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will/can ’13 Reasons Why’ increase or decrease suicide?

What a show to watch. My first opinion is that it was very well written, directed, and just one of those shows you cannot stop watching. You go on with your day, but in the back of your mind you keep thinking, when can I get back to it? And you keep thinking about Hannah. The young, beautiful, and vulnerable high school student who was so distraught and pained that she thought the only way out was suicide. 

And then I found myself thinking a lot about my pain. About those really really trying days, were I truthfully believe everyone has been, where it feels like maybe the world’s ending or that there’s just nothing left. Or maybe I’m trying to make myself feel better, or less weak, because I’ve had more than a few share of those days. Or maybe I’m just part of that handful of people who suffer from depression. From a dark cloud above my head that consistently wants to rain on me. But I previal. I keep pushing on. Because I have this little light in me that won’t turn off. It wouldn’t go away if I tried. And then I had my son, and now I forever feel a fire burning inside me. 

But what about the people who have lost that light? Or had a weakened light to begin with? Whether it be genetics or trauma? Mental disorders? What about the people who, at this very moment, may have been considering suicide for awhile now? What about those people watching the show with idealization and contagion? Will those considering suicide see how quick it was for Hannah to end her pain? For her to make it all go away?

I don’t know. 

What a tough subject to write about. It’s such a tough subject to use any words to describe it. Am I downplaying it? Am I overplaying it? Are the words I’m using not sensitive enough? Are they the right words? Are they the wrong words?

Again, I don’t know. But I do know it’s important to talk about it, just like the creators of the show did. So please take every single word I use as I am using it as gently as respectfully as possible. Because I truthly am. 

I am, though, extremely impressed for the amount of research the crew did beforehand. The writers, the directors, the actors, the inclusion of so many psychologists and experts. I think they’re going to get a lot of shit for however they portrayed anything and everything. For every person who thought it was depicted accurately, another person thought it wasn’t. Oh that would never happen in my school. Did it? Is it?

That’s how it’s always going to be. Many parts of me wanted to believe things like that don’t happen. Perhaps it’s because it’s easier than to face the truth? Why didn’t Hannah stop the rape? Why didn’t anyone come forward about the tapes? Why didn’t Sheri call 911 after running down a stop sign? Why does anyone do or does not do anything? Why? And I wonder, what are the older generation’s thoughts on suicide. Before cyber bullying was a real thing. Before everyone could know within minutes what everyone else was doing. 

I don’t know. None of us truly know. You don’t know how you’re ever going to act until you yourself are in that situation. Until you’re in those seconds where you are left with you. With everything you know and feel, and you make a decision. Maybe you thought it was a good decision. Maybe you knew it was a bad decision. None the less, you made a decision. Or maybe you didn’t make any decision. But you still had an effect anyways. We all do. We always have an effect. 

So that’s where you just realize from watching this that you truly have absolutely no idea what anybody is going through at any given time. I loved at the end when Clay asked an old, disconnected friend to hang out. When? She asked. What about now? 

And so I wonder, will this increase the rate of suicide or decrease the rate of suicide? Will people considering suicide see how much pain was left behind? Or will they see that Hannah was freed from her pain and believe that they, too, can be freed?

I just want to hug and hold so tightly all those poor souls who think suicide is the only way. Is suicide really an option? I mean, is it a viable option if the pain is greater than not? 

Absolutely open and free from judgment. Do you think 13 Reasons Why can increase or decrease suicide? Or maybe you think it won’t do anything? Do you think suicide is an option?

Please feel free to comment here or email me if you’d feel more comfortable. About anything. Everything. I’m here for you. 

Maybe somebody will comment anonymously the way Hannah did in class. Maybe somebody needs help. Maybe we can save a life right here right now. 

mamajbirdy@gmail.com

As Ellen always says, be kind to one another. 


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