I finished 13 Reasons Why last night. I still feel shaken by it. While the entire series is amazing at showing just how mean high school can be, and just how fragile a young adult’s brain is, the last [two] episodes I think were too much. I understand that the directors wanted it to feel REALLY real and completely RAW…. I think they should have put more than just a “viewer discretion advised” on the screen. They should have put a trigger warning up for anyone who has self harmed, they should have put a trigger warning up for anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault. They need to do more than just the typical “viewer discretion” because the directors have made it so incredibly uncomfortable to watch. After watching the last episode, I had nail marks in my skin and felt like the wind was knocked out of me. While I understand exactly why the directors did what they did, a better warning should have been in place.
13 Reasons Why was truly an amazing series; the young mind is so fragile, life is so fragile. Its true that one single event can change someone’s life forever. One person’s kindness can save a life, while one person’s negativity can destroy another. This series also brings up a GREAT point that noone is talking about, how to ask, in the middle of a hot and steamy hook up, for consent. I love the part where (spoiler) Clay and Hannah are making out and taking each others clothes off. Clay stops, looks at Hannah, and says, “is this okay?” I LOVE THAT! In that moment where it can be so hard for a young adult to stop and say they are uncomfortable, he checks in and makes sure that what they are doing is okay.
Overall, I think that 13 Reasons Why is a GREAT show for parents to watch before their kids get into middle school and high school. If taken seriously, this show can save lives and give parents to proper tools to show their kids that suicide is NEVER an option. It also gives parents insight on just how hard it can be for kids to ask for help when their worlds seem to be falling apart. However, I’m very nervous that if watched by the wrong person this show can turn into a “how to” series. I have no doubt that 13 Reasons Why will unfortunately have copy cats 😦
I also have seen people posting about how much they HATE Hannah and how everything sets her off. The truth is, that to some teenagers, the littlest thing CAN trigger them. Hannah had some pretty bad stuff happen to her, followed by some PTSD episodes. It’s easy to think Hannah is overacting, but the truth is, when someone is mentally knocked down, the smallest thing can set them off. I think this show does a GREAT job at demonstrating how something that can seem so small to us, may seem very big and upsetting to someone who is struggling with a mental illness. PTSD, Depression, Paranoia and Anxiety are just some of the mental struggles I noticed Hannah was battling, and unfortunately, they all stem from PTSD.
Some people don’t understand mental illness, and that’s okay, but at least try and be sensitive to the people you know suffer from them. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t make it okay to tease.
“The worst thing you can do to a person with an invisible illness is make them try to prove how sick they actually feel.”