The Love/Hate Relationship with 13 Reasons Why

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    The internet has been buzzing with articles the past few weeks about "13 Reasons Why". There are people who love it, and on the flip side, there are people who hate it. I have yet to come to terms with how I feel about it. I appreciate that the show highlights the idea that every interaction that you have with someone is impactful, no matter how small. It also stresses that inaction can sometimes be just as powerful as an interaction. However, this show makes no effort to discuss mental health. Mental health is a big issue today, and it needs to be talked about no matter how awkward, strange or taboo it may seem.

    During the course of the show, some of the characters have a tape made about them, and this person is briefed on the situation(s) between him or her and Hannah Baker, the main character of the show, that ultimately leads to her committing suicide. Some of these interactions were brief, and some of them were traumatic events that Hannah had been through or witnessed for quite a while. These tapes also included details of things someone did not do or say that could’ve helped her through these hard times she was going through. It is imperative for people to take their actions seriously, no matter how minute. What could be no big deal to one could be a catastrophe to another. Using empathy for this reason when interacting with others is extremely useful.

    While the show has that positive aspect, it also contains a huge plot hole -- it never once mentioned Hannah’s mental health. Mentally healthy people do not commit suicide. That is a fact. Since Hannah indeed did,  it lets us viewers know she was indeed mentally unhealthy. All of the bullying Hannah endured wore her down, and she could no longer find a will to live. Mental health is one of the biggest issues facing us today -- especially my generation -- and we are the ones this show has targeted. It is key for people my age to know about mental health --  whether someone is struggling his or herself, or a friend/ family member has a mental illness and cannot understand the true implications of this kind of illness.

    While this topic is still taboo to discuss today, I hope that shows, books and movies like "13 Reasons Why"  continue to spark debate and conversation about this topic, because it is extremely important. Too many young people are committing suicide in this day and age, so people must understand mental illness and all that comes along with it. The most important thing for people who are going through something like this at the moment is to understand that it gets better. It is the hardest concept to grasp and believe when in such a mental state, but the first step is attempting to believe it. So many doors open for someone when they simply try. After trying becomes actually doing, and it is at this step great strides of progress begin to be made. The healing process is a very long, emotional roller coaster, but it is a ride worth hopping on.