Netflix recently took a bold move by releasing a series for young adults focused on mental health and suicide. 13 Reasons chronicled the tumultuous high school life of Hannah Baker, who ultimately commits suicide (not a spoiler). Throughout the series, the many events which emotionally troubled Hannah are intimately documented, commenting on high school environments of rape, bullying, and difficult friendships. Unfortunately, as Teen Vogue points out, the show missed something important. While the show focused on discovering “why” Hannah decided to take her own life, the show didn’t focus on one of the very obvious “reasons”: Hannah had a mental illness.
High school can be tough, yet so can life at any other stage. Inability to communicate feelings, the dangerous perception of being completely alone and isolated in one’s experiences, and living with serious suicidal ideation can all be indicators of mental health issues. Hannah might have had depression, she could have been suffering from post traumatic stress due to bullying and sexual assault, or maybe she had something deeper going on. Did she attract and create her drama or did it happen to her? Many unanswered issues in the show exposed one of the under-addressed issues in mental health treatment: not addressing mental health.
Sadly, there is a severe lack in knowledge regarding mental health issues, symptoms of declining mental health, and what steps to take for early intervention. Dozens of research studies have shown that early intervention creates the best chance for long term recovery. Before addiction or any other mental health disorder gets worse, it always has a chance to get better.
Reach Out For Help
Shame and guilt are unfortunately tied to expressing emotion. If you are having a hard time coping with your feelings, coping with life, or managing what has become a chemical addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, it’s okay. These things happen. Those who love and care for you will be so much more grateful you reached out and asked for help. It’s never too late and it’s never too early to say “I need help”.
If you or someone you know are having a hard time coping and have contemplated suicide recently, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1800-273-8255.
Treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders supports lifelong recovery. Harmony Place is a dual diagnosis treatment center providing luxury residential treatment and a full continuum of care for healing mind, body, and spirit. For more information and a private consultation call us today at 1-855-627-1417.