I recently watch the new Netflix premiere series, 13 Reasons Why. [spoilers ahead] The show captures the bullying, sexual assault, and ultimately, suicide of a young girl, Hannah Baker. She goes through so much inner turmoil and deep sadness, and detachment from the world that ultimately leads up to her taking her own life. Many people watching this new show see it as a light being shed on bullying, however, it is really hurting those suffering from mental issues, or have attempted suicide or are suicidal.
Suicide is never an easy topic to talk about, but when you do try and tackle it you need to take into consideration that it stems from mental illness. Even though the actions caused by Baker's peers led her to feel that her life was not worth living, it reached a point where it could've been prevented by friends, family, and even the school guidance counselor. Ultimately, the show never touched the idea of mental illness or the fact that she was experiencing depression; the word that is so important in our society, yet no one is willing to talk about it. With 13 episodes explaining Hannah Baker's sadness from beginning to end, they never talk about how she is experiencing depression or the ultimate sadness and emptiness she felt when she took her life.
Instead of promoting growth and change in schools, the show turns into a 'how-to guide on suicide'. We watch this dead girl speaking over cassette tapes go from the typical high school student to the suicidal, dead girl. The writers are not helping our society and the stigma around suicide; instead, the writers make it feel like a social norm, like it doesn't stem from an illness, and it just happens.
Suicide is not something to be overlooked. Ultimately until the last episodes, you feel that she is still alive and somehow she would come back to life if the kids who brought her to this state's mental torture would bring her back to life. But it doesn't. Like one of the famous lines on the show, "You can't love someone back to life", "you can try"; no you can't. Once someone dies there is no way to bring them back. What was said is said, what was done is done; there is no way to bring Hannah Baker back or take back an of their actions, or lack of action.
Ultimately it is your choice whether or not you like this show, but just realize that it is unrealistic and avoiding the idea of mental illnesses and how it affects everyone.Netflix's new series brings to life the bullying that is happening every day, and it stigmatizes suicide in our society, but it does not show any intentions of preventing and helping those who are suffering. Keep this in mind next time you tell someone how much you love this show; just think about all those it effects without showing any sense of help.