The Negligence of “13 Reasons Why”

“13 Reasons Why.”

The Selena Gomez – produced Netflix show that remade the YA fiction novel by the same name.

The topic? Teenage Suicide.


The “13 Reasons” refer to the 13 cassette tapes the victim, Hannah, left behind, explaining why each of the 13 people on the tapes were to blame in why she took her own life.

I didn’t want to watch it. Clearly, this is not a light subject matter, and not particularly something I wanted to watch alone in my studio apartment in New York. But given my affinity for Justin Bieber, and as a result, his first love, Selena Gomez, I wanted to see what she produced.

And well, after watching all 13 episodes in less than 48 hours, I have some thoughts. Strong ones.

Suicide is never the answer. It should never even be an option. Let’s get that right out of the way from the get-go. And if you are having suicidal thoughts, you should seek professional help. Call a crisis hotline. Talk to someone.

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This show got it wrong.

As a survivor of a severe case of anorexia, this topic hits really close to home with me. Too close. During my disease, even though I never would have said, “I want to end my life,” the fact is, my actions communicated just that. I starved myself down to 78 pounds. Anorexia is a slow, drawn out suicide attempt. There. I said it. Whether you realize it or not, you are killing yourself, every day. Every meal you skip. Every calorie you burn. You are slowly and deliberately allowing yourself to waste away.

And there is nothing to glorify there. Nothing to romanticize. Nothing to slap a sepia filter on and call it “teen angst.” It is a form of mental illness; just like conditions that lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. And it should be treated and supervised by professionals.

The thing that made me the most upset about the show, aside from the appalling depiction of sheer ineptness by the guidance counselor, the glamorization of her death through an elaborate “riddle” of tapes left behind, and the depiction of control that creates, the thing that got to me the most was that these tapes – these 13 Reasons – blamed someone for it.

One of my biggest regrets, that I still live with to this day, is thinking that my loved ones blame themselves for my anorexia. Thinking that they were a contributing factor to my illness, or that they did or said something that triggered the development of the eating disorder. It has worn at my spirit that they could possibly blame themselves. And over and over and over, I’ve tried to communicate to them that it wasn’t their fault. Sure, tense words were said, and maybe sometimes the best decisions weren’t made, but the fact is, we all were just getting through it the best we could, the best we knew how.

No one is to blame for a suicide. I don’t care how “good” of a story line that creates.

Is it horrible that Hannah had to endure assault and bullying? Absolutely. But taking one’s life is not the only option out there. Where were those options in the plot line?

Finally, my heart absolutely shatters, to think about the impressionable teens who watch this series. Who, like myself, want to check it out because Selena Gomez is on the poster and take her word as “Gospel-ajacent.”

The act of taking one’s life stems from one thing: control. Regain control of a life that seems hopeless, and at a dead end. And the message that the storyline communicates – that Hannah was able to leave a legacy and communicate with her classmates and control them into solving her riddle – it glamorizes, belittles and negates the gravity and severity and finality of the act of suicide. It puts an air of “celebrity” on the devastating act that doesn’t leave people curious, it leaves them ruined. Suicide ruins the loved ones. Shatters them. Leaves them unable to pick up the pieces.

When a person takes their life, there is no more communicating with their friends afterwards. There is no seeing if they’ve solved the riddles or played the “game” by the rules, or done this or that. When a person takes their life, they are no longer alive. They are no more. And everyone is left to put the pieces back together, and fight the horrific guilt that they were to blame.

There is always another option. There is always a way out. No matter how bleak. There is always another option. It is my deepest prayer that if someone who is at risk, watches that series, that they don’t become enamored with the glitz and the notoriety Hannah received after her death. That they realize that there are people that they can reach out to for help. Guidance counselors are good people and, contrary to the depiction in the seriesare well equipped and want to help.

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But lastly, I pray that those at risk youth remember that they’re not alone. That they are loved so fiercely by their Heavenly Father, who wants to fight for them. And even though that might not seem like enough, it has the power to turn things around.

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“13 Reasons Why” is negligent. It panders to the glorification of a tragedy that should never, ever be glossed over or trivialized or romanticized.

Hannah had a mental illness. And with proper care and guidance, her story could have ended a lot differently.

And I pray that for anyone watching it, they realize that too.

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550 thoughts on “The Negligence of “13 Reasons Why”

    1. Thanks so much Mel. I appreciate it 🙂 yeah this series really brought up a lot of strong feelings for me. I appreciate their effort to open up a conversation about it, but I fear it did more harm than good. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  1. I haven’t watched 13 Reasons, but even so, the hairs on my neck raised when I heard about it, as I wondered whether the series would manage to tread respectfully on the issue of suicide.

    If your description is correct, it sounds like they blew it. Turning such a tragic thing into a sensationalized little “mini-Lost” for entertainment purposes is insulting. A sober tone and story structure is called for. Educate the public on the signs and possible outreaches of suicide, or stay out of it. Lives could be saved.

    I wonder if the book did any better.

    Thank you for your outspokenness, Caralyn, as always.

    1. Thank you so much Brandon. Yeah, it is definitely not a light show – very graphic, with obviously a heavy topic. Yeah, I applaud them for trying to open up a conversation about the topic, because it is important. Teen suicide is now the second leading cause of death among adolescents. But i’m afraid this did more harm than good. Thanks for your feedback. big hugs to you xox

  2. Thanks for writing this. I felt awful for 2 days after watching it. I’m putting together my own post soon, but this well said and well written. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Thanks so much. Yeah, it was really a tough one to digest. It really brought up a lot of difficult emotions. I look forward to reading your reflection on it. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  3. I am appalled by what you describe. I had no idea about this show or book. Two close family members committed suicide, one bipolar before there was any good treatment(1969) and one later with other struggles. The pain of those left behind is enduring. It would have been intolerable if either woman had left letters blaming her family. We know both would have rather lived, but just couldn’t any longer. Mental illness is nobody’s fault and everyone’s heartache if no treatment works.

    1. Oh Elizabeth, my heart just goes out to you. I am so sorry that you’ve had to walk that path and that it has touched your life so closely. Gosh, I am so sorry. You’re so right – mental illness is no one’s fault. Period. Sending all my love. Thanks for sharing your story. big hugs xo

  4. Very well said. You might be missing your calling lady. You are an inspiration to so many and I think one day you might be doing something on another level. You definitely have what it takes to inspire.

    1. Thank you so much Corrie. Gosh, you are kind to say that. Seriously, I am touched and humbled by your kind words. I am just trying to trust that God will lead me where I’m supposed to go. Big hugs to you xo

      1. Thanks again. Yeah, she is doing great. We’re so encouraged by her process 🙂 Thanks for saying that. I’ll pass along your sentiments. big hugs xo

  5. I absolutely felt the same way about the show. It gave no hope, it did not show another way out. The show could have had a poweful and helpfup message, but it failed in my eyes.

    1. Thank you so much, Sam. Yeah, the show really was a punch in the gut. Because there *is* hope. Things don’t have to end like they did on the show. I just pray that it doesn’t do more harm than good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. sending big hugs xo

  6. Now and then on my blog I write about my walk of faith with my depression. I ask my readers to communally pray for the pastoral community to speak more frequently about mental illness from the pulpit and encourage both the individual and their family to seek professional help. It seems in some churches, speaking about mental illness is taboo. Every church, based on statistics is affected by members with mental illness. I am honored to write in agreement with you to direct people to seek professional help. There are national and local crises lines to call for referrals and of course if serious, go immediately to the hospital. Praying for you and your family.

    1. Hi Rick, thank you so much for sharing part of your story. You’re so right – professional help is so important. It shouldn’t be taboo. Because everyone is carrying something. And it’s okay to need help. Yes. Yes. Yes. Those are such great resources. Because the story doesn’t have to end there. There is hope. And there is always a way out. Always. But the person has to seek help, which is often the hardest thing to do. but the most important. thank you so much for sharing this important perspective. sending massive hugs xox

    2. Hi Rick, I want to try and give you a little hope. I’m a pastor and I’m part of team that’s working really hard to break down the stigma around mental health struggles in our churches. I’m also coordinating a training workshop for pastors on mental health first aid. So change is happening but I’m truly sorry it’s taken so long.

    1. oh friend, thank you so much. I really really appreciate it, CB. Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words. I was nervous to publish this one so I appreciate the affirmation. big hugs xo

      1. You are just so real and true to yourself. I really admire you and hope to meet you someday. I’m in NY for work often. Maybe sometime. Xo

  7. I understand where you’re coming from, but I’d just like to point out that shows and movies like this often don’t shape society as much as they are shaped by society. In another words, we have a romanticism around suicide already, and not a new one by any means either.

    That being said, I agree wholeheartedly that suicide should not be viewed as a game, like you said, it is permanent, and it will damage those around you.

    Anyways, just adding my two cents : ) hope it doesn’t offend anyone

    Meno<3

    1. Hi Meno, thank you so much for sharing this perspective. You’re right, sadly, there is a great deal of romanticism around the topic already. It really is sad, when you think about it. It’s like the reality tv/voyeristic obsession our culture has. It is a tragedy. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate it. big hugs xox

  8. I’m dealing with my 10 year old girl who is excused from school because of suicidal thoughts. That a tv series like this is even created is appalling to me… thanks for your honesty!

    1. Oh Lene, I’m so sorry to hear that your daughter is going through that. I will definitely keep her in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing that. Sending big hugs xo

    2. I was 11 when suicidal thoughts first appeared in my head. I am glad a show like this wasn’t around for me to see. There is a possibility that I wouldn’t be here now. I hope your daughter is going to be OK.

      1. Thank you. I do too! I’m so glad the show wasn’t around for you to see back then!…
        We have decided to homeschool my daughter so we hope the stress level will drop and she can comfortably learn while finding out who she is inside. I appreciate your thoughts.

  9. This is a head-on tackle of the problem and I hope it helps someone. Death is so final and takes away all hope. As long as you are breathing you should have hope. And turning to the heavenly Father is the most hopeful thing I know to do. He is always, there for me. Good article.

  10. I didn’t know how to feel when watching the series. Like you, I watched all 13 episodes in the matter of a few days, and I found myself thinking, “This is really entertaining but wrong on so many levels, too.” As a 31 year old, I am able to discern and digest such a show, but like you stated so well, what will a teen make of this? What will a teen who might be on edge think after watching a glorified tribute wherein Hannah leaves a legacy of sorts (when in reality there is nothing glorious or legacy worthy)? I think you’ve put much of how I feel about the show into words, and your personal experiences made for a better examination and understanding than I could have imagined. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. yeah this was definitely a difficult series to digest. Very heavy. And in the hands of an at risk teen, it just makes me very worrisome. Verrrrry worried. Thanks for your thoughtful response. big hugs to you xox

      1. I appreciate the attention you give to those that comment on your blog. It’s inspired me to respond to all that comment on my work, too. Can I ask how you established your blog in such a way that has led to so many followers and views? Obviously you are a very talented and insightful writer, but what advice would you give a budding blogger? I’m trying to expand my reach and affect more people in positive ways. Thanks!

      2. Thank so much, Matt. I guess, honestly, just write about what you’re passionate about, because that shines through. And also, be sure to publish on all social media feeds. Hope that helps!

  11. As someone who has suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts this show makes me angry. People come away from it going “I understand depression now”. But they don’t. When I had those thoughts it had nothing to do with anything else. It was with me. I never would have blamed someone for that. Depression and suicide isn’t about being angry with other people, it is about hating yourself. Just hurts because none of my friends know about my struggle and talk about how amazing this show is. And now if I ever tell them I will be compared to that…thanks for the post. I got better and so have you but some people dont. And we aren’t ever “fixed” completely. Thanks for bringing light to this 🙂

    1. Hi Taylyn, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that it hits so close to home for you. You’re right, there are some things that one will just never understand unless they’ve walked it themselves. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to deal with that and I am sending you just the absolute biggest hug in the world. You are strong and I am inspired by your courage. Thank you again, my friend. much love xoxoxoxo

  12. did you watch the reasons behind the reasons? Where the producers and actors talked about making the movie. I too really am left a bit disturbed by this show. I think they are gearing up to make another series because why did the one character (the stalker) I can’t remember his name sorry (fibro fog) have a cedar chest of weapons, will the next series deal with mass school shootings? Suicide is on the rise and yes clearly the next generation needs to know that they are not alone and what they are feeling won’t last forever

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I did watch the “behind the reasons.” And I was still left just – shocked. Hmm, that’s a really interesting thought. I don’t know if another series is in the works, but i pray that if they do, they handle it with more gravity and don’t romanticize it. Interesting thoughts. Yes, we are never alone. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this. hugs xo

  13. Good points. I imagine that as a depressed teenager myself I might have been enamored with the ultimate revenge of it. I also didn’t like the blame factor but at the time I didn’t think of that as truth but rather as a depiction of survivor guilt feelings. I do think it’s important for parents to watch. Many of us forget how monumental everything seemed when we were in high school, and now they have social media to worry about.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, TCH. Yeah it definitely opens up a dialogue. I just pray it didn’t do more harm than good. Yeah, I can’t imagine the pressures of social media on high schoolers now adays. That way in its infancy when I was in school. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

  14. Good post, Caralyn. I also binge-watched this show like a week or 2 ago, it’s a very tough and heavy watch, admittedly so.

    Agree with you when you say that there’s a huge flaw with the show because of how it uses blame. In order to glorify and sort of “justify” Hannah’s suicide story.

    On the other hand, I think there was also some good intention behind the story. In the sense that, they probably made this show in order to raise awareness (of abuse) and illustrate what it’s like to suffer/deal with mental illness.

    Just my take on it, hope you don’t mind… 😉 ciao bella <3

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection. Yeah, it was a tough watch to say the least. I applaud their efforts to open up a dialogue about a topic that really needs to be discussed, but I just pray that in their glorification of Hannah’s death, that they didn’t do more harm than good. Because you’re right – it needs to be talked about. I truly appreciate hearing your take on it! 🙂 big hugs to you x

  15. This is an excellent post and well said. Suicide is something that hits close to home because I was once suicidal and was going to kill myself years ago, but God stopped me. I am grateful to Jesus for literally saving my life. He has given me the strength to deal with trials and tribulations. He also has given me joy and peace like no one else can. I just want to add that suicide is more than a mental illness, but a demonic spirit that attacks people and drives them to commit suicide. Remember we are not at war with flesh and blood, but satan and his demons. So suicide, depression, anger, hate, bullying, anorexia, just to name a few, aren’t just emotions or mental illnesses, but demonic spirits sent by satan to attack anyone of us. There are ways to fight them, but the best way to fight them is through the power of God and His Word. I pray for all who are dealing with suicide and other things at this time. Have a bless day!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so glad that Jesus stepped in and rescued you. Praise God! Yes, we can draw our strength from Him. There is so much hope there. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. I truly appreciate it. Know that you are in my prayers, and I am so inspired by you. Big hugs xox

  16. I had never heard of this series, and now today I have read two reviews. Having worked with children and families, my interest is definitely piqued now; however, no way will I be watching it with my older boy in the house!

    It’s definitely not a subject to take lightly, and unfortunately, suicide is a subject we are forced to broach with our children. However, it shouldn’t be through media channels, and it shouldn’t be through a glorification of some sort of vindictive revenge. Your insight was valuable – and offers a unique perspective.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Anni, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Yeah, it is definitely not something suitable for children or even teens, in my opinion. You’re right, it is something that needs to be talked about, and I applaud them for opening up the dialogue, but I fear they did more harm than good. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  17. I talked with my 16 yo about this show as she has been watching it too. She added another great point, that because the girl who committed suicide is the main character it creates the illusion that committing suicide puts you at the center of others’ attention when the truth is the opposite: people move on. Very good point for teen perspective, in my opinion. Thanks, Caralyn!

    1. Hi Nanette, thank you so much for sharing this. That’s such a great point. Your daughter is very insightful. It’s true – people move on, and the fact is, the person isn’t there to see it. The finality of suicide, in my opinion, was really minimized. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

      1. Thank you for creating the conversation. I knew she was watching but didnt know too much about the show — your post was a great catalyst

    1. Really!? Yeah, Carson, it’s one of those shows that sticks with you, and takes a while to digest. And yes..you should put a lock on your mailbox for the future 😉 But seriously, thank you for taking the time to read. Would love to hear your thoughts! big hugs xox

      1. I haven’t seen it myself (and likely won’t) but I’ve been hearing and thinking a lot about it, I definitely have some real concern for some of the teenagers in my group who’ve watched it. I’m not really sure yet how to go about opening up that discussion but it’s definitely a critical one to do well. I can appreciate the effort to start it but knowing hollywood a tv series may never not be the negligent way to do it

      2. Yeah, there is definitely reason for that concern. And you’re right, it’s important to talk about, but I don’t think this show took the responsible route. Amen. thanks Carson. Yeah, if you’re going to watch it, just prepare yourself, because it is a dark and intense one, leaving literally nothing to the imagination. Gratuitously, IMHO

      3. That’s what I’ve heard, another negligence, which might not be an obvious one to some people but for anyone who’s been around the self-injury community it’s a HUGE trigger hazard (and I’ve heard it increases the risk of a person actually using a method they’ve seen in such detail, too) and it seems like such a major oversight on the part of the producers…gratuitous indeed

      4. You know, on a TOTALLY almost different note.. one sunday at my old church a lady gave a message on the suffering of Jesus, and laid it all out and described what he physically experienced, to such detail that I left feeling sick, that’s something I’ve been thinking about recently too, considering Easter and all, and while I mean, I think it’s tremendous to understand what Jesus went through for us and at our hands, I think it was important for the people in that generation to see the reality of what they had done to him directly, but that NOW Father has glorified him and made him king of everything. It makes me wonder, how important is that kind of depiction, to magnify his suffering and almost bring with it a shame message on us potentially, and how does it affect the magnification of his glorification? Wow those are bigger words than I thought I’d end up using. I suppose where the connection is, is we say 13 Reasons Why is negligent, but where do you suppose the difference is in Christianity dealing with the suffering of Jesus? And not even mentioning the God’s wrath debate, lol, hmm.

  18. Nobody can convey this to at-risk youth better than someone who has stared into the abyss and fallen back into the arms of unconditional love.

    1. Hi Brian, thanks for this. Yeah, an abyss it is, for sure. And unconditional love, it is, for sure 🙂 The absolute worst and the absolute best places, respectively. thanks for stopping by. hugs x

  19. Goodness, yes yes yes. My wife struggled with mental illness, that whole “leaving people behind who will blame themselves” idea is so true. I was constantly, CONSTANTLY blaming myself. Thankfully, she didn’t take her life. Thanks for sharing. As always, you put it so well.

    1. Than you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that this hits home to you so closely. And praise God that she clung to hope and is still with you. And thank you for passing this along to your readers. sending you so much love, and keeping you and your wife in my prayers 🙂 big hugs xox

  20. I have not watched this series yet. However, a lot of people on my Facebook have been posting about it. I’ve also read a few articles about how social workers are saying, that this series is doing more harm than good, and since being in the mental illness field, I’m not sure that I can or want to bring myself to watch it, especially, after reading your post too. Sadly, this past year I have known four teens who have passed due to suicide, and it is just heart breaking to know that they felt so alone and hopeless, that they thought that was their only option 🙁

    1. Than you so much for sharing this. Yeah, I applaud them trying to open up a dialogue, but i also fear that it is doing more harm than good. It is a very dark watch, so know that going into it. Truthfully, another reason I watched it was because I knew it was being talked about and so I wanted to contribute to the dialogue. Gosh, I am so sorry that you know this tragedy from a personal level That is so heart breaking. You’re right, there is always always another option. thanks for sharing this. big hugs to you xx

  21. I agree with you on so many posts. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I read the book long ago before the Netflix series came out and my heart broke for Hannah. It saddens me that this character ( and so many young people out there) feels as if this is the only option. While I agree that suicide is nobodies fault , bullying and picking on someone in such a fragile state doesn’t help them either! My heart grieves for those who don’t have people to lean on during these times! It is pertinent that we treat people with love and empathy because you never know who could be at their worst. Prayers going up for anyone feeling lost alone and desperate! Love and blessings to you girl as well!

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie, for sharing this. Yeah, my heart broke for her as well. I agree – there is always another option. we are never stuck. Yes, we all need to pray for those who are lost and alone, and struggling. They need prayers and love. Thanks for so beautifully sharing your heart. big hugs xox

      1. Thanks for continually being transparent and sharing your journey with us! Your testimony will help so many! xo

  22. It’s so good to read your article with such a reasonable perspective – that can only come from someone who genuinely takes full responsibility for her life decisions – that attitude towards life empowers us. I’d say there is a complicated cycle of blame & guilt in a situation involving suicide: the person who commits it doesn’t take responsibility and unsurprisingly blames others. Those others don’t know how to handle the blame and/or guilt, as they lack the certainty that we are all forgiven for our sins and the strength to deal with a human tendency to blame as opposed to forgive. Ultimately these feelings develop when there isn’t a genuine relationship with God.

    And it comes as no surprise that nowadays suicide is glamorized: what good reason is there to live without the certainly that there is someone who genuinely loves and cares about you regardless of what you do or who you and/or others think you are? This is a dark world without God. I’ve seen it and didn’t even have a mental illness. Only after my conversion did I start to see light, love and hope everywhere. But that beauty requires spiritual transcendence to be fully experienced – and to not be crushed by our daily struggles.

    1. Thank you so much Milly. I really appreciate it. You’re right, that is an empowering way to live. Yeah, it makes me so sad how glamorized it has become, because it is truly a tragedy. And a preventable one at that. Yes, there *is* hope everywhere. thanks for sharing this. big hugs xo

  23. My father is alleged to have suicided. Long story re whether he suicided or was murdered but for the best part of thirty years my belief was 100% certain it was suicide. It may or may not be — we’ll now never know and that comes with its own complexities.

    Living with – well being a suicide-bereaved person has been a part of my life for thirty-years. Because of this I found myself being a peer group support worker for suicide bereaved people. Only for about three years.

    I agree with you — nobody wins out of suicide. There are wins from not taking that final step, and for most people who push through that period of time, or those periods of time when they don’t want to die but just want the pain to stop — something changes for the better. It’s incredible how many people I have seen find happiness not long after coming so close.

    I’m not sure if this show is on Netflix here in Australia, not sure it’s my thing anyway but I really appreciate how you have taken it on. One sentence in particular that you use has so much power…”Where were those options in the plot line?” Your one line sums up the irresponsibility of the dramatic arts; it also sums up society failing to be the village that raises the child.

    Love what you wrote. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi there friend, gosh, my heart just goes out to you. I am so sorry that you’ve had to endure such a tragedy. It makes my heart ache. Know that you are in my heart and prayers. I’m glad that you’ve found that support group. Because you’re right – it is no ones fault and no one wins. Yes, we need to be the village for all the children. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Sending all my love xoxoxox

      1. Thank you. I thought I’d let you know that I checked my Netflix account just now – sure enough ’13 Reasons’ is in my suggestions to watch thing.

        Chers 🙂

  24. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. Excellent post. This is a sad situation in our country. “Do onto Others” the Golden Rule is no longer taught. If you honor GOD you honor other’s lives. Thank you for sharing with others and giving hope. We all need hope in life, bullying is a horrific crime, I think. God Bless you.

    1. Thank you so much, friend, for your encouragement. you’re right – do unto others needs to be plastered on the walls of the schools, the parks, the football fields. etc. thanks for your kind words. big hugs xo

  25. “Like it or not…we are all responsible for our own realities, plain and simple! This series was produced by a for profit organization seeking to make money, not give a realistic perspective?”

    1. Thank you so much Kim. You’re right, it’s definitely a topic that should be talked about, but I just don’t think this show did it responsibly. And thank you for having the courage to write about it on your blog. That must not have been easy. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

  26. An inspiring testimony and yes, there is another option… seek professional help! Caralyn, this post is so timely in influencing those who are vulnerable, and are lost! May the Lord continue to use you to inspire and share! ❤

    1. Oh Iris, what a kind thing to say, thank you for the encouragement. you’re so right — there is *always always always* another option. And i just pray that the at risk teens who watch the show remember that. big hugs xox

  27. The last episode was very hard to watch but over all I think it was a good show . As an adult that suffered from depression and wanted to take her own life I look at the show totally different. What I got from the show was that it brought awareness. It brought awareness about depression/suicide and most importantly how we treat other people. This show had to do with teenage bullying , I know it’s hard to live with the fact that you might of been the reason why someone took their own life but that’s reality. Children take their own lives due to bullying in school all the time, so to say that there’s no one to blame is not true in this specific scenario.
    I’m all for professional help, If you’re not mentally stable I don’t think watching the show is a good idea because it might steer you in the wrong direction. The show also shows us how schools sometimes do nothing about bullying . We always have options but because so much stigma comes from being mentally unstable sometimes the hardest thing to do is ask for help. I get what you’re saying though. This is just my take on it

    1. Hi Cristal, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that this hit some so personally for you. And thank you for offering this powerful take on it. You’re right, it definitely brought awareness. And I wholeheartedly applaud them for opening up a dialogue about an issue that needs to be talked about. Thanks again for offering this perspective. Sending you so much love. xox

  28. You really hit the nail on the head. Just seeing your introduction about a girl saying she blamed thirteen people for her suicide made me cringe. Reading more it sounds more horrible than I would have guessed. Society is really turning matters on their head these days. 🙁 Well-written defense for rational and thoughtful thinking.

    1. Thank so much Minnie. Yeah, it was a really hard series to watch. it was dark and intense and gratuitously graphic. Yeah, I agree about society. Thanks for taking the time to read. big hugs xo

    1. Thanks Jeff. I so appreciate the encouragement. As you probably guessed, I was pretty nervous about publishing this one. Looking forward to reading your thoughts. and thanks again for passing this along to your readers. big hugs xox

      1. This is you at your best! This is one soap box you should NEVER shy away from! You’re the expert, and you have the voice, the skills to tell the story.

  29. Brave post. You’ll probably get some grief for not swooning at the word of the cool kids, but your point about refusing to romanticize suicide to young people is so important and I pray it is heard.

  30. I’m giving a talk to high school students this week. This afternoon I was asked to touch on this series. It will be challenging.

    1. Hi brad, oh gosh, yeah that will be challenging. But I totally believe in you ❤ you’re going to touch those kids lives and have a positive impact on them. Hugs and love xox

  31. First John 2:9 “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.” May the world be reminded this Easter to keep opening our hearts, keep letting the light in. You certainly are letting your light shine bright. I like this post very much.

  32. My father took his own life in October. It’s been difficult to understand. You hit the nail on the head…he had a mental illness and nothing I did or said caused that. The disease killed him. Thank you for your post.

    1. Hi Sarah Ann. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. Oh friend, my heart just goes out to you. How incredibly tragic. No you 100% did not cause it. Mental illness is so misunderstood and I’m just… gosh my heart is breaking for you Sarah Ann. Hang in there. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this challenging time. Hugs xox

  33. Hi Caralyn. Thank you for a well written response to a subject that does get glamorized because a “celebrity” produces a film series, saying she wants to help teens. Suicide is not a glamorous act, ( I have not viewed this program ), and if it is causing others to feel guilty for someone’s suicude, is there a possibility that a chain reaction of suicides may evolve.
    My prayer is that any who watch, or hear of this series, who are having suicidal thoughts, will seek a good counsellor, and see themselves in a better light. Each person is a valuable creation of God, and God has a purpose and plan for each life. Each is selling themselves short of their great potential that God has placed in them.
    This entire thought hurts, as in the Street Ministry I was a part of, as well as a Drop In Centre where I volunteered, many young people had thoughts of suicide, or had attempted suicide at times. Sorry to say, some tried and accomplished their task.

    Closer to home, my younger sister attempted suicide a number of times while in her teens and twenties, and continued talking of it as she grew older. She did see counsellors, as well as psychiatrists or psychologists regularly, who helped, as well as much prayer, as we sought guidance of, and the touch of our Lord Jesus on her life.

    I have been rambling again Caralyn, and actually started to write in order to repeat the fact that you are greatly appreciated. And secondly, that I am wondering if you have considered becoming a counsellor. If you have not considered this, please do, and seek God’s will, if this may be a direction He may lead you in.

    God’s Blessings Good Friend. Still praying for your Mom, Dad, and you, trusting Jesus Christ for His touch.

    1. Hi friend, oh gosh I’m so sorry this topic matter hits home with you in such a personal way. I’m so glad your sister got help. Praise Jesus. Thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs and love xox

  34. Yes! I wrote a post about the same thing. I’m a high school teacher and my students are OBSESSED with this show. It scares the hell out of me, because I also know that several of them struggle with thoughts of suicide. Two of my students have attempted it just this year. And this show not only glorifies suicide, it makes it seem as if it’s the best option for getting back at people who hurt you. I’m terrified for the day in the future when a teenager commits suicide and leaves tapes because they were inspired by this show.

    1. Oh Rachel, this is truly terrifying. Thank you for sharing this. Gosh, I just pray that that day never comes. Yeah I too fear for the copy cat tragedies. Another thing is how, with Hannah’s narration of the whole show made it appear that her death wasn’t *final.* – that she kept on living and controlling and able to interact with her friends but that’s not how it works and I’m afraid that teens won’t fully grasp that. Or take it lightly. Thanks for sharing this. Hugs and love xox

    2. Can you or can you get someone qualified to speak with the kids and talk it through? It’s not perfect – far from it – but can you use to reach those kids? Suicidal thoughts thrive in silence.

      1. Yeah, they thrive in silence. I mean, I think as a teacher, by law, you have to contact a social worker. At least that’s how it works if you suspect neglect or abuse in the home. you’re required by law to contact child protective services. i don’t know if the same applies to an at risk teen for suicide.

  35. Yes, I completely agree with this! Last week I also wrote a review of the books, but it was from more of a literary perspective. It’s great to see others putting their own experiences into their analysis of the episodes/book series. I like your emphasis on getting help before it’s too late.

    1. Thank you so much. Yeah it’s so important to get help. The story doesn’t have to end how it did for Hannah. Look forward to reading your review on it. Hugs and love xox

  36. So well said! I haven’t seen the show, but I agree that suicide should NEVER be glorified. It’s a horrific thought that something like this could possibly give someone that one last ounce of “courage” to take their own life. Better things are always possible. Thanks for sharing!!

  37. Yes! So many professionals have spoken out against this series for these same reasons. I’ve heard the creators were even specifically advised to avoid certain depictions/wording but did it regardless. It’s beyond negligent… It’s dangerous. 🙁 Also, the downplay of actual mental illness in favor of highlighting the bully factor creates quite a distortion and leaves such a gap in understanding. The idea of suicide being a legitimate option for finding peace, redemption, validation, martyrdom, or worse, revenge, is absolutely horrible. This series says, “Killing yourself is a totally valid option for the following reasons.” It’s like psycho-smut. Shock factor, pity, and drama in the name of faux “awareness.”

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. Yeah, it really is dangerous, and I pray that there are no copy-cat tragedies. Yeah, I agree. There really is a gap in understanding. Yeah, it is a dangerous thing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I fully agree! hugs xo

    1. thank you so much, yeah, it was just so horrible, and my heart just shatters to think of the impressionable teens who may be at risk, who may be enamored with the “celebrity” Hannah received after her death. ugh. thanks for stopping by. hugs x

  38. I agree with you even thought I’m slowly half watching it and just on episode #10. There are actually a number of serious issues with the show. At the same time, I think I can appreciate that they are trying to bring home that we often are oblivious to the needs of others – self interested to the point that we miss calls for help. In an environment like that there is a foreboding hopelessness. They drive that home, unrealistically so, but it sure makes it weigh on the heart.

    1. Thanks again, friend. Yeah *very* serious issues. And I agree – I applaud them for opening up a dialogue, I just think they did it in an incredibly irresponsible and risky way. ugh. Thanks again

      1. So… Today, I gave the presentation to the high school students, got some positive feedback, and then headed out. I got 15 minutes tdown the road when my phone rings. They wanted me to come back because a suicidal young person came forward asking for help. Just spent the last 2 hours with them to work out how to be safe right now.
        Whew.

      2. oh wow. I’m so sorry to hear that that person is struggling with that, but how incredible that you had such a positive impact. way to go. will keep that young person in my prayers

      3. Yes please. There’s a big story in that – God on the move in a big way. But…
        As I am connecting in, in addition to the young person I met with today, I have now am aware of at least two more. I’m sitting here in tears for these young people. At the same time, in awe of what God is doing in front of me.
        I need to stand up and give you one of those slow claps because when I was asked to speak, I had one idea, then I was asked to touch on 13 Reasons Why. Your blog helped me prepare and now we (me and you by extension) are bringing life to young people.

  39. As one of my lofty goals is to raise awareness of veteran suicide this touches my soul deeply. I have had more run in’s with suicide and suicide attempts then I think most. I would very much like to discuss a few things with you in private if that would be permitted. I think you and I could take value in our stories. If you care to, my email for my blog is on my contact page. Have a blessed night.

      1. Hi friend, I received your email, and I’m going to be truly honest with you. I am really having trouble reading it. My heart was so shocked and saddened by the first sentence, that i had to quickly close the window, and I am working up the courage to reopen it and continue reading. I am so sorry that you had to witness that. My heart goes out to you and i just want you to know that I’m sending so many hugs and love and prayers.

      2. I don’t see it as a sad story. I see it as a story of Gods perseverance, grace. If we are to be a weapon for Christ we much first be forged by fire. I have overcome and am a better man for it.

  40. Beautifully written article and so amazingly courageous in respect to you personal circumstance. Articles like these are an amazing encouragement to those fight the same battle daily. As a counsellor that deals regularly with suicidal ideation the strength of testimony is a great one! Well done and may God continue to bless your literary efforts

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. And wow, what a powerful profession you have. I admire your line of work so much. Thank you, for giving your life’s work to helping people. Big hugs xox

  41. This brings to mind Romans 12:2. Our culture is dangerously ill in so many ways, and your post only serves to illustrate that fact. Could such a story have been told in a responsible and healthy manner? Perhaps. Could it have been brought to the screen (big or small) as a big-budget production? Never. Not in this cultural climate. Last summer two of my classmates committed suicide on the same weekend in separate and unrelated incidences. There was nothing glamorous or romantic about it. There was no up side, only anguish.

    1. Thanks so much for this, John. You’re right – it’s dangerously ill. Oh gosh, I am so sorry that this hits home with you so personally and that you had to go through that grief. That just breaks my heart. I think you’re right – this is definitely something that needs to be talked about but the way in which 13RW went about it was more detrimental than helpful. Big hugs xo

  42. You are right but you know we do not all read what you have written and in the dark the light seems so far away. Ever since tech came people have been horrible to each other why read them just delete and ignore and pray. We all need comfort and yes talking it out to anyone who will listen like a priest, pastor, nurse, mother, sister, cousin, friend, even a doctor is far better than taking your precious life. The whole future is gone for what a scum bag or bags.

    1. “In the dark, the light seems so far away.” Gosh, isn’t that the truth. I have been there. When the light seemed like a pin prick a thousand miles away. Virtual bullying is definitely so harmful and my heart just goes out to all those who are suffering from that. Yes – talking to someone and seeking help is so important. thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. big hugs xo

      1. would you help me I am not a techy all I have is a laptop and would like to know how to delete some of my categories and what is a sticky? I sound dumb but that is how I learn by asking wordpress did not reply.

  43. I can see the fear against a show that arises dialogue about suicide. Written toward a younger audience and with other YA novels stretched out to include a wider audience it’s almost strange to consider writing this show for a young person.

    There are numerous references toward suicide in pop culture including Drake’s last three album covers. ASAP Rocky’s Suicide Fingers stance. A recent movie called Before I Fall.

    Every emotion creates reactions. At least, that’s what preach as motive in police work. It’s true it’s not a bully that kills a kid that’s murder. The bully does take and from that emptiness a victim finishes that emotion. It used to be, you only had a bully a few hours a day at school. Now, it’s compounded, you check your Facebook. He’s there. You go out. He’s there. There’s no time to recoup.

    Now, does a plot that might not be well defined permit young people toward suicide. Maybe, they were considering it already. There’s a duality in our culture. Kids can play games for kill counts but they cannot do the same in reality. Romeo and Juliet was a well defined plot and also a dual suicide.

    We as an audience, can appreciate the story as a ritual path. True, this story is a dark path but if traveled and thought about then we may consider another. That is hope that my daughter didn’t have. That is hope that my brother didn’t have. Dialogue, is important even if it’s a little messed up.

    1. Oh Kenzie, my heart just goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your story. Gosh, we need that hope to pierce the dark in the world. Gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that this resonates with you so personally. You’re right – dialogue is so incredibly important. And especially now, when, like you said, bullies follow a kid right into their living room, into their pocket — virtual bullying is, just as harmful, if not more. Gosh, thank you for your powerful response. I’m sending the biggest of hugs xo

  44. I am of two minds here. I haven’t seen either the series nor read the book but this last comment before mine by Kenzie’s drawings is what brought about the second thought process. I spent most of my teens and early 20’s fronting heavy metal bands. This was the 1980’s thru early 1990’s. And the PMRC was trying desperately to get certain artists banned. A young man had attempted suicide, another succeeded, and both had been listening to a song by Ozzy Osbourne called “Suicide Solution”. Without listening or even reading all the lyrics, people assumed Ozzy was glorifying suicide. Instead, the word solution is being used in the context of a chemical substance. Ozzy wrote the song about alcohol and drug-addiction and how you are, as you mentioned Caralyn about anorexia, slowly committing suicide with them. However, from the sounds of each post and your blog, this show is a little more in depth than just a case of misunderstanding as with Ozzy’s song so I can understand the fear factor Kenzie mentions but also agree with him/her about the importance of having something that opens dialogue…Just maybe not in the context of glorifying it. However, on my father’s side of the family there has been at least 1 suicide in every generation as far back as anyone can remember. My grandfather’s brother took his own life late in life. My father attempted it a few times. His older sister succeeded two years before I was born. The pain of losing her has stayed in everyone’s hearts…Even though it’s been 53 years since. I’ve inherited the gene, the chronic depression. No, I’ve never attempted and I have no desire to but I’ve also spent plenty of years in therapy for childhood abuse and I’ve had those talks with a good counselor. I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this except that there is nothing glamourous​ about it. And, if this show is making it seem glamorous, then truly is dangerous. I’ve also lost a couple of friends to suicide. A brother of one said if you could see the faces of those you love afterwards, the thought would never cross your mind again.

    1. Hi Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your story. Gosh, I am so sorry that this topic matter hits so close to home, and i just want to give you the biggest hug right now. I really appreciate you sharing those perspective. I agree, I applaud the show for trying to open up a dialogue about something that really does need to be talked about, i just pray that the glamorization hasn’t done more harm than good. I’m so glad that you were able to work through those things with a good support system. Thanks again for sharing this. You are a blessing to me. big hugs xo

  45. I love you. I am glad you are here. You inspire me. I agree in prayer for truth to overcome when people need help and are being spiritually and mentally attacked. Praise God you overcame with Him. May others also!! Love you. Hugs! ❤

  46. While I agree that 13 Reasons Why glamorizes suicide inappropriately, I also see a different perspective on it. I hold true to the statement that the book is better than the show. I see that 13 Reasons Why shows how the little things so deeply affect someone. I don’t condone blaming others, but I see the need for others to see how they impact someone positively or negatively. I see the end of the story as a wake up call. A declaration of tragedy that demands attention and action to prevent further stories like Hannah’s. The ending of the show disgusted me, doing the book no justice. The book ended with Clay merely starting a conversation with Skye. In the book Skye flies under the radar, as Hannah did before committing suicide, and is rarely mentioned until the end where Clay reaches out to her. It is a cry for help in a world that glamorizes suicide and self harm.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and for sharing your perspective. I do appreciate how the show stressed loving and being kind to others. that’s a really important message. It sounds like the book was quite different than the show. I think I should pick it up and give it a read. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  47. I have not seen the show, and I really do not feel like picking it up! It seems… terrible, really. It’s hardly a new occurrence, glorifying suicide has a long history, but that doesn’t make it any better. There is nothing sentimental about it, there is nothing romantic, nothing there to glorify. It is hopelessness and suffering, darkness of the very worst kind, and as a topic it deserves respect.

    Also, once again you inspire me to write a blog post of my own, tied in with the subject. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  48. That’s a great post. I just watched this show with my son last weekend. It may have been entertaining for some but I wholeheartedly agree where is your point of view. And now that you have pointed it out I do see that Netflix was sort of negligent with this, but they’re negligent with a lot of things. I have a friend whose daughter committed suicide about three years ago. She has never been the same.

    1. Thanks so much Tony. Yeah, I applaud them for trying to open up a discussion on such an important topic(s), but I just fear this did more harm than good. And gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that. that just absolutely breaks my heart. Know that your friend is in my prayers as she tries to move forward with her life. Big hugs xox

  49. Hey friend. Thank you. Your narrative on life is so critical. Thank you for taking a risk on transparency. It has truly inspired me to lean in on life instead of the usual fight or flight. There is so much wisdom to gather when you dare face life in such a way. And with such transparency, you just never know who is watching, or in this case reading. I for one, am one of those people who has been encouraged greatly by what you share. Thanks for being a light amidst so much darkness. You matter!!

  50. Many years ago a young person close to me tried to take her life. Without going in to all the details (that’s HER story), she reached a point where she believed that the only solution to all she was going through was to die, so she tried to. I rejoice every day that she was saved and has found other ways to cope with her feelings. Her attempt was not about blaming anyone else, or playing games or leaving puzzles. It was an act of despair. Thank you for understanding.

    1. Oh gosh, that just breaks my heart to read about that. Yes, praise God that she found other ways to cope and found healing. That is so powerful. thank you for sharing. big hugs xox

  51. Oh bless the Lord. I’m sixteen and quite obviously everyone around me is talking about this series. And they LOVE it, they won’t hear any criticism, two years ago I read the book adaptation and even then I remember bot liking the book, the idea of BLAME. But I gave the tv show a try, it speaks about these problems we face and that amazing but not in the right way. This exactly conveys my feelings!

    1. Hi Shrushti, thank you so much for sharing this. Yeah, I was pretty shocked at how the whole plot line was founded on this idea of blame. I was almost in disbelief! Yeah, I applaud them for trying to open up a dialogue about issues that clearly should be talked about, but I just fear that it is doing more harm than good. Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂 big hugs to you friend xox

  52. Thanks for this, everything you just said, I absolutely agree with, as a teen in high school I struggled with depression and had thoughts of ending my life. (I don’t struggle with depression/suicidal thoughts anymore) had to go see counselors, be on pills, etc. I really love what you said about having the power to say “this isn’t the end of my story.” So everything you said I echo that, and again thanks for your honesty and for just being real and for standing for something. So thank you my friend.

    1. Oh Friend, thank you so much for sharing part of your story. i’m sorry that this resonates so personally with you, and I’m so glad that you’re in a better place. Yes, we have that power to create a positive ending 🙂 big hugs xox

  53. You’re a very courageous woman, Belle. I’m not sure I would have the courage to watch a show like that. Like you, I’ve been to the edge. Like you, professional help was essential before I could recover. It was a long process, but it’s left me happy and strong, thank God.
    It’s often very difficult for the afflicted person to realise they are ill. In my case, my wife had to be extremely forceful to make me visit the doctor; I didn’t think he would be able to help, but in fact he checked to discover the right psychiatrist for gender dysphoria, and referred me to them. Which brings me to my second point. It’s important to find the right health professional. In my case I had to do further research after my first consultation to find someone more appropriate, and eventually I found the right path to healing.
    This is my experience, but I’ve seen it with other people too. The reluctance to believe help is possible, and the need to find the right help seem to be common issues, so I just thought I’d highlight them. Once again, well done tackling this difficult and important issue. xx

    1. Hi Penny, thank you so much for sharing part of your story. Yes, Praise God that you are in a better place and sought the right professional help. I’m so so glad that you’re living in the freedom of healing. Yes, help is possible! thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  54. Wow such an amazing post that I think everyone needs to read. I have never watched 13 reasons why but from your description I think that the idea might have been to remind us how much they way we treat people matters. That being said, I have been depressed and suicidal and I can definitely say it was nobody else’s fault (and it wasn’t mine either). Depression is a real disease that you can’t just think your way out of but there are many options and people out there to help.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I”m sorry that this resonated so personally with you. And i just want you to know that the world is a better place because you’re in it 🙂 You’re so right – there are people and resources out there to help! and i wish that the show would have done a better job communicating that. thanks again for stopping by and sharing your heart 🙂 big hugs xox

  55. Well said Caralyn! This is a beautiful, compassionate, and powerful stand against evil.
    In support of everything you have said, I would just like to pray for you.

    Precious heavenly father you are great above greatness. I humbly ask for a hedge of protection around Caralyn and all who are associated with her. I asked for depth of understanding for anyone who would read this post against suicide. I ask for you Lord to infuse hope in anyone who reads this in their hour of despair. Thank you Lord for being THE ONLY present help in all of life. I also asked that you would cleanse Caralyn of all evil influence of the shows that were watched to generate this wonderful post. Protect her soul from the influences that she experienced. I thank you for the boldness that you have given Caralyn in storming the very gates of hell with this post. As your servant burns brightly for you Father continue to fuel this kind and loving passion. To you Jesus belongs all the honor and glory. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    1. Thank you so much Denny. Gosh this is so touching and powerful. Thank you. Yeah, I actually had nightmares last night about this topic. I never get nightmares, and last night, I was just so shaken, I didn’t sleep a wink. So your prayer couldn’t have been more timely. I think the Holy Spirit had something to do with that 🙂 thank you again. big hugs xox

      1. I hope you slept the sleep of a tenderly loved child of God Caralyn. Enter deeply in to the rest that Jesus is.
        Your friend,
        Denny

  56. Hey Caralyn, great post about a serious topic! I didn’t watch the entire thing, but my wife did and, while she was doing that, I could get a glimpse of the series as a whole. And I suspect I don’t need to watch every piece of it to understand the entire plot.
    What baffles me is that our culture value drama so much it’s hard to understand. Like you said, there is nothing beautiful about it. Suffering is not a pretty thing, that’s for sure. When I was 15, I had suicidal thoughts myself. I needed 10 years of therapy and needed medication for 3 years along the road. The film industry tries to portray depression as something sexy, with good looking teenagers going through it. Well, sorry but no, there is nothing sexy about it when it’s you getting that feeling of disconnection from reality that makes you wish to never wake up again.
    I join you with my own prayers that this show doesn’t inspire anyone to act on their thoughts of suicide. There is a lot to be lived and suicide just puts a tragic end to endless possibilities.

    1. Hi Lucas, thank you so much for sharing part of your story. I’m sorry that this resonates so personally for you. But gosh, I’m so glad that you are in a better place now and worked so diligently to get there. You’re right – there is nothing sexy or glamorous about the pain and suffering of others, especially when you’re gearing it towards kids. Many of whom are at risk and could be drawn to the “celebrity” Hannah gained afterwards. Me too. I pray that there are no “copy cat” attempts. Thanks again for sharing this. you are a blessing to me and everyone’s lives you touch! 🙂 big hugs! xox

  57. Yes to everything you wrote! The book did a pretty bad job of oversimplifying mental illness and suicide. I can only imagine how bad the show is. The tapes and telling people that they are the reason she committed suicide is the most uncomfortable thing. It’s good to inform people of signs to watch for and also to be leery of how they treat others but it was complete overkill in the story. And the fact that the writer and producers are attempting to defend the show even after multiple mental illness and suicide prevention agencies have spoken out is just a shame. The intentions are good but the execution could have been better.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. you’re so right – i applaud them for trying to open up a dialogue, but i’m afraid the show is doing more harm than good. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  58. I haven’t watched the film but I am struck by the fact that blame is placed. For the mentally ill, rationalizing irrational behavior by blaming others is a huge part of their existence (our existence). The blame goes out and falls on all who dare get close enough. That doesn’t make it truth.

    Many things I once thought were true are slowly becoming clearly things that I skewed or just plain made up to make me think I was really OK and someone else was screwed up.

    I’d love to see mental illness of all kinds, properly portrayed to the world in general. It rarely makes sense. There is never a good reason for it. It just is and the people that live with it need help.

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for this. yeah, it was appalling that literally the entire plot line was based on these tapes that *blamed* people for the tragedy. I literally couldn’t believe that someone thought that was a good idea to portray in a TV show aimed at kids. Just. Wow. It’s an important topic to open a dialogue about, but this was not the way to go about it. thanks for the great food for thought. big hugs xo

  59. I have neither read the book nor watched the series, so I am unable to comment on either of those. I can, however, comment on the automatic association of suicidal ideation with “mental illness.” As with many things in our society, there is a rush to categorize, which in this instance often goes along with judging, marginalizing and medicating.
    I completely 100% agree that suicide is never an answer. And I have put my money where my mouth is, in a career assisting people to realize that. AND the fact that someone is experiencing those thoughts is an indication of the extreme pain that they are experiencing. To label that as “mental illness” is to take away from the validity of their pain, and to also give society a free pass for the ways in which they contribute.
    It is an extremely complex issue, and as with many things, different in each individual instance.
    Yes, I would agree that any art that glorifies suicide is giving unhelpful messages. AND labeling also gives unhelpful messages.

    1. Hi Aurora, thank you so much for sharing this powerful perspective. You’ve absolutely right – labeling is definitely hurtful. And I appreciate you shedding light on that. And I agree – Downplaying another’s pain is never what we should do. hugs x

      1. Thank you again. Yeah, I genuinely appreciate hearing all different sides and perspectives! I mean, that’s what makes a community so awesome, is that we all come to the table with different life experience and insights and perspectives. I truly learn so much from others. so thank YOU for sharing!! 🙂 xox

  60. Many people in my family are affected by depression. While I agree that the tapes over-glamourised the issue, I think it did well to convey that small actions of unkindness aren’t isolated in the mind of another. If different people tell you something enough times, you begin to believe it is true. If people were kinder to each other, maybe it would be easier to reach out for help? I’m not sure I agree that all acts of self-harm are a reasoned choice that can be isolated from blame either… I initially found myself feeling angry that she’d left these notes of blame as they are the ones who have to live with it all! But I think I eventually saw the programme as a tool to convey a warning to us, the viewer. That even random acts of unkindness can affect people deeply.

    I feel honoured to have read your review though and it has certainly made me reconsider some of my initial thoughts on it, especially as you clearly know about such issues better than most (myself included) but thought I’d share what I took from it too. Thank you x

    1. Hi Fluffy, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. You’ve brought up a lot of powerful insight. I agree, I definitely appreciated the message of being kind and loving one another that the show did convey. That is something we can all implement *today*. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  61. I’ve not seen the show nor read the book, so I’ll stay clear of that. However, as someone who attempted suicide as a teen (by the grace of God alone I did not succeed) and as someone who has had friends that did commit suicide, all I can say is that it is an extremely complex issue. No, it is never the only option. Sometimes, it’s the only one that can be seen, though. I think what we all need to take away from this, as you pointed out as well, is that we need to be vigilant. We need to be more aware of those around us that are hurting. The at-risk. We say that as if there will be a neon sign illuminating those thinking about suicide. There are signs, yes, but not everyone fits neatly into an “at-risk” box. So, instead, make the most of every moment in every relationship. Love. Love with every ounce of energy. Love with all your blood, sweat, and tears. Love your family, love your neighbor, love the person you only see for a few seconds and then never again. There are multitudes of reasons why people see suicide as the only answer. The only solution is to help them see that it isn’t. And the only way to do that is through love. Then, maybe, they’ll seek the help they need. But, they have to be able to see that as worth it, that they are worth it.

    1. Thank you so much, Russell, for sharing part of your story. I’m so sorry that this hits so close to home for you. And I just want you to know that the world is better with you in it 🙂 You’ve brought up such powerful points and insight here. thank you. Love with every ounce of energy. Amen. hugs x

  62. I agree with every word. I have struggled with such dark thoughts of late. But there is no glory and no redemption. But I know now , that its better to fight than to give in.

    As a teenager , this is a difficult fact to accept, that life gets better , especially if you are fighting for it.

    Glorification of things like these is a tragedy of american consumerism driven movies/ tv series. Sad

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, friend. I am sorry that you’ve been struggling with that recently. Please know that you are in my heart and prayers and that I’m beside you in your fight. You’re right…it’s sad that this show is so influential to such impressionable young minds. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

  63. I watched it. I asked my girls to watch it. We discussed it after. It raised a lot of attention to online bullying, suicide, depression, choices and truth. I felt that the word blame wasn’t correct and told them so. It opened a door to easily talk about depression, mental health and I am grateful for it. As for the counsellor, just like teachers at the school my girls attend they are not perfect, and so I think it is possible that a counsellor could miss an opportunity with a student.

    1. Hi Macy, thank you so much for sharing your experience with the show. I’m so glad that it sparked some fruitful discussion with your girls. You bring up a lot of great points. i appreciate you stopping by. big hugs xo

    2. That’s a really positive way of treating the show. You knew your girls would be exposed to it via friends, so you made sure that it happened in a safe way enabling them to learn the right things. Are you a teacher, or just a jolly good mom?

  64. Hollywood seeks to glorify/glamorize everything (good or bad) and after reading this post, I am happy that I’ve skipped the book and this show.

  65. it’s true, suicide is never the answer. But being mentally ill is to blame on those who treated you like shit. That’s the simple truth. Saying nobody is to blame feels like blaming the victim of bullying and rape.. I get your point, but it is a fact that there are people to blame. The show shows how everything you do can have a negative effect.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I agree – blaming the victim is *never* the answer, and I hope you didn’t take that away from my post. I tried to go out of my way to express that I *don’t* blame the victim. However, if you did get that, then i am sorry, that is not how i feel. You’re right, we could all work to spread love more, because as you said, everything you say and do effects someone. glad you stopped by! big hugs xox

      1. thanks for clearing that up!
        It’s interesting to read what everybody thinks and feels about the show. I’ve read plenty of extremely offensive posts that made it very clear that they think the victim is to blame. All from people who are fellow sufferers, which is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve noticed a huge amount of people fighting over how they had it worse than Hannah Blaker. Completely failing the point the show is making. So I’m glad to read posts that got it right and have more sympathy for the suffering of other people.

      2. I agree! I so appreciate hearing all of the different perspectives and insights. Because we all come to the table with different experiences and viewpoints. And I am so grateful for being able to learn from everyone, including you!! 🙂 Yeah, that definitely is not a productive response to the show. thanks again xox

  66. My sister committed suicide nearly 7 months ago. She held her husband, her son & myself responsible & in her final acts made certain we were “punished” for it, in addition to her actual death. It didn’t matter how many times we reached out to her or all we did to her. In the end, her final act was revenge upon us in the worst possible way – the people who loved her most. I cannot even begin to explain the emotional trauma that goes into having someone you love commit suicide. To have them blame you? Is the worst of the worst. I refuse to watch this show because it’s capitalizing on the teens in the danger zone of suicide, in my opinion. It’s sick, twisted & disgusting. I’ve been urging people not to watch & especially not to let their teens watch. Thank you for your candor & honest thoughts on the moral deficit of this program.

    1. Oh Joan, I am so sorry for your loss and this hits so close to home for you. gosh my heart just breaks, reading this. I cannot even begin to imagine what you went – and are going – though. All I do, is tell you how much I love you as a friend, and that I am praying for you and your family. And to tell you that if you need to talk to vent or anything, please don’t hesitate to email me. Hang in there. Your sister’s tragic death was not your fault. Please know that. Sending all my love with all my heart. xx

      1. Thank you so very much for your kind words. Thankfully I have several friends who have stood by me & absolutely refuse to leave my side – even when I’m crying or mad. 😉 And as always I have my faith to rely on. Thank you again.

  67. So from the very beginning – I have refused to watch this movie once I found out what it was about. My 13 year old daughter has begged me to watch it and I totally refuse! Yes our youth of today need to be aware of Suicide and all of its aspects but it should not be glorified or projected in such a way that it does not express the finality of it. The youth of today are so impressionable and more subject to all of the unfiltered things that we as parents and adults are trying to protect them from. Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one with this opinion. Awesome job of writing this article!

  68. As someone who contemplated suicide and nearly went through with it as a young teenager, I was actually rather turned off by the premise of “13 Reasons Why” and thus I haven’t even watched it. From everything I’ve heard, it is truly not an uplifting nor encouraging or even entertaining story, and as a Christian I struggle with accepting this as an acceptable use of my time. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not mean to condemn anyone who has watched this on Netflix, I believe doing so can lead to good discussion, but this is exactly what it needs to lead to, not a glorification of self and the idea that ending our lives on our terms to show everyone who is in control is an acceptable choice in life. As a teacher, any student who mentions killing themselves, even in jest, does not leave my room unnoticed.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Luke. I’m sorry that this hit so close to home, but Im’ so glad that you’ve found healing. You’re right, i applaud them for trying to open up a discussion, i just pray it hasn’t done more harm than good. Sending big hugs to you. you’re a blessing to me and your students 🙂 hugs xo

  69. Thank you for the accurate and straight forward analysis of this. My husband and I read the book and are now watching. He teaches 8th and 9th graders and the school had two suicides last year. They are very into this show and he wants to get through it so he can direct an intelligent conversation with his kids. It is so hard to get through this series because of blame game. It depicts all the students who say it isn’t our fault as horrible. And most of the adults are dolts. Prayers for all who have had to go through this tragedy with their family and/or friends.

    1. Oh gosh, that is just so tragic. I am so sorry to hear that. oh, that just hurts my heart. yeah, it definitely is something that needs to be talked about, and i applaud the series for trying to open up a discussion, i just pray it hasn’t done more harm than good. yes — lots and lots of prayers. hugs xo

  70. Girl, this! <3 My husband and I decided not to watch the show, exactly for these reasons. I think one of the only positives it (show) gives is the fact people are talking about it. Their actions. Their words. How to make a difference. But then to also have others, like yourself, bring clarity and construction to the misguided population watching. I feel like the show isn't meant for people who have or had depression, suicidal thoughts, and other forms of mental illness. I feel like it is meant to bring awareness, but I agree, it is done in a horrible way. I thank you for your honesty, your bluntness, and I hope your words help awaken anyone who reads. I'm going to share your blog on my fb, and keep getting the true awareness out.
    Always,
    T. R. Noble

    1. Hi TR, thank you so much for sharing this. yeah you and your husband were wise. it is a very intense and gratuitously graphic depiction. You’re right, that is a positive – that we need to love one another. I just hope that that goodness isn’t lost among the glorification of the negative. thanks for sharing this with your circle 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  71. This post was a random read for me today but well worth the time I took to read it through three times. While I’m not one to care about movies or television at all the message you stated was eloquent and to the point. I will be sharing this one with friends for sure. In my (recovery) communities suicide is far too common and much like your analogy of anorexia as a slow suicide so was my alcoholism. It’s quite interesting to think on the parallels that we all share as humans maybe I will meditate on that subject for a future post. Might make for a solid collaborative entry some day..

    1. Hi Joe, thank you so much for taking the time read it- and three times no less! Yeah, i just pray for all of those who struggle with such thoughts. thanks for sharing your heart. glad you stopped by. hugs xo

      1. Glad you stumbled on my random crap blog lol otherwise I would not have read that post!! While this bogging thing is new I can wholeheartedly say the community as a whole is pretty mutually supportive it’s refreshing! I might just re blog this one if you don’t mind

  72. Great insightful read. My husband and I just finished the series after seeing a few articles on the show. I do agree with you that the have glorified and romanticized such a hurtful act. Suicide is never the answer. It’s saying that God is not better than our circumstances, and puts us on the throne of our lives where only He truly belongs and where only He can fill the emptiness we feel.
    On the other side I do understand the painful thoughts that drives one to want to end it all. The thinking that ending it all will make it all somehow go away and hurt those who hurt me. Before coming to know God at 15 I was thinking much along the same lines as Hannah, that everyone was against me. I was bullied because, quiet frankly teenage kids are just plain mean, but also for various reasons that I just didn’t fit in with everyone else. Truth of the matter is, no one really “fits in” as much as they think they do. As a teenager we hurt others because seeing someone else hurt makes us feel better. It’s pride really. Hurting people hurt others. But then there are those who just plain don’t care about their problems (as the character of Bryce displays) and have so deceived themselves in their thinking that they believe their actions are right. I’ve been the short end of that stick many times. Fortunately a friend of mine invited me to church which changed how my life could have gone.
    I would debate the counselor’s portion however. Being in “hood” schools growing up unequipped or unconcerned counselor and teachers were a consistent problem in just about every school I went to. But I don’t doubt that there are many genuine counselor’s who do really care. Who do really want to help. From my past experience it’s been in short supply as far as the poorer neighborhoods I grew up in.
    If anything though perhaps as I have read in a few previous comments here, that this show could open the opportunity for parents to talk to their children about these sort of things. And perhaps allow others to consider stepping into this sort of field to help other struggling with suicide, anorexia, and the incredible growing list of mental illnesses out there ruining lives and taking names. What these people need is compassions and a godly hand to show them the only Source that could ever heal or fix us: Jesus Christ.
    I hope even in your writing, opens up the opportunity for you to reach others and reach out with your own testimony. Your story could very well be what God uses to save a soul from the desperation of darkness. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that this hits so close to you. But I am so glad that you went to church with your friend and found His healing power. That’s so true – God *is* better than our circumstances. Amen to that. I so appreciate you sharing this powerful perspective. Jesus is the ultimate rescuer and there in lies the hope 🙂 hugs xo

  73. You are the second person today I have heard from about this show. With the same message. I remember as a teen thinking this was not a bad way out from time to time, but it was never more than a fleeting thought. I do worry about impressionable and vulnerable kidlets watching this.

    On the flip side, any kid like me would be more likely to watch cuz people told me not to. Its why I still read books that get banned. I agree the makers are irresponsible!

    I would disagree on one point. If a person, regardless of age, is diagnosed with an incurable. and is in severe pain that will not get better, they very much should have the control and ability to end the suffering.

      1. You’re right, sadly the story doesn’t end like that for everyone. In fact, one of my readers succumbed to anorexia just last year around this time. it was so incredibly sad. I still think about her to this day. Thanks for saying that. we’re lucky to have you too 🙂 xox

  74. I am so glad you wrote about this show. Unfortunately, it’s not just teens watching this. My daughter is twelve and there are more young children watching than aren’t. And much younger than her. I had no clue about the show…we don’t even have Netflix! But after she mentioned other kids talking about it, I read a review…I was appalled to think young children would see that type of content. I’m not sure some parents know what their kids are seeing so thanks for writing about it.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. gosh, yeah they keep getting younger and younger. Yeah it hurts my heart to think about those impressionable young minds. definitely not for kids – or teens – for that matter. way to graphic (gratuitously) and intense. IMHO 🙂 hugs to you Candi xox

  75. THANK YOU! I read this book while in high school and was actually a fan. Then, in my early twenties, I attempted suicide, which changed my perspective on a lot of things. Your post is amazing and lists all of the reasons 13 Reasons Why is negligent (and why my husband and I refuse to watch it). The thing that gets me the most is the fact that she blames others for her suicide. Not only for the fact that you include- suicide isn’t the only option and the victim is ultimately the person who makes the decision. But also because suicide isn’t about everyone around you; it’s about how you see yourself. Even if Hannah went through high school incident free and never encountered a bully, she could still very well have committed suicide. No riddles, no reasons, just a lack of self-love and self-worth.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Jordan. I’m so sorry that this hits so close to home for you. I’m so glad that you are in a better place. The world is better with you in it 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this powerful perspective. i really appreciate it. big big hugs to you xox

  76. Very excellent post.. Sadly, this movie is just more of what society deems as “right”… The culture of death has been at work for many years and we have in the last few years reached the brainwashing state now.. Euthanasia, Suicide, Abortion,…society celebrates death and shuns life at all stages and makes excuses that make others believe it’s ‘right’….. Its sadly, and frightening the society we live in. We live in a society that no longer believes in life nor God and without both, you’re done..

  77. I haven’t watched the show – and I won’t. I’ve read enough about the whole thing to know it’s not something I’ll touch with a ten-foot pole.

    This Fall I will celebrate 6 years of life after God intervened and prevented me from carrying out my suicide plan. There’s nothing glamorous, romantic or entertaining about it. In my opinion, everyone involved in making this show made a huge, irresponsible misstep. Bullying, mental illness and suicide all need to be discussed, but in much more nuanced way. It makes my stomach churn to know that kids are watching this.

    1. Hi Marie, thank you so much for sharing part of your story. I am so glad that God intervened too. You’re right, it makes my stomach ache to know that kids are watching this as well. Hugs and love xox

  78. As a mother of teen boys I’m dreading this, well, craze. I won’t read the book & I won’t be watching the show, but we will use it as a discussion point as to why suicide is not the answer.
    The only time I ever saw my Pa cry was at his son’s funeral. Peter hadn’t told us he was ill again; he pretended all was well. It broke something inside me to see Pa like that. So if anyone’s reading this and thinking that suicide is the end of pain, please know it’s not. It’s the beginning for everyone left behind.

    1. Hi Paulina, I’m so sorry that this hits so close to home for you. You’re right – it is absolutely not the answer and it devastated those left behind. I really appreciate you sharing this. Hugs and love xox

  79. I had a bit of a different take on the series. Although I wasn’t a fan for different reasons, and I don’t think that they necessarily did a good job of expressing the true difficulties of suicide, I interpreted the show as a way of showing that we aren’t all perfect and need to be aware of the way we interact with others. I completely agree that suicide should never be blamed on anyone else, I do feel people can unconsciously contribute to someone who is having such thoughts. Not in an intentional way but accidentally. I took the show more of a way of expressing we should all be aware of our everyday actions because we have no idea what anyone else may be struggling with or going through. I think a lot of times as individuals we can become so consumed with ourselves and our own issues that we fail to notice those around us.

    I also don’t think that Hannah necessarily sought out to control the 13 people who had an influence on her suicide but the characters became controlled out of fear of what they had done. ((Which again I don’t feel was their fault at all but I think there was a strong bullying message tied into the suicide message that some viewers may have missed)) I also think that show was trying to portray the importance of communicating and reaching out when going through struggles (something Hannah didn’t do and her suicide became an example so to speak as to what we shouldn’t do. I don’t think they necessarily went about it the right way but think that’s maybe what they were going for)

    Also from experience I’ve had situations where guidance counselors have behaved similarly to that of the shows depiction of a counselor. I work in the mental health field now and know that the depiction can be pretty spot on at times. People going through the motions of their job unintentionally. I always love your posts and just wanted to share a different perspective because I too am a suicide survivor and had a different experience.

    xx

    1. Hi Razia, thank you so much for sharing your story. Gosh I so appreciate this perspective. You’re so right – how we interact with others is more important than we know. And it’s true – we never know how our everyday actions may effect someone else. Thank you for this thought provoking response. It means the world, and I am so glad that you’ve used your life to help others. That’s so awesome. Hugs and love xox

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  81. You say here that guidance counselors are “good people” and “want to help.” Is that only for those who afford a $100,000 personal price tag, or would you say that is across the board, including state-funded for the poor?

      1. Oh. I don’t think treatment facilities have guidance counselors. I’m pretty sure they just have trained medical and mental health professionals.

  82. Good job Caralyn. The statement that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem works. Even if that problem is a life full of pain, compared to eternity it is temporary.

    And there is the problem of people threatening suicide just to get attention. I’ve seen that many times as has my wife with people she’s helped.

    The point at which you take someone seriously is when they communicate a plan to you. And yeah do NOT mess around. Call 911, I’m quite serious.

    I won’t be watching the series but will no doubt be working with teens who do, so it’s good to know about. There’s nothing romantic about suicide, just a bloody mess and/or cold dead body. Sad that someone gave this story legitimacy, it’s just a promotion of despair.

    But you tell a better story! Always!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. You’re right – there’s nothing romantic at all about it. and yes – call for help immediately. The professionals are trained to deal with that situation, because contrary to what the show said, kindness, although good, can’t “solve” the issue. Thanks for stopping yb. big hugs x

  83. I also reviewed “13 Reasons Why” on my blog and I agree with everything you said. I had basically the same view. I think it makes suicide look like a way to get the ultimate revenge on those that hurt you and this could be very damaging to impressionable people.

    1. Thanks so much Kara, I appreciate you stopping by! Yeah, I totally agree. I applaud them for trying to start a dialogue, but I pray it hasn’t done more harm than good. hugs xo

  84. So much in media today tends to glorify things that are tragic, intense or what. Its almost trying to show today’s generation of younger view/readers how totally far a situation can go, or dare them to explore how it “could” go. You are wonderful for trying to reach out to others and spread words and experiences that are true and not over glorified. Your light shines brighter than the camera that films all the glorified scenes. God Bless you for being so TRUELY glorious to showing how loved people can be in God’s world! xoxoxoxo

    1. You’re so right. The media loves tragedy. How sad is that. Gosh, thank you for your kind words Migueltio. You are always so nice to me – and I hope you know how much that means 🙂 big big big Hugs to you my friend xox

      1. You too!! xox Ayeeee!! We just had a major tragedy here as of last night. It unfortunately didn’t start last night, but last night is when the news broke. My daughter’s middle school principal just got arrested for pedi charges. I guess they were gay pedi charges at that.

      2. Pray for me today too because after 14 years at the same part time job, which I love mind you, a full time opening has happened near enough to try for. I sent all my stuff in today, with the deadline the 12th. Its all in God’s hands!!

      3. Thanks and hugs!! All my materials are in to them. Hopefully I’ll at least get an interview out of it. I’m glad the deadline isn’t until the 12th cuz right now I’m on meds for strep. 🙁

      4. I never liked the guy and the union was trying to have him NOT get his tenure for many reasons (unknowing of his etc…) but the sucker Supt we have JUST granted him his tenure the night before at the board mtg. What a mess!!! Thank God the charges aren’t involving anyone from either this district, or the one I work in just north.
        Please pray for this mess and the students here!!

  85. I just heard this being discussed on CBC radio today. The local school board had several of the same concerns! I wonder if all this chatter has affected what Selena Gomez thinks of this project.

  86. Oh my gosh I COMPLETELY agree. This series bugs me because it glorifies suicide and never once discusses mental illness. This is incredibly dangerous for anyone who is watching this series and does in fact struggle with mental illness. In turn, I think this series could be doing more harm than good. Especially with that graphic scene at the end, which doesn’t even match up with how Hannah died in the book. I am so glad someone else stands for this issue as passionately as I do. I think it is awesome you are voicing your opinions on this controversial topic.
    Much love,
    Ashley from Dear Ash
    http://www.dearash.com

    1. Hey Ashley, thank you so much for sharing this thoughtful reflection. Yeah it is really worrisome that teens are flocking to this series like they are. I applaud them for trying to open up an important discussion, but you’re right- Unfortunately I think it’s doing more harm than good. I’m glad you feel the same! Sending such big hugs xox

  87. I agree completely. I was shocked to see this series pretty much glamorize suicide. Cmon Netflix. But what really struck home for me is your guilt about how responsible those close to you feel for your struggles. I was raised by a single mother who is the light in my life. Like the sweetest, most honest person you could ever meet. But she blames herself for too much when she was just doing the best with what she had. So I feel ya. And props on overcoming your anorexia. Lol I just stay away from heroin. You have to deal with your trigger everytime you eat. That’s strength. Be well triple B. You’re awesome!

    1. thank you so much for this heartfelt response. yeah, the glamorization of such a tragedy just made my heart hurt. And thank you for that little affirmation — that meant a lot today 🙂 big hugs xo

  88. Yeah it does romanticize suicide quite a bit and it’s problematic. Some of my blogger friends have got triggered by the show and my heart goes out them, but I’m just upset that this is the best “mental health awareness” we’ve got. Mental health awareness should be non-triggering and honest. I agree with you that the premise of blaming other people for your suicide is disturbing.

    1. Oh gosh, that breaks my heart to hear that they were triggered. It really was incredibly graphic, and i can only imagine how difficult of a watch that must have been. I completely agree – because the topic should be discussed, but in a way that is productive and non-triggering. big hugs to you girl, hope you have a great weekend. xox

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  90. I admit I have not had a chance to watch it. I might read the book first. Normally, I prefer reading the book before deciding if the movie is worth watching. i.e. After The Girl on the Train read, I don’t care enough to watch the movie. It was ‘meh.’

    I have heard, however, a lot of controversy over this Netflix mini-series. I can’t comment on the show myself since I have not watched it. But no, I would not glorify suicide. At the same time. I also think there is a chance of being overly-conservative when teens are assumed to be so influential of what they take in. Yes, they are influential to peer pressure but I think that if they are going to commit suicide after watching a fictional show, it was something they probably wanted to do even if the show did not exist. I also think the issue is that for people who are that depressed ARE at a point where they feel they have no other options. It’s a mind set regardless of what you and I think is right. We see the options. They just… can’t.

    Having said that, as a parent of young teenage girl, I would not be opposed if she wanted to watch this series. I would, however, watch it with her. And have an open discussion about the topic. I admit, however, I am an open-minded, more to the left than right, liberal thinking parent. My way is not for all parents but that is what I felt was sound advice from parenting experts in regards to letting one’s children watch this series.

    I will at some point read the book or watch the series. I don’t have any high expectations for either.

    Seems like a sad attempt to be deep in a ridiculous manner. But the subject matter is important. And even through all the controversy, it is sparking a lot of conversation around depression, suicide and bullying – which is something we need to talk more about in the open. My 2 cents. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection. you’re so right – it’s a very important topic, and i applaud them for trying to open up a discussion. i just pray they didn’t do more harm than good. big hugs x

  91. Your thoughts are so well written! I have not watched the series and I have no intention of doing so. I dealt with my own demons as a teenager and I prefer not to open those doors again. Help is available, even at the worst of times. Cry, scream, yell, don’t care-just find some way to ask for help. It is always an option. Shows like this are possibly dangerous and it makes me worry about actions teenagers will take due to this show. Maybe this will open lines of communication between parents and teenagers about suicide.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. you’re so right – help *is* available, and that’s the one thing the show didn’t communicate. i just hope it hasn’t done more harm than good, because you’re right, it is a topic that needs to be discussed in a healthy and beneficial way. hugs xo

  92. Firstly, and to just make it clear, I want to say that I agree with you. Suicide is never the answer. I know that now. (Oh, I’ve never watched the show so I’m commenting in general.)

    Someone going through a huge crisis in life that suicide seems to be the only answer cannot see what others who are not in the same situation. People who suffer from depression or PTSD for example might feel that others are trivializing their feelings by saying suicide is not the answer and there is something you can do and life can be better. The way is to give support and love and to talk without telling them that they “must just get over it” or something similar, or look on the bright side, or it will eventually get better. I am a fairly level-headed person and while I had no problem in my teens that could make me think of suicide despite my inferiority complex, it was only when I was in my mid-20s that I felt I couldn’t go on anymore. In hindsight, suicide is not the answer.

    It’s easy to say that there is no one else to blame. Some people have more people who cause them pain than love. Just imagine what you would have done if you didn’t have a loving family with you. Also, Christianity, especially the Catholic religion, my religion, makes suicide really scary because one can never go to heaven. What about those who don’t share the same religion. It boils down to the person, the environment and the people around. Sometimes, people actually push others to do certain things. You can blame their weakness but what about the person who took advantage of a person’s weakness, or the person’s depressive state.

    Until you’ve tried to kill yourself – not thought of killing yourself but did something to actually “kill” (try) yourself – and luckily some of us failed/fail, which I tried not only once in year, as a professional person and not as a teen, we will look at “those who mean well” and call what they say lip-service because they don’t know how we really felt/feel and what life was/is really like for us.

    I do admire you for your bravery but there are people who made you braver and believe in life. No offence, I don’t think you did it on your own. And, there are people who are not as fortunate as you, whether as a permanent situation or temporary.

    I see your point. I understand what your view and I love you (and others can say whatever else they want) but it sounds like judging those who are not blessed enough to have the strong heart and support system. We all have our own “capacity” when it comes to burden we can carry. Sometimes, we don’t have the other eyes and hearts to show us that we can carry the burden.

    They, who are suffering from anything that might lead them to consider suicide, don’t need empty words. They need love and understanding. Once they feel/realize that people truly understand, hear them out and love them anyway, that becomes the reason for wanting to live.

    Some people say it’s a selfish act but those who say that, what have they done that’s selfless to contribute to the well-being of the person…?

    Just my thoughts. Much love and hugs.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this powerful response. I’m sorry that it hits so close to home. I really appreciate you sharing your heart. You’re so absolutely right- they need love and understanding. Boy wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all could do a little more of that 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you for seeing my point of view. Indeed, love and understanding make a lot of difference. I think empathy, too. Hugs and love to you. xxx

  93. Well said. I am in agreement playing the blame game for teen suicide solves very little. However the show does bring back to the forefront a big problem that has almost left the social consciousness. People worry too much about Donald Trump and what is going to happen to their favorite TV character in the next episode. Culture is like that though, the media controls what people think. In this case, even if done wrong, perhaps bringing teen suicide and mental health back to the front of people’s thoughts is not necessarily bad.

    1. Thank you so much Bryan. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I think you’re right – i applaud them for trying to open up an important dialogue, but i just pray it doesn’t do more harm than good. thanks again for taking the time to read. big hugs xox

  94. I fully agree with this. I don’t think the show emphasized enough resources (if any) for people who are suicidal. They didn’t stress the importance of asking for help or reaching out to someone when you’re having those feelings.

    1. Thanks so much friend. Yeah, that’s what I wish would have been discussed more – is that there *are* resources and other options. Going through with the tragedy is not the only way out. There are people out there who want to help, and are well equipped to do so. thanks for stopping by. hugs xox

  95. the show had its flaws on that a lot of people agree.
    Yet the show works well at showing how self absorbed humans can be, how humans forget how they want to be treated when they treat others.
    it clearly showed holding secrets will eat away at you and communication with honesty is required to get help,not that any character on the show managed to show that maturity.
    allow all nit pick the councilor character on the bad job he did ,and that character did a bad job, but people have to realize people can’t help if you won’t let them by holding back the facts and not talking, humans are not mind readers .
    all in all the show as a work of fiction does a good exaggerated reflective work the sad part is everyone seems to be focused on the suicide. this was good article to get folks talking ,well done on writing the piece. 😊☺😊

  96. Thank you so much for this. My wife and I struggled with this with our younger daughter, during her middle school-early high school years. 4 fearful, traumatic years for our family. She’s 25 now, and after watching a couple episodes (she couldn’t bring herself to view all), said much of the same things you did.
    The series indeed got it horribly wrong. Your response was perfectly right.

    1. Thanks Rob, for sharing this. I’m sorry that this hit so close to home for you and your family. Yes, it was horribly wrong indeed. I don’t think they purposely meant to be so insensitive, but my goodness. I just think about *all* the people and executive that saw the show and had to “approve” it and give it a stamp of clearance, and how could *no one* have realized how damaging it is??? It just quite honestly makes me sad and reminds me that it is the entertainment *business.* $$$ anywho, thank you so much for sharing your story. Big hugs xox

  97. Reblogged this on Life on the Other Side and commented:
    This precious girl does such a great job sharing her heart, journey, thoughts and love for God with all her readers. I agree that “13 Reasons Why” is absolutely negligent. I do not appreciate Hollywood and their reckless decision making. Clearly, they do not have a grip on the seriousness of kids AND adults who are struggling so today. Hope you will take a moment and read this. (((HUGS)))

  98. Beautifully written and well said. As the parent of 3 boys (two teenagers and one pre-teen), the glorification of suicide is appalling. My husband lost a family member to suicide not even two years ago. The pain and guilt that followed, including the deceased father’s severe heart attack upon receiving the new, are still raw and biting. Suicide should never be the answer as there is always hope. I understand the author feels that this is a story that must be told, but tell it without glamorizing suicide. Tell is in a way that doesn’t inspire teens to think that suicide is a glamorous and only option. Thanks for the brilliant post on this subject.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection. I’m sorry that it hits so close to home. My heart just breaks that your husband has to walk that road. I’ll definitely keep him in my prayers. You’re right- there’s always hope to be found. Hugs and love xox

  99. I had mixed feelings over the show. I didn’t read the book (nor had I heard of it before the show), but considering their audience, they had an opportunity to spark meaningful conversation on depression and mental health problems, and completely blew it.