I waited months to watch this show. 13 Reasons Why and other shows about mental illness are made to be experienced by the individual. If I would have watched this with everyone else my experience would have been affected by the conversations I had with them about the show. Because I waited to forget all the spoilers I had heard, I was able to watch this show and have a genuine learning experience about mental illness. On that note, I would like to join a conversation about this show that ended a few months ago.
Are shows like 13 Reasons Why glorifying suicide? The reality is that this show was made to make people aware of their actions and their affects. We all know the things that happened to Hannah Baker could happen to any teenager in America. This is surprising to adults, I know you don't think your daughters have to be afraid to go to school because boys will sexually assault them in the hallway but that's just a fact of life for way to many teenagers. Okay so now you're saying "Hey, I'm a teenager and I'm not having experiences similar to Hannah and I don't think I've heard of anyone at my school dealing with this either." You may not see it, but trust me it's there. You may not hear about it at your school but really, did you expect everyone to tell the world when they were raped? Not a single school in America can honestly say they don't have a problem with what we call bullying. Some try to act that way but they are hiding from the truth.
Okay, so we get it, there is an epidemic of nasty teenagers roaming the halls but what does that have to do with glorifying suicide? Hopefully, none of you can understand the mindset of a person with suicidal depression, but I know that some of you will. Someone who is fighting for their life in a battle against depression does not experience the same reality. You see boys picking on her in the hallway, she sees the entire school against her. You see a boy calling her names, she sees that no one will ever love her. Sure, it doesn't make a lot of sense but this show helped show millions of young people the reality that someone they know may be experiencing.
The honest truth is that someone who is fighting depression may see this show and realize that suicide may be the answer to their problems. All the characters learned their lesson in the end and that's what you want when you feel that bullies are the reason you are so depressed. Sure, it may not sound logical to us. Why end your life just to teach a few nasty kids a lesson? But again we have to realize that depression ruins all logic.
So maybe this show does glorify suicide. But maybe if we took a moment to understand another person's reality we wouldn't be blaming a show for suicide. People don't kill themselves because they saw someone else do it, they kill themselves because they are in a losing fight with mental illness and they see no way out. We are missing the whole point of the show, we will never understand how someone else is experiencing the world and we need to be more conscious of how our actions affect those around us. Life is unbearably hard and we don't need to be making it harder on each other.