13 Reasons Why: The Hard Truth

13 Reasons Why has become a trending and popular show on Netflix. Unraveling the heartache and pain of what it is like to be mistreated. How bullying and torment can drive people to a point of hopelessness.

Mental health continues to be a huge issue in the world as it affects many teens and young adults. It has become so huge that celebrity and singer Selena Gomez decided to co-produce a Netflix series called 13 Reasons Why. The show is about a girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide and before she does she decides to record 13 tapes pertaining to the 13 reasons why she chose to end her life. Many people are probably unaware that Selena Gomez suffered from depression, so by being the executive producer of this series she obviously wanted to spread awareness about the issue as it was something that was close to her heart.

The Truth

For those who haven’t seen it or are thinking about seeing it, it is not an easy show to watch, as the content is also not an easy subject. It’s a thriller, it’s tear jerking, suspenseful, graphic, and of course it’s depressing. I’m sure many people who have been scrolling through Netflix and came across this show probably didn’t watch it, because of the content. That is completely understandable, some people can’t handle this type of criteria. Even I had second doubts as I thought it might corrupt my mind or affect me in a bad way. But it didn’t. Of course it was hard to watch, but I am a big supporter of everything and anything to do with mental health so I understand that the show is trying to promote awareness not only about suicide, but in how you should treat people.

It is reality. I think at the end of it all it is how you handle it. I think people should watch it. Many people go through bullying, so in today’s world you need to have a backbone to survive. You can’t hide from your problems and you can’t hide from things that are happening in this world. The show gives a clear scenario and shows the aftermath of decisions we make and how they will follow you. It’s not all negative, as the show showcased that resources of help were available, just that they were not used. Also, the show can be insightful showing others that if they are going through a rough time but not as bad as the one Hannah faced, then they should be grateful and realize that suicide isn’t the answer. Lastly, the show can be a marker of what not to do, kind of like reverse psychology.

Of course for anyone who is struggling with suicide, bullying, sexual assaults etc. it might be best to think twice before watching the show. I only say this as it can be triggering. The tub scene where Hannah kills herself is very graphic and hard to watch. If someone is going through one of the matters mentioned above, watching it might set them off in a negative way. Obviously that is not the intention of the show, as it is meant to stay true to the real life complications of suicide, but it is advised as a warning to be wary of the subject matter. And the message obviously isn’t to commit suicide.

Bullying is another major issue in the show and in today’s world should not be overlooked or ignored. Driving someone to the point of suicide is horrible and that’s what the message of the show is. How hard high school can be for some people. High school can be hard enough as it is, so why make it any harder for someone? Although the show is fictional, it is non-fictional in the sense that it is based on true life events that occur. So the next time you think it is okay to call someone a slut and that it won’t affect them, think again.

Don’t Suffer In Silence

Another prevailing notion and huge message in this film is that you shouldn’t be afraid to tell the truth. A major issue with mental health or with bullying is that people have trouble talking about it, and choose to remain in silence. Hannah Baker at many times in the show decides to withhold information. She doesn’t tell her parents that she is being bullied at school. She doesn’t tell Mr. Porter that she was raped by Bryce, when he confronts her about it. She doesn’t tell anybody that her friend Jessica was raped. She doesn’t call 911 or tell anybody that the stop sign was was run over. In my opinion, if Hannah didn’t choose to keep quiet about all of these things, it possibly would of avoided her decision to end her life. She chose not to seek help when she needed it the most. It could of helped her and prevented a lot of mayhem. Hannah inevitably had her reasons for ending her life, but maybe if she would of reached out, then maybe she would of had better reason to live.

It wasn’t that Hannah grew up in a bad home, but her parents were obviously struggling to make ends meet and that did affect her in some shape or form. Also, that her parents had no idea what she was going through. She never expressed grief, sadness, or anger around her parents. It obviously wasn’t the best decision for Hannah to leave out the details of her school life, but maybe she didn’t tell them, because she knew they had their own problems going on.

Suicide Isn’t Selfish

How many times have you heard the phrase “suicide is selfish.” It’s selfish, because you’re not thinking of the people you are leaving behind. How your emotionally killing your family and the ones that cared about you. Ultimately, although this is true, and looking from Hannah’s perspective as well, she wasn’t focusing on that. Many people believe they are doing their loved ones a favour. I believe that Hannah felt that she was a burden to her parents. Although she didn’t tell her parents of everything that was going on, maybe she felt if she did that it would of drove them to heartache. So she felt she was better off disappearing. According to Thought Catalog, “It’s time we stop calling a mental disconnect a personality flaw. Being selfish, in our society, is generally seen as a bad thing. So when you call suicide selfish, you’re calling it a bad thing. And it is, but not for the reasons you are implying.” Suicide without question is horrible, emotional, and dreadful. But “someone who ends their life is going through a mental struggle we should feel blessed and lucky to not understand.”

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