When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.
With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:
1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.
2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.
"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.
4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.
5. It glorifies suicide.
6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.
The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.
7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.
8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.
9. This show treats suicide as revenge.
In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.
10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.
Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.
11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."
12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.
13. The show is not realistic.
14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.
15. The characters are underdeveloped.
16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.
17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.
18. No one in the show deals with their problems.
They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).
19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.
20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.
21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.
22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.
Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.
24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."
25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.
26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.
27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.
28. It simplifies suicide.
29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.
30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.
31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.
And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.