13 Reasons Why is a well-known Netflix web-series based on the novel of the same name by Jay Asher. It attained superlative success and has been a huge talking point ever since it was released: be it for the positive reasons or for the people wanting to trash it. No matter what problems the viewers may have had with the show ( like, expostulating the show glorified suicide ), no one can deny that its popularity has been a turning point in how we view bullying, depression and other mental illnesses, it has brought the topic of suicide to the forefront, on the tables and catapulted it onto our faces. Whether in a negative manner or in a good way, the show has opened up ways for the society to an exceedingly crucial issue: a dialogue on depression and suicide.
Orthodox view on Depression
The re has always been a stigma attached to depression. It is not recognized as a valid illness and the sufferers are often deemed retarded and made easy targets of bullying. It is high time we begin the world and its occupants through a different lens.
It is a tough world we live in and a lot of people have gone through horrible abuse, neglect or trauma. We need to educate ourselves and others that even the most cheerful looking person can be suffering from depression. The person needn’t have to have gone through some problems in order to be depressed. The brain works in mysterious ways and everyone with a brain is susceptible to depression.
We need to stop asking people to substantiate or justify their depression. We do not ask people why they got cancer; the same goes for depression too.
Let us be Better at Being Humans
We need to be more understanding and supportive as a society if we want to live in a healthy, happy one. People should be encouraged to go to therapy and counselling.
We should stop putting so much pressure on our kids. Instead, we need to be more receptive and should focus on whether they are becoming a good human being or not. We need to or should aspire to be the kind of parents our kids can talk to anything about.
We should begin treating others with utmost kindness and respect; after all, they are made out of the same flesh and bones as us. We are all in this together.
Looking Out for Each Other
Even suicide, the most painful thing a person can contemplate for themselves, is treated with great contempt. We consider the ones who commit suicide as weaklings.
How can we pass such judgement on people we know nothing about? We cannot possibly have known what all they have gone through, then how can we speculate whether what they did was wrong or right. We need to be more empathetic.
We need to understand that the poor soul was in so much suffering that they thought it would be better to just end their lives.
The only way to tackle suicide is to be more open about mental illnesses and encourage a dialogue on depression.
It is high time we shed these orthodox and cavalier attitudes and begin treating others with great affection and care. We need to ensure that our and others’ children are not growing up in a society so toxic that their only alternative is to end their lives. We need to abjure our old ways and a serious attitude shift is the call of the hour.
Let us be more compassionate and open to everybody else’s problems. Let us be more open to listening people and not belittling them for feeling a certain way. It is chaos out here. Let us be kinder than we have to.