Many people in our society today are dealing with the thoughts of suicide. As the overall suicide rate in the US is 13.36 percent of 100,00 individuals commit suicide which is an increase by 5% from 2017. It is becoming an issue that should not be ignored by parents, peers, or even yourself. Suicide can be caused from a variety of mental issues such as depression, anxiety, and even self-guilt. The most common cause is depression, which can lead to mood swings. Being depressed can take away the ability for someone to enjoy time with friends and their hobbies. In the Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” the main character, Hannah Baker, is a victim of depression. Throughout the series, she is picked on by her classmates and even her friends. This leads her to feel that she is worthless to society, and she later then commits suicide.
Depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. In 13 Reasons Why, Hannah Baker was constantly alone and really had nobody to talk to. She is an only child, her friends moved away since she is in high school now and her parents work full-time. In many scenes of this original Netflix series, Hannah has to deal with being cheated on, lies and backstabs from her friends, and also being raped. In one scene, Season 1 Episode 6, Hannah was seen driving to the bank to deliver her parent’s business deposits. As she was heading to the bank, she stops to chat with one of her friends, and puts the bank deposits on top of the car. After she says goodbye, she drives off forgetting about her parent’s money that is now left on an innocent street. A few days later, her parents, already dealing with financial issues with their store, were very furious with Hannah. Hannah, claims it was an accident and now has to deal with issues at school and with her parents. Things like this happen everyday, and instead of being angry at someone, we have to think of alternatives. Talk to the person, and understand that you may not know what they are already going through. The next day Hannah skipped school because of this incident.
In addition, another cause of suicide is bullying which is defined as intentional behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates a student, either physically or emotionally, and can happen while at school, in the community, or online. According to a survey on Pacer.Org more than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied. As well as a meta-analysis found that students facing peer victimization are 2.2 times more likely to have suicide thoughts and 2.6 times more likely to attempt suicide than students not facing victimization. Back to the Netflix show, Hannah was a victim of bullying, as in Season 1 Episode 9, she was going to her girlfriend’s house to do homework. As they were doing homework, they thought it would be funny if they were to kiss just one time. They tried it as a joke, but it then became serious and sexual. Outside of the house, a stalker from the school, was taking pictures through the window. The next day, one photo was then leaked and shared with nearly every classmate at her school. Whenever Hannah would walk in the hallways, people would laugh, mock the kiss, and also make fun of her sexual orientation. After this happened, Hannah felt like she had nobody to talk to, because even her friends were shocked about the incident. Issues like this happen in many schools, and even sometimes people can be framed. For instance a friend exposing another friend for being gay on social media. Then later that person being the victim of suicide because he was not ready to come out. We have to realize that judging someone’s looks, sexual orientation, or even ambitions can actually hurt them even if it is a joke.
Another factor that leads to suicide is anxiety. Which is something that can make someone constantly worried about certain things or events. According to an article titled “Most Americans Don’t Know The True Danger Of Anxiety” it says , “There’s a significant body of research that demonstrates that individuals suffering from anxiety disorders and depression face an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts.” This studies shows how anxiety can lead to suicidal thoughts and other bad things that a human being can go through. It’s clear and obvious that anxiety can be factor for a human wanting to drive themselves to suicide. In another scene of the Netflix show, Season 1 Episode 4, Hannah Baker experiences the feeling of anxiety when a list made by sophomores is remembered by a group of boys at a gas station. The list included girls names and compliments such as “Best Kisser,”,”Best Face,” and also “Best Ass,” which had was next to Hannah’s name. At the gas station, the group of boys started making jokes and sexual slurs about her having the “Best Ass.” One boy even groped her from behind as he was walking out of the store. Hannah suddenly felt that this list is making her feel worried about being seen in public. The scene portrays and shows how many people in our society have problems that are linked to issues in school. The director, Kyle Alvarez claims that he wanted to make the audience realize that things like this happen almost everyday. Yet, we the people are too scared to take a stand or help someone in need.
13 Reasons Why appeals to many viewers who are not well-educated about the drama in many high schools. Many people have claimed that this Netflix series should be banned because of how offensive it can be. One parent on the website, “Common Sense Media,” states that you should think twice before letting your kids even think about watching it. The parent claims that messages and scenes in the show can influence many kids to do harmful things. Another parent says the series is great, but it will be missed by the kids who need it the most. Mainly because there is excessive cussing, sex and also use of drugs. For instance many teenagers who have to deal with thoughts of bullying, depression, and also suicide.
It’s important to realize that many people may seem quiet, but they are in desperate need of help and support. For people who need advice on the topic, there is a website, “13reasonswhy.info,” which has a crisis text line and also a national suicide prevention lifeline. It also has many resources that can help anyone who has thoughts of suicide, or a friend who needs help. Things like being scared about what people think, suffering from being alone, and also bullying are things that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Talk to a parent, peer, or even make the change you need to make in order to make yourself happy.
Asher, Jay. “Thirteen Reasons Why Summary.” Shmoop. https://www.shmoop.com/thirteen-reasons-why/summary.html
“Bullying Statistics.” “Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center” https://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp
Collins, P.K Sam. “Most Americans Don’t Know The True Danger Of Anxiety.” “ThinkProgress.” Sep 1, 2015.