What do you do when you have a bad night? Like laying in bed thinking about suicide, considering how your husband would react when you found you when you got home from, and worrying about if your baby girl wakes up before he gets home.
I’m having one of those nights. I haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why but my husband just finished it last night and told me that the suicide scene was really bad. I asked him how she killed herself (big mistake) and he told me about the scene. I thought about it all last night. It took me forever to go back to sleep. I just kept replaying over and over again what I imagined it would be like. I can’t get it out of my head.
That is the problem with shows like this. I don’t care if it is getting people to talk about mental illness more. How is that helpful when it is alienating and triggering people who actually have mental illness. I have so many people tell me how intriguing the show is, but I still chose not to watch it because I know myself and I know the dark place I’m in right now. And I know there are others like me. People who want to talk about mental illness but want to do it without dramatic rape scenes and a traumatizing suicide scene.
I don’t know if anyone heard about this but earlier this year a young girl live streamed her suicide. The camera stayed on until her parents found her and turned it off. As soon as the website/police realized it was online it was removed but it had already been shared. Did you get what I just said? A video of a live suicide had been shared on the internet.
It is my belief that situations like this and 13 Reasons Why aren’t helping us talk about mental illness, it’s desensitizing us to suicide. NO ONE should be able to sit through a suicide scene. My husband told me he had to turn away and was almost crying. This is from a guy who saw active duty in Iraq. Yet I already have friends who are starting the show over because it was so good the first time. That sickens my stomach. I don’t care how well written it is (and I know because I have read the book), suicide is real. Life isn’t like 13 Reasons Why. You don’t get to watch a dramatic scene unfold and then fast forward through the suicide so you can sleep at night. People need to start talking about mental illness, not suicide.
I know lots of people may disagree with me on this and that’s fine. What I want people to understand is that you can’t just put trigger warning at the beginning of an episode and pat yourself on the back for acknowledging mental illness. I chose not to watch the show but it is constantly being thrown in my face on social media and in my own life.
Anyone can watch a show about mental illness and suicide but how many of those people would have held me last night while I cried and hallucinated (my husband did). Mental illness isn’t a fiction story, this is so many people’s real life.