Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of hate comments about the show all over the internet. And because we are all entitled to voice out our opinion, I listed the 13 reasons why I don’t understand all the hate.
- Mental illness is not one of those “stupid little reasons.”
Taking away your life because you were raped and bullied or because depression consumed your whole being is not a stupid little reason. You know what’s a stupid little reason? Hating on the show just because you don’t understand it.
- Not everyone who watches the show watches it just because.
Let’s face it, most viewers started watching it because it trended and got on their radar. And there’s nothing wrong with that. TBH, Netflix should thank them for creating buzz on social media. On the other hand, other people watch the show because they can relate to it or they find the story interesting and comforting. No need to judge people for their reasons.
- Talking about your struggles openly doesn’t mean you’re romanticizing them.
While it’s true that the less you talk about your problems, the less anxious you get, it is never right to say that a person who openly talks about his problems is glorifying them. Been there, done that.
As a person who’s been through depression and anxiety, I find comfort in putting my emotions and thoughts into words. Whenever the monsters would come knocking on my door, I’d grab my phone or laptop and write what I feel. This process helps me heal. So if you think writing or talking about depression or suicide means we’re romanticizing mental illness, unfollow or unfriend us on social media, filter the posts that you see on your feed, and just leave us be.
- If you hate the show, do yourself a favor and stop watching it.
If you hate the show, that’s okay. We can’t (and shouldn’t) force anyone to fall head over heels for the series in the same way that you can’t (and shouldn’t) force anyone to hate it the same way you do.
- If you hate the show, don’t hate people who like it.
You know what they say, you know too much psychology when you can’t get mad because you understand everyone’s reasons for doing everything.
- If you hate the show, you’re free to voice out your thoughts but be open to other people’s opinions, too.
Because unless you’re willing to listen to our thoughts, we won’t listen to yours.
- Do not assume that you know how other people feel.
You think you know what it feels like to be raped, bullied, and depressed? Even if you went through the same hell as these people, remember that each battle is unique and your story isn’t a snapshot of theirs. If you can handle things on your own now after going through these things, we’re happy for you. However, never assume that you know how other people feel and what they’ve been through.
- Don’t be a know-it-all.
Unless you’re this omnipresent and omnipotent greater being, nailing your exams or graduating with flying colors does not give you a free pass to assuming that you know everything. If you’re voicing out your opinions online (or literally anywhere), don’t be a know-it-all because chances are, you don’t know it all.
- Don’t belittle the battles of others.
So this one girl took her own life because her boyfriend dated another girl and you judged her for having that reason for committing suicide? While you are a pseudo-intellectual who can handle yourself so perfectly well, you have to accept the fact that you don’t know the whole story and that you don’t know what she’s been through.
- Do not say that other people have it worse.
Dealing with mental illness is no joke. When you say that other people have it worse, you’re just making matters worse. It’s like saying they have to thank the gods because these battles are a no-brainer.
Belittling other people’s battles won’t make them feel better. It’s like saying they need to grow up and get a life instead of wallowing in self-pity or depressing thoughts, which is hard to do if you ask me. And while I’m willing to write about their struggles, there’s no use unless you open your mind and remove your prejudices first.
- Just because you’re strong doesn’t mean they can be, too.
Consider these points: you all grew up under different settings. And while you may have the same mental illness, your experiences and struggles are unique. If you can manage to wake up early in the morning and go to work on time while dealing with depression, there are others who can’t even find the strength to get out of bed.
Don’t even think they’re lazy. Sometimes, they can’t find a reason to wake up at all. Because when everything around you is chaotic, no one understands, and you can’t find your purpose, the last thing you’ll want to do is get out of bed. TBH, when you are at your most vulnerable and you begin thinking about giving up the fight, it’s even harder to see the light.
- Don’t miss the whole point of the series.
Obviously, the point of the series is to spread awareness about mental health. The production team wants us to realize that sometimes, we do things subconsciously that hurt other people.
They want us to be kind to one another because we have no idea what’s going on with other people’s lives.
In a time where more and more teens are committing suicide, what we need is to be reminded of our responsibility to be kind to one another. If we can’t be there for them to lift them up at times of need, we can at least avoid making things worse for them.
- You may be one of the reasons why.
You want to know the truth? It’s because of careless people that more and more people, teenagers especially, are taking their own lives. I don’t understand why you need to insist that they are weak, that they’re making a big deal out of the stupidest reasons, and that they need to be thankful because some people have it worse.
Instead of judging them for having suicidal tendencies, the least you can do is to stop commenting on social media about them. Please stop spreading hate. Until you do that, there’s a big chance you’re one of the reasons why.
(This was originally published on Candy Magazine)