[TRIGGER WARNING: suicide, depression]
“You needed a show to teach you to be kind to people?”
No, we needed a show to REMIND us to be kind to people.
As is the case with every pop culture trend, the show 13 Reasons Why, despite being HUGELY popular, has garnered some “hipster hate”
Hipster Hate: definition: people who hate popular things/people/trend with abundant passion and intensity, as though said thing/people/trend cussed out their forefathers
But let’s talk about WHY this show is important, especially to my fellow Indian teens:
The show gave us a look into the traumas of bullying, rape and suicide. I see people complaining about stupid things like “Hannah’s problems weren’t even big, she didn’t need to take her own life”. You don’t get to compete with things like this. There’s no “but mine’s worse” in this scenario. Not everyone in this world is protected by a strong suit of armour. For some, all it takes is a little push. It’s like when you get shot, you decide whether to die or not depending on the size of the bullet. There is no competition when it comes to mental trauma. Another thing I came across was “But Hannah wasn’t even depressed, she was just lonely”. As far as I have known, and seen, there are multiple paths to taking one’s own life.
Issues regarding Mental Health are topics of taboo in our society. Just like sex, talking about depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies make people uncomfortable. And by people, I mean the older generation. I want to say “….WERE topics of….” because our society has definitely opened up and the current youngins are happy, but we still have a loooooooong way to go when it comes to creating a safe space to talk about mental health. Talk of mental health is still shunned when people try to open it up with their friends and family, and because of the lack of communication on this issue, it leads to sad outcomes. Heck, this is a society that still has problems accepting homosexuals but not dowry and arranged marriages. Go figure.
I’m glad that this show has come about in a time where it’s needed more than ever. Despite what people say about it on the internet, I really hope people watch it and get the message.
BUT there are multiple triggers in the show, so if you are someone who can’t or shouldn’t watch it, I advise against watching it.
Before this show gets sucked into the pop culture norm, with memes and trolls, let’s spread the message that it stood for: Be Kind to people. Your family, your friend, your security guard, the lady in the shop that you buy your coffee from, the vegetable sellers, the conductor in the bus that you travel in everyday, that paani puri guy, the one friend who you only greet with a “hi” and a “bye”.
To the ones who are going through a dark time: I have no right to talk about any of this. I’ve read, and heard about the experiences from the people I’ve spoken to, who suffer from clinical depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders etc.,. But I would like to say what everyone’s saying: You’re not alone. It sounds generic but I say this with the utmost sincerity, and I hope you get the help that you deserve. Each and every single one of you.
And to the ones who are okay, let’s help spread the message about mental health, but most importantly that “just be happy” is the world’s most shittiest phrase to ever be used. But every single thing in our life has to begin with baby steps, which comes back to: Be Kind. If you think someone is struggling, lend a ear. Listen. We all must do what we can to make someone else’s world a better place.
I hope nobody takes offense to this post. I’m only trying to help spread the importance of mental health to everyone.