“13 Reasons Why” — in an age where denial is preferred to the truth.
“How can you watch that show? It’s so utterly depressing.”
This was what I most often heard about the famous Netflix show. I did what anyone would do when curiosity gets the better of you- I decided to watch it for myself.
Here I am, typing this out: it did not depress me. I didn’t feel a thing. I felt normal. And funnily enough, that scared me. Suicide had become as normal to me as walking or running or breathing. When something as dangerous as even the thought of suicide becomes normal in a country that is your red alert! The signs are flashing and all we’re doing is donning our shades to protect us from its obviousness.
I feel so angry when I see people calling out the show for its gross misinterpretation and exaggeration of suicide and depression. Because it’s not! Maybe it’s time we get a good shake from our comfortable lives to realize that there are people like Hannah, for whom life is not as easy.
Life is not a textbook theory or a script that reaches a definite conclusion. God knows, we all are a proof of how tumultuous the journey can be! People deal with difficulties in very different ways. And no one has the right to tell someone that they shouldn’t feel bad or overreact to a joke, a line or an act. Human emotions aren’t predictable. They are subjective.
When someone says Hannah Baker often overreacts to the smallest of things, THAT exactly shows us what’s wrong with this world.
A suicidal person doesn’t come with billboards stating how they feel at a certain point of time. Hannah wasn’t suicidal at the start of the show. She was just like you or me. A content person. She was moulded into the weakest version of herself by constant bullying, unsupportive friends who ridiculed her for taking things seriously and the final straw was a school counselor who refused to acknowledge the actual problem.
Denial is the first step towards everything destructive. Denial by everyone to listen to what she was saying or not saying was what drove Hannah to believe that her life was indeed worthless.
A part of me believes suicide is a cowardly act. It doesn’t just affect you, but in the process throws all your loved ones in as collateral damage. But a part of me also feels angry at people who push someone to the point that they start thinking of suicide as an escape to a kinder world.
Suicide and depression is real. Whether you watch the show, don’t watch the show or ridicule it. The show just asks you to be nice to everyone in general. It’s not that hard. The effect of the show stays with you long after it’s over. I believe in today’s world, where we take everything for granted, this show is an eye-opener to a grim reality.