Culture

‘13 Reasons Why’ Sends A Wrong Message On Suicide And Depression -- Here's Why

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay , Apr 18, 2017 05:26 AM EDT
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"13 Reasons Why" has impressed millions of viewers since its release on March 31. Most viewers have identified the message of the Netflix show, which is to be kind in life. However, this might be a wrong message in terms of solving mental health issues, involving serious problems like depression and suicide.

Those who are suffering from depression need professional help. Even though the situation around them could be harsh, it is unfair to blame the surroundings for their condition. The teenage drama shows graphic depictions of various abuse. It even features a graphic portrayal of suicide which, many believe, could be harmful to those who are already having suicidal tendencies.

While many viewers consider "13 Reasons Why" an extremely important show for teenagers, unlike other teenage dramas, this Netflix drama deals with serious issues like bullying, assault, and rape. Some even believe that it should be mandatory for every teenager to watch the show. However, USA Today's Jaclyn Grimm believes that the show fails to acknowledge that 90 percent of those who commit suicide suffer from mental illness. External circumstances might contribute to it, but the real cause lies deep within.

The young writer, who has suffered depression and suicidal thoughts earlier in her life, says the Netflix show plays the blame game on people around Hannah Baker, the teenager who commits suicide. "We all killed Hannah Baker," one of the characters says. Grimm believes that it is entirely misleading to presume that somebody else should be blamed for a person's suicide.

Chicago Tribune notes that suicide prevention experts claim suicide often involves mental illness. It can never be blamed on a single event or a person. Studies show that depicting graphic details of a suicide could lead to "copycat" suicides. "13 Reasons Why" might have missed the plot here in order to romanticize a grave mental health issue like suicide.

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