I watched the entirety of 13 Reasons Why, starting out of pure curiosity, but completing the series due to a glimmer of a hope that the message would somehow become more positive and comforting, for victims especially. I have concluded that this show isn’t healthy for victims to watch. It perpetuates age old stereotypes of mental illness, portraying suicide as something selfish, just a cry for attention. It’s core message is a reminder that actions have consequences, but that knowledge is already ingrained in us all. It doesn’t seem to offer anything new to the discussion. The scenes of popular discussion were nauseatingly graphic. In my opinion, this show is dangerous and encourages martyrdom, and its been showcased and marketed to those who are most vulnerable. It feels like a dagger in my heart to see so many people posting about it on social media, speaking of how “13 Reasons Why helped them to understand depression”, preaching about how to help others when I recognize them as some of my bullies, some of they have most likely never actually experienced clinical depression and suicidal idealizations. It puts a rosy lens on suicide. They focus on the romantic aspects: the star-crossed lovers, the relationship that could never be.
I think it spreads the opposite message it should be spreading. If the creators truly cared about their audience, they would not provide such a hopeless outlook on recovery and such unneeded, graphic scenes.