13 Reasons Why + Mental Illness 

I’ve come across an article that pretty much obliterated the purpose of the show 13 reasons why. In case you haven’t watched the show, it’s about a girl who recorded 13 tapes before committing suicide, to detail the people that led her to do it, and their actions and behaviours that influenced it. You can watch it on Netflix or read the book. 
The article I read outlined that the show was bullshit and that other people aren’t responsible for your own mental health. I think that alone, is bullshit. People affect other people’s mental health whether they know it or not. Bullying, which is shown heavily throughout the series via sexual abuse, rumours, assault and so on; is one of the core reasons commit suicide, and whether people like it or not, a bullies actions heavily dictate the victims mental health. The way we interact with people affects the mental health of people we associate with. 
Sometimes when people say things so much you begin to believe it, believe that you’re worthless and shouldn’t exist. No one takes responsibility for that. No one. The really important part of the show is the by stander affect. People often stand back and think others will do something so you don’t have to, you are part of the problem. 13 reasons why shows this by her tapes detailing how people knew that things said weren’t true but they went along with it instead of helping her. People even becoming her friend and finding out the truth, only to then use it against her. 
I know that a lot of bullies will watch this show and feel sorry for Hannah, but still ignore things that they’ve done in the past. Bullying affects the victim for years to come if it doesn’t lead them to suicide. A lot of therapy sessions later and you can’t start going weeks without thinking about it, but fears and concerns still roll back. Did Hannah’s bullies actually feel horrible for what they did or that their easy target had killed herself? I keep wondering that exact question. It’s a hard one, do you realise your actions and feel bad that you could have chosen not to be cruel, or do you realise that you’ll be stuck with a criminal charge your entire life for assisting in the death of a human being? 
All together, we affect each other’s mental states. If we’re kind to each other we have a clearer mental health (though with depression that can be extremely hard? Whereas if we are mean to each other we create a bad environment. A lot of people are toxic, that’s just how they are. You can’t pull someone up on their behaviour because they’ll play the victim card, and that in itself is bullying. Hannah attempts to confront some of the people who treat her badly or ‘make jokes’ that she simply doesn’t understand, and they all play the victim card saying they’re scared or that they ‘didn’t realise’. 
How do people not realise if they’re bullying? I’ll never understand it. Is it to make themselves feel better? To clear their own conscious? It doesn’t work like that. The show works to provide a full picture of what does happen, how bullying happens, the general consensus of mental illness and how real it is. I too believe that thinking mental illness doesn’t exist, is ignorant because believe it or not those people exist…

Do you know if someone’s bullying you?

– usually someone’s ‘perfectionism’ comes in the form of nit-nicking where possible, they have high standards you can’t live up to, they won’t admit any faults of theirs. 

– They lay on the whole guilt trip. You can’t do something? They won’t let you forget it and make you feel shitty for not doing it. 

– They’re possessive, they have to be around you all the time and know every detail and talk to you every minute of the day. 

– The spread rumours if they don’t get what they want, or because they don’t want to know the truth and the lie is easier. 

– They hate to have their authority in your life questioned, this includes not being to have an opinion because only theirs matters, they need to maintain dominance. 

– They never admit to fault or take responsibility for their own failures in life. It’s your fault they’re broke, it’s your fault they can’t get a boyfriend/girlfriend. 

– They play victim, it’s your fault you don’t get their jokes or that their opinion is all that matters and they jump on to attack you. 

– They’re communication is aggressive, they insult you if they don’t get their own way and they’re very bossy. 

It’s important to help the people you love, it’s also important to speak up should there be something wrong. I highly recommend 13 reasons why to anyone who has suffered bullying in the past or currently, for teenagers in high school, for anyone who thinks mental illness isn’t real and basically, I recommend it to everyone. It does have graphic rape scenes, and you will cry a lot through it. 
Don’t forget to get help when you need it, it could save your life. 

–thanks for stopping by —


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