Why Not 13 Reasons Why

Silhouette of a woman curled up on a chair

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard about the smash hit 13 Reasons Why, a TV series that deals with the rather complicated topic that is teenage suicide.  While this has been a cinematic success, it has caused some concern in the psychiatric community by romanticizing suicide.  Suicidal thoughts are something that the Infinity Hope Center helps patients with every year, and the glamorization of it through this show is something that has Dr. Thompson deeply concerned.

Why 13 Reasons Why Got It Wrong
Part of the reason why 13 Reasons Why has been causing such concern in the psychiatric community is the fact that they’ve simply got the circumstances of real teenage suicide wrong.  Below we’re going to cover some of the reasons why this show is detrimental to teenagers dealing with suicide and how it has gotten its facts about the topic largely wrong.

  • Bullying Leads to Suicide – This is the premise of the show and it’s one that is popular with the media these days.  However it is presented as the one thing that leads to suicide, and nothing could be further from the truth.  The majority of people who deal with bullying do not go on to commit suicide.
  • Glossing Over The Psychology – In a show, 13 hours in length you’d figure there would have been more discussion on the psychological elements that lead to suicide. Unfortunately this show doesn’t do that, instead, it gives us a very myopic view of Hannah Baker, without answering such critical questions as “Who was she prior to these events, and what led her to be unable to deal with the trials she faced?”
  • Suicide Is Not Revenge – The show clearly shows suicide as a sort of telling off of all the people you left behind, almost a form of revenge.  Suicide is a horrible and tragic event and isn’t a form of revenge at all, instead, it is a permanent cure for a temporary problem.
  • Suicide Doesn’t Change Your Life – One of the lessons that is unfortunately presented by 13 Reasons Why is the idea that Suicide doesn’t change your life.  Hannah is somewhat presented as the tragic hero of the story, and her voice and presence are visible at all stages of the story.  In reality, she is forever gone, and her story ends with her suicide.

If you’re facing thoughts of suicide or are dealing with struggles in your life that seem insurmountable, it’s time to stop in at the Infinity Hope Center.  Through the compassionate and expert work of therapists like Dr. Thompson, you’ll be guided in working through your sorrows and concerns and slowly be aided in finding your way to a happy and fulfilling future.

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