"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" Is Way Better At Talking About Mental Health Than "13 Reasons Why"
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"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" Is Way Better At Talking About Mental Health Than "13 Reasons Why"

"13 Reasons Why" glorifies suicide, it doesn't spark a good conversation.

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" Is Way Better At Talking About Mental Health Than "13 Reasons Why"

Being someone with a mental illness, I am very critical of shows, movies and books that attempt to talk about it. That said, I LOVED “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” a wacky musical series about Rebecca Bunch, who moves to California to chase after her ex-boyfriend Josh. All three seasons were recently put on Netflix and I would highly recommend it.

Alternatively, I have also watched “13 Reasons Why,” a Netflix series that follows the “friends” of Hannah Baker as she blames them for her suicide via cassette tapes.

While both shows deal with issues of mental health and relationships and even suicide, “13 Reasons Why” failed epically in creating a show that could reach out to and help those of us who are dealing with mental illness. Jay Asher, author of the book, and the producers of the show claim they were aiming at starting a conversation about mental health, all they did was trigger those of us who have dealt with depression and sexual assault.

“13 Reasons Why” depicts depression as the effect of bullies and lets Hannah blame everyone but herself for her actions. On the other hand, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” shows more of the reality of living with a mental illness. Rebecca has a vague diagnosis and uses medication to help control it. While she does act “crazy,” it is still her actions and in the end, she takes full responsibility for them. Hannah gets an out by blaming her suicide on everyone around her, thus causing her friends to also blame each other.

It is important not to blame mental illness for your actions. It’s not an out that lets you do whatever you want.

Even more importantly, is how the shows depict relationships. “13 Reasons Why” makes it seem like Hannah had no support system. That nobody cared about her. This is damaging for people with mental illness because often times we do feel like nobody cares about us, but that is not true. If the producers of “13 Reasons Why” really wanted to help people with mental illnesses, they would have shown that Hannah had a support system, like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” did. Rebecca had friends who rallied around whenever she needed them and even her mother (who she hated) was there to help.

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” also shows treatment for Rebecca’s mental illness. Throughout the show, Rebecca sees multiple therapists and uses medication. This shows viewers there are options other than suicide. Whereas “13 Reasons Why” doesn’t even attempt to show that Hannah has resources. In fact, when Hannah tries to get help, she gets turned away, showing viewers that getting help is hopeless.

“13 Reasons Why” ultimately glorifies suicide.

While both shows have suicide in them, how they go about showing them is completely different. Rebecca attempts suicide using pills and the actual attempt does not make it on screen. However, it does show her getting help soon after and waking up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones. “13 Reasons Why,” on the other hand, has a graphic suicide scene.

Aside from the fact that it was completely unnecessary it was also triggering and led to some copycat suicides.

Basically, “13 Reasons Why” is the worst thing to happen to people with mental illnesses since mental illness.

Do not watch “13 Reasons Why.”

Instead, watch a whimsical, musical series full of wacky misadventures and actually good lessons about mental illness, like "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend".

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

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