My response to “13 Reasons Why”

My response to “13 Reasons Why”

Have you seen it yet? “13 Reasons Why” is a Netflix series about a girl, called Hannah, that committed suicide after a cascade of events. It is set in an American high school and each episode follows one of the reasons that led to her taking her own life. So it sounds very depressing, doesn’t it? Not exactly jolly viewing, but I was hooked from episode one. I don’t know if that was because of my history with mental health or the cinematography; but as a depression survivor, I felt I needed to respond to the hype following the show.

I won’t divulge any spoilers, you really need to go and watch it; but be prepared that you will need to cancel out the next 13 hours so you can binge watch the season in one go. The way it’s written is beautiful and you genuinely get involved with the cast and wish that Hannah was still alive at the end. I also cried like a baby during the last episode, so get the tissues ready!

But how truthful is it?

I make no secret of the fact that I’ve battled with mental illness, after Isabelle was born I was really unwell with postnatal depression and it’s only within the last 4 months things have truly settled. But there was nothing about parenthood that was particularly awful that triggered my symptoms, it was just too much to handle.

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, but it is also known that for people that want to take their own life it isn’t one specific event that triggers it, but a catalogue of “errors” that build to be insurmountable. This is something that “13 Reasons Why” brings to the forefront. It highlights that depression isn’t relative to the severity of the triggers. That even small things can have a disproportionate effect.

“The show couldn’t be more accurate.”

For those out there that have experienced depression, you will relate to Hannah. For those of you that haven’t suffered from depression, watch this because you will better understand the illness from seeing Hannah’s pain. The way they show her friends and family coping afterwards is truly humbling. For someone why has been depressed, you can’t see the way the people you leave behind would be, just the clouded judgement that they would be better off without you.

Depression isn’t taboo anymore, with the Project Semicolon and increased media, mental illness is becoming less stigmatised and more acceptable.

It’s about bloody time. Why should the second leading cause of death in teenagers and women postnatally be something that is shrouded in shame?

Thank you so much to the writer of the original book Jay Asher and the people that made the series, it’s a message that needed to be given and an amazing way of getting it across.

I’m Clare and I survived depression.

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2 Comments

  1. April 18, 2017 / 4:20 pm

    I too have a history with depression and anxiety – I’ve been coping for a long while but I was on medication when I was 18, so 13 Reasons Why really resonated with me. It was a difficult watch, and it brought up a lot of feelings I think I’d buried for a long while. The last episode in particuar was harrowing, I shared Hannah’s pain but I was begging for her not to do it, even though we all knew from the outset that she had.

    I think it’s wonderful that Netflix were brave enough to commission this, and perhaps more people will feel able to start conversations about depression now.

    • April 18, 2017 / 4:41 pm

      I was begging it was just a joke and that she would be fine.

      I also totally agree with you that it’s amazing that this was commissioned. It is a massive step forward.

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