried lip balm, sleep gummies, and an oil dropper from CBDistillery. Here's the final verdict.


CBD has been on making waves within the wellness space for the last few years. Generally related to the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, it's growing easier to find small CBD companies who are making products specifically designed to fit your needs. As FDA rules for CBD production can be a little hazy, it's true that not all CBD products are created equally. That's why it's important to look into the manufacturing of whatever you're deciding to try, especially if you're new to taking CBD.

As someone who has tried a variety of CBD products — some victories, some failures — I was thrilled when CBDistillery sent me a package of their favorites. They included a Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture, their Nighttime Gummies, and a CBD Lip Balm.

Keep Reading... Show less

After a few months of self-quarantining, becoming suspicious of every cough, and blowing through masks like a medical school student, restrictions due to the pandemic are easing up a bit and businesses are warily reopening. While these public spaces may look the same on the outside, the way they function and operate is vastly different than a few months ago.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's the most wonderful time of the year again — it's sorority recruitment season! While recruitment can be a fun and memorable experience, it can also take a toll on your mental health, especially this year, considering the special circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few reminders to keep in your mental health toolkit during recruitment week to help keep your mental health at bay during this unique experience.

Keep Reading... Show less

When it comes to wedding planning, each and every detail is customized to the style of the couple. From venue and decorations to food and beverages, nothing gets overlooked — whether your wedding is big, small, or virtual.

The same thing goes for invites, which are getting more and more beautiful every wedding season. If you're looking to customize your wedding invitations, the options are endless... you can add pictures if you wish, opt for fancy artwork, or keep it simple with just text).

Keep Reading... Show less

23 Burning Questions We Have For The Taureans In Our Lives, Answered By A Taurus

The remaining 11 signs took the bull by the horns, and it was a fun and insightful experience!

Jordyn Leach

Lately, I've been digging deeper into astrology and studying my sign. Throughout the journey, it's come to my attention that Taurus are probably one of the most complicated signs - that is, if you're not a Taurus.

To gain a little more perspective on how my sign is viewed by the others, I requested that the participants submit a question in response to the following:

Keep Reading... Show less
Universal Pictures

A music enthusiast like myself has a playlist for every mood. Life's a movie and you're the main character. In no specific order, listen to these songs to feel on top of the world!

Pro Tip: turn your crossfade up to 3 seconds for a seamless transition between each song!

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there. You see that super cute guy on your dating app of choice, his bio is funny, and then, the gut-wrenching feeling hits when you see their political views don't exactly line up with yours. He loves Trump, you can't stand him, or vice versa.

A lot of people will say you can get over politics, but I know from personal experience, as well as this survey, that politics play a huge role in whether a relationship will work or if we're even willing to swipe right on that profile.

Keep Reading... Show less

I work as an orientation leader for my college, and the job included summer housing.

Keep Reading... Show less

With no sign of the pandemic going anywhere, brides and grooms who planned to be married in 2020 are forced to opt for plan B — if not plan C or D. While some are downsizing their in-person weddings to meet coronavirus guidelines and state restrictions, others are choosing to cancel theirs until further notice and some, well, they're embracing the virtual "I do."

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom wedding for my friend and fellow editor and writer, Kristin Magaldi, and the short-but-sweet ceremony left me in happy tears (surprise surprise). In order to get the scoop on what exactly went into planning a virtual wedding, I asked Kristin to share her best tips so other couples know exactly how to have a Zoom wedding in case they're looking to lean into the video chat vows, too.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments