I watched “13 Reasons Why” recently and it got me thinking about my own suicidal thoughts.
(I am trying not to spoil it too much, but if you are waiting to watch it you may want to hold off reading)
I was an unhappy teen and had some suicidal thoughts but they were passing and I never acted on them.
I have only had one time where I had a plan. It wasn’t very long ago. I had a method and a date picked out. It wasn’t that I wanted to die. I felt like I was a burden and a failure. I didn’t want to exist. But, part of me wanted to live. I told people my plans, and eventually turned over my means to my husband for safe keeping.
But, the thing about having made a plan is that it is still there in my mind. Sometimes, I think of it. Like it is unfinished business.
The show did not delve into the girl, Hannah’s, mental state. The story is from her view and focuses on how others affected her. It touches on many topics and should spur discussions on suicide and prevention.
I liked it. One thing I did not like was that they depicted her committing suicide. They had warnings that there were graphic and disturbing images. What bothers me is that it shows you how. I know you can google anything, and it isn’t new information, but I don’t think it needs to be shown. Just my opinion.
Older adults have higher rates of suicide than teens and young adults and it is the 10th leading cause of death overall.1 Suicide is the second leading cause of death of teens and adolescents. The rates have been climbing yearly.2
There is hope and help. The show seems to send the message that kindness and friendships can keep one from going down that path. But, there are other kinds of help. There are help lines, therapists, psychiatrists. Antidepressant and other types of medications can help pull you out of a dark place.
The series also makes a point about personal responsibility. If one person had cared enough Hannah felt she would not had made that decision. I don’t know how I feel about that. Survivor’s usually have guilt already, wondering what they could have done differently.
I am glad I did not go through with my plan. I would hate to put my family through that and I am happy to be here today.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide,
call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).