13 Reasons Why and Mental Health Awareness.

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[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.

Be Kind.

WBG.

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37 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why and Mental Health Awareness.

  1. righteousbruin9 says:

    This is beautiful, like you, and perfect, like none of us. “Be kind” has been my watch-phrase, since I was let go,by a “social service agency”, whose real goal was making money for the insurance companies. No one wins a zero sum game that revolves around ti-for-tat. I haven’t watched “Thirteen Reasons Why”, yet, but I have known my share of Hannahs. They were never well-served by the establishment, or by society at large. They needed friends, yet few of us stepped up. Be kind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      No one wins at “tit for tat”, that is very true. I’m sorry to hear about your letting go. I hope everything’s alright now. The few that stepped up were enough to give those Hannahs some faith, I hope 🙂

      Like

  2. oneta hayes says:

    Love your “be kind” theme. Wonder how “current youngin’s are happy” fit; perhaps I’m wrong but I believe more young people commit suicide now that in former times. I know it was almost unheard of when I was young. Guess I could find out if I would google a bit! With the modern practice of bullying, “be kind” is a motto that would be worth spreading! We did have our share of bullying and intimidating but not the violence that comes with present day bullying. Good writing, WBG.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      What I meant when I said “current youngins are happy” was in relation to the fact that my society (India) is slowly opening up to the fact that mental health is a serious issue, and not just a phase. Discussions and helplines are being circulated, so there’s hope 🙂 Present day bullying has gotten waaaayyy out of hand, these kids don’t even think about the consequences, and that’s kinda scary. Hopefully, something gets better. And thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ladyinthemountains says:

    Thank you for this. If you have been reading my recent posts you would know that we have a bit of a suicide epidemic going on in my area. It is quite scary. I have been there and it is the loneliest place you will ever be. I would never wish it on anyone. This show has been brought up a few times in conversations about suicide recently. I had never even heard of it but some people say it glorifies suicide while others say that it makes people talk and think. I watched the first couple of episodes yesterday and do not think it glorifies suicide. You are right in that, to an outsider, her problems may not seem like much but when you are depressed, you see everything in a dark shadow. Keep talking about it. We need to make depression and suicidal thoughts not taboo to talk about. It will save lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      Honestly, I was a bit worried that this post of mine would get a lot of hate since it’s an outsider’s perspective. I tried my best to understand, while also write about it and do it justice. But after reading your comment, I’m glad I wrote this. I’m happy that you understood what I was trying to put out to people 🙂 I don’t even know hoe people can say that the show “glorifies suicide” when it is the exact opposite of glorification. Leave it to a bunch of trolls -.- And yes, I hope this society opens up more about this and we each do our part in making this serious. I hope you’re getting by fine, ladyinthemountains 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • ladyinthemountains says:

        I had to watch it to see what people were getting at. No, I wouldn’t want my 12 year old watching it without me. It is a good conversation starter for people though. We HAVE to talk about it. I had so much shame for so long. No more. I am who I am, depression and all

        Liked by 1 person

      • braddahr says:

        If you’re going to watch the whole thing, please watch it without our 12 year old first – or even at all. It’s very graphic and explicit. There are better ways of having the conversation with young people without them watching rape scenes and a girl graphically cutting open her wrists.

        Liked by 2 people

      • ladyinthemountains says:

        I do think with controversy all shows and subjects like this you are right it’s always best to watch first without the child

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Gobblefunkist says:

    My uncle committed suicide ten days back – as I write this, it is his “dasathu” ceremonies today. He was 59, a very popular nephrologist, and had a reasonably normal life (no kids, but I don’t think that bothered him too much).
    I can’t get my head around it. My knee jerk reaction is to be very angry with him – my aunt is distraught, and I don’t think she deserved to be. I wish he had been kinder to her, if not to himself.
    But like you say, it is hard to know what happens inside another person’s head. Heck, half the time I don’t know what happens inside my own.
    Compassion is underrated.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you’re OK. Of course, the first reaction is to be angry, since it’s always easy to blame them for leaving us. But, then again, we actually realize we’re not angry with them, but rather, angry at ourselves. I wish I could say “It’ll be OK” but I’m going to tell you to take care. Take care of your aunt too 🙂

      Like

  5. braddahr says:

    I was late to the show and had to binge the last few episodes before I gave a talk on it and suicide to a group of high school students. It was really difficult to watch. While I can appreciate the effort and style, and I agree it’s important to talk about and destigmatize suicide and mental illness, I found it really challenging. It’s a completely hopeless world. I don’t recall any light at the end of the tunnel. While the suicide is devastating and several people are heartbroken because of it, there seems to be a theme that the suicide is getting revenge and ultimate leads to positive change – that it’s a sad but good thing. I believe that’s very problematic. I was also troubled that the youth are extreme caricatures and essentially every single person is totally clueless and lacks compassion for others – if not totally evil. I’m not saying real people can’t be self-absorbed jerks; but everyone all at once? I believe there are much better ways to raise awareness about this very important issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Halaman says:

    this is just so true, Twinnie (hi Pooja! haha). people don’t tend to see (or hear) that the words they say may affect another person so much. every individual has their own problems which they fight through, and i think that 13 reasons why shows just that. the thing is, with everything that was going on, we didn’t see the “need” to be kind, and now that 13RW aired and gave all of us a lesson, it seems to me that most, if not all of us, forgot to be kind to one another 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  7. alongtheinterstice says:

    As someone who deals with depression-mania, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety-panic attacks, I say “Well said!” I don’t know how many of my friends have a good laugh witnessing me go through one of my phobias, like trying to walk across a bridge. Or how I can be traumatized by something so “small” as dropping a carton of milk in a store and having it burst sending milk everywhere. If I felt like people were listening to me and not laughing (or worse berating and lecturing), it would help deal with those rough times. Thanks again for the post. Everyone who has challenges navigating the day, including the challenges from social discrimination, need allies. There are challenges I don’t have, such as not being homosexual or having dealt with abuse by my parents, so I, too, can be ally for others.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Alexa says:

    This is so important. Thank you for making this. Mental health is so important, in a way it may be even more important than physical health. Lots of people just don’t seem to realize that. If you have time please feel free to check out my blog on personal mental health awareness – shatterinsanity.blog

    Liked by 1 person

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