NROP: How raising awareness can kill you. Literally.

When I sat down to write this post, I realized that I wrote quite a few posts on this blog, which were inspired by suicide. Because I do not want to repeat what I have said in the past, I decided to share these posts with you in a structured way. (See hyperlinks below.)

Every year, in May, I think about suicide. Not about committing it, but about others who may be thinking about taking their own life. Even though we seem to be more “depressed” during the winter months due in large to limited sunlight, it is the spring and early summer months that are infamous in the mental health community. Various studies show that it is, in fact, May that claims the biggest harvest.

Almost two years ago I wrote a post about suicide, in which you can find many interesting facts, as well as a short original poem on the topic. To have a read, please click –> HERE <–.

During the darker periods of our lives, we tend to compare ourselves to others and say: “If only I was this or that person“, “If only I had this or that“. However, I would like you to take a moment and distance yourself from these thoughts. We are who we are and we need to work with what we have. Because we are not other people, we cannot know for sure how they feel.

Even celebrities, or maybe ESPECIALLY celebrities cannot run away from darkness and suicide. I wrote about it –> HERE <–.

There are many reasons why people attempt to take their own lives. Often times their self-image is cracked, or sometimes it even misses a few pieces. It does not help when others around them say mean things without thinking about the consequences their words can have on other people.

If you are struggling with what people say about you, I recommend that you take a look at a piece –> HERE <–.

Do you ever watch (or read, or do) things for research? I sometimes do. And that was the case with “13 reasons why”. Two years ago, it was all the rage. People of all ages HAD to watch it. It was that good. So I did. It was a TV show aired on Netflix, about the life of a high-school girl, who committed suicide. After she dies, someone finds cassette tapes on which she recorded … you guessed it – 13 reasons why she committed suicide. Various people and events are described as factors in her final decision. 

The latest study shows that there was an increase in the number (by nearly a third!) of suicides among children 10 – 17 years old in the month following the airing of the show. The rest of that year (2017) yielded a higher than expected harvest, as well. However, people at the age of 18 – 29 were said to report fewer self-harm episodes and suicidal thoughts.

Netflix knew it was dealing with a sensitive topic, so it employed the consulting services of a suicide prevention expert – Dan Reidenberg, who expressed his feelings towards the show. He did not want it to air. He was worried that it would push kids towards self-harm. Unfortunately, Netflix did not listen to him. The phenomenon is called a suicide contagion. It occurs when suicide is prominently featured in the media, and it leads to other people committing similar acts. Young people are especially vulnerable to it. The show is said to “encourage people with suicidal ideation to keep returning to the idea of suicide, and to continually engage with it and become comfortable with it” – says Constance Grady in her article. It is a perfect quote. This particular suicide is that much worse because the recorded cassettes leave ” a legacy”, turning the victim into a heroine. You feel a sense of vindication, because she destroys so many lives with those recordings.

The show did not have the same impact it had on others. I found it to be very cliche. No one likes me, people bully me, people lie to me, so I have no choice but to kill myself. I do not want to minimize anyone’s problems, but I believe that aside from sympathizing with people who are going through a rough patch, we need to be actively working on SOLUTIONS. What does that mean? Every one of us should find coping techniques that work for us. Do not wait until you are in a rut. Do it today. Start learning about what makes you tick, and what helps you. Start getting your mind right. If you pre-launch things correctly, it will be easier for you to deal with hardship in the future. If you do not, there is a chance you will run into an obstacle you will not know how to overcome. You will struggle as if you were in quicksand, and you might drown.

There are also some short stories I wrote on the topic of suicide, if you would like to take a look, please feel free to click –> HERE <– or –> HERE <–.

Have you seen “13 reasons why”?

If so, what did you think about it?

Please remember that if you ever struggle with intrusive thoughts of harming yourself (or others for that matter), you can Contact me –> HERE <–. I am not a professional, but I will listen to whatever you have to say.

Stay golden,

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49 thoughts on “NROP: How raising awareness can kill you. Literally.

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  1. I haven’t watched the show. But I had a conversation about it with someone recently. She told me how she felt like committing suicide after watching the whole series. I asked her why didn’t she stop watching it when she started to get those feelings. Why binge watch it? She said that it’s addictive.
    I got to know that she is depressed. And I was quick to shoot another question- if you know you are depressed, and you know what the show is about, then why did you choose to watch it?
    She wanted to face her darker side.
    And I really didn’t know how to react after that.
    Why did you watch it? How did it make you feel?

    (Side note: it should be contact *me and not contact *be)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could not believe what I read. Wow. So you actually know someone whom the show influenced so much. You know someone who could have been a part of that sad statistic. It just goes to prove how easy it is to get into people’s heads. I’m glad that she didn’t do anything drastic and that you were there to talk to her rationally. Hopefully, you gave her some food for thought.
      I get “facing your darker side” and trying to fight your demons, but you’ve got to do it just right. The amount of pressure and the time of exposure needs to be just right. Otherwise, you risk deepening your hole of darkness.

      (Thank you for the typo! I’m off to correct it right away.)

      Like

      1. I tried to. But then I letting others understand what you want to say isn’t always easy. I’m just glad that she didn’t take the drastic step.
        Yes, that’s what I wanted to tell her- know the time, know the amount. But then with addiction of binge watching.. it’s hard for many.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. After going through this with my uncle almost 20 years ago, I still have so many questions that will never be answered. Suicide is a mystery all of its own. We can go down some dark corridors in life. Problem with that is we fail to let anyone know where we’re going or if we plan on coming back. Communication is pinnacle in my opinion and being there when someone needs you can save lives. It’s hard though, as in my case it was right under my nose. Great post and fitting since here in my neck of the woods it’s mental health week.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for that. Yeah, you’re right, it was hard moving on but you have to. We spoke just a few days before he passed away, I was home for a weekend from university. I wrote a poem that’s on my blog about our last interaction…https://earthtoash.com/2017/05/23/those-shades-looked-better-on-you/ I still go back there sometimes, but I am at peace with it now. It takes pieces from you that takes time to repair. Today though, I try my best to be there for whomever needs me and I am always available to chat which also goes for you my friend. Take care and again, great post.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I went and read it. really hits home.

          I wonder if he knew what was happening. If the decision was made then already. But it doesn’t really matter. We do need to keep on walking forward.

          Same goes to you. I’ll clean my ears often.

          Like

  3. Scary. But the May statistics make sense. I have read that depressed people feel especially isolated when the weather is nice and everyone else seems happy, but surprisingly they do better on rainy, gloomy days, when everyone is feeling rather “blah.” A minor point, maybe, but anything that can help us understand a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that definitely is one of the reasons, and it does make sense. Our sadness seems that much deeper when everyone around us laughs. As a kid, I remember getting yelled at by an older man. We were coming back from school and letting loose on public transportation. He was unhappy about our laughter. We just shook our heads, but as I grew up, I realized that he might have been going through something and we were just making it worse. When I am upset and see people happy, I remind myself of that old man and I let happy people be happy. They don’t need their happiness tampered by my sadness.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have watched just the first 4 episodes…I think that, instead of putting all the hard work in creating the cassettes and blaming people for her suicide, she could have used the moments of bullying to make her strong. I haven’t watched the whole series but I know that Hannah went through A LOT, from being bullied to being raped. But I still feel that suicide shouldn’t have been her go-to option.
    My sister and I had started watching it but my sister’s friend recommended us not to. So…Honestly, I didn’t feel depressed or anything even close to wanting to commit suicide. And I’m shocked to read to statistics you’ve mentioned. I think the show just wanted to make us aware that the things Hannah went through actually happen to kids and some are inclined to depression and suicide. I think they just wanted to send out a message to stop bullying and start reaching out to people…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy to read that I’m not the only person that felt that way. She could have handled things differently. I understand that high-school can be tough, but LIFE is tough. It rarely gets easier. I don’t mean to discourage anyone, or bum anyone out, I just want people to be prepared what’s to come. To be stronger every day.

      I’m glad you stopped after just a few episodes. No need to tempt faith. I agree with you regarding the message. However, like with anything else, you run the risk of encountering problems whenever you tell people about anything. You tell young kids about sex and it will make some of them stay away, while others will just go for it.

      Like

      1. Yes, she definitely could have handled things differently…And I’m not sure if I like the fact that they’ve turned her into a heroine.
        Yes, I agree with you about it…I think, regarding sensitive topics like this, the source which delivers the information and the way it is delivered are most important.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As always, a good, thought provoking piece. I agree with you. I do not want to minimalize suicide in any way, however, I do think people today, especially kids and teens, do not know how to cope with any kind of adversity. They have not been taught the necessary skills to turn things around or even to just walk away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From personal observation, it seems like humans are becoming weaker and weaker. I know we want people to be sensitive and empathetic, but we are pushing too hard. Like with everything else that is going on right now – it’s all about the extremes. Find the middle, people! Be vulnerable and kind, but don’t crumble beneath a couple of straws.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly! Well said. I believe the same way. Life is hard and life is not fair, no matter how much people want to believe otherwise. Sadly, most people today, particularly the younger generations are not prepared to deal with life today. And I fear it is only going to get much, much worse.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Supposedly it is because everyone (I generalize, obviously) is miserable during winter that people keep on. But when the spring comes and everyone else starts being happy, nature renews itself, that’s when people see their lack of hope in contrast with everything else.

      Like

  6. I can’t resist to comment on this post.

    I have seen 13 reasons why, both season 1 and 2.
    Of course rape is a very serious crime and probably the worst thing that can happen to an individual.
    But one of her reasons to suicide was because someone announced she had “the best ass in school”.

    If you type in youtube “I am too pretty”, you’ll find an animation about a girl that gets too much attention and it makes her depressed.
    What’s next? “Depression because you have won the lottery”??!??

    Personally, during my bullying phase, I was called ugly a lot.
    So I cannot really symphasize with these “issues”

    One more thing about 13 reasons why.
    The camera guy was bullied MUCH more. Especially if you watch season 2.
    But of course he was not handsome enough for ANYONE to care for him.

    I binged watch the show, but it does not reflect to the reality to the 2 suicide cases I have experienced with people close to me. Neither with the depression my dad experienced.
    Or even, mine.

    Great post Goldie!
    You make me want to blog again 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andrea, it’s nice to see you.
      I’m flattered that you decided to share your thoughts after such a long while.

      I think season 3 is coming soon. Or maybe it’s 4? Not sure, but I was surprised to hear that there was going to be part 2 in the first place. What was it about? The first one was about everything leading up to her death. Was season 2 about someone else who committed suicide? Yes, I remember that I thought some of those reasons were a little… silly.

      Of course. People will always find something to complain about. That’s why the rich and famous still kill themselves.

      And that’s the thing – I believe that there are people who have it worse than her. Does that mean that they have no reason to live? Or maybe that she should have dealt with it differently?

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you come back. My posts have been missing your comments and my Reader your posts.

      Like

      1. Thank you! It feels good to comment on your posts again! It really triggered my brain.

        Season 3 will be released some time this year.
        Season 2 was filled with Clay constantly talking to “ghost Hannah”.
        It showed a bit more flashbacks of some of Hannah’s relationships during the time before her suicide.
        And also a very graphic picture of the camera guy being raped. Eventually he decides it’s enough. He takes out his guns and plans on a school shooting.
        Clay stops him just in time.
        That’s how it ends.

        I binge watched it, but actually it was quite bad.

        Life is not really optional, is it?
        So we might as well make the best out of it.
        But I do think life is much much easier if you have the money and the looks.
        So I really cannot respect people who complain about that.

        Of course, fame, looks and money can be overwhelming. But you always have the option to struggle yourself through education and working 40 hours a week and then be judged by your asshole manager.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “It really triggered my brain.” – That is a fantastic comment. Thank you.

          Season 2 sounds boring and cliche. I’m glad I didn’t watch it, because I would only roll my eyes.

          I like your attitude – making the best of it. It’s not always easy, but there are some bright points in our lives that are worth witnessing.

          Like

  7. GEEZUS. So, Netflix, decides glorify suicide and make the victim the heroine of the series. Sick message: “Suicide is COOL. Let’s ALL do it!” There is a concerted effort to glorify the most heinous things in society (remember that NWO convo we just had…). Oh, the things that TPTB want us to do…esp. “die quickly”.

    I may have already expressed this to you but, I was on the brink of suicide in the Autumn of 1990 and, even as bad as I was, I put myself in a private institution to get the help I needed. Mine was so awful, I was starving myself. As it turns out, birth control pills did it to me. The folks at the institution didn’t tell me that (most likely, they didn’t know at the time) and the doctor certainly didn’t tell my mother that when SHE made the decision to put me on them (for rough periods, not promiscuity).

    I can’t help but think that, in today’s environment, kids have a greater chance of being suicidal due to the xenoestrogens, fluoridated water (calcifies the pineal gland), GMOs, the same birth control pills that haven’t changed, aspartame (causes brain lesions), high fructose corn syrup, whatever the hell is in vape pens, dieting drugs, tampered street drugs, the s*** pumped out by big pharma…don’t even get me started on vaccines.

    Once the offending chemicals were removed from my system, the depression, the suicidal thoughts subsided. And, I even remember that some of my hospital mates were being given Prozac back then (mine was different). The Prozac, the very thing that was supposed to remove the depression, was making them MORE suicidal and…violent.

    I was bullied in school. I had a difficult time adjusting in school because I had a difficult time at home (I can’t imagine having social media back then…damn). Technically, I’ve been raped. I never contemplated suicide nor was I depressed to the point of falling apart…until birth control pills were introduced into my system. The antidepressants I took didn’t work all that well, looking back. My depression lifted when the synthetic hormones were removed but, I was always under the impression that the antidepressants were my savior. Nope. I’ve been off of them for eight years, now and the only thing they did was make my liver work WAY too hard and…alter my heart rhythm.

    I would never watch this show.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It basically said: “Any reason to kill yourself is a good reason” and “Blame everyone around you for everything”.

      We definitely live in a strange world.

      I don’t think you told me about how you felt back then. I’m glad that you had the presence of mind to help yourself.

      Well, I did write about the lowered levels of masculinity here: https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/the-silent-killer-of-masculinity/ which I think connects a bit to what you’re saying – there’s so any things around us that do us more harm than good.

      That is exactly why any psych meds scare me – they have the potential of making it SO much worse.

      I’m sorry to hear you went through all that, but I’m happy to read that you were able to get through it and are fighting the good fight every day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am 180° away from all that. The only thing I ‘take’, now is bioidentical hormones. I don’t even so much as use an aspirin or tylenol. Food is organic or, at least, non-gmo.

        It was rough. Dropped 40lbs in six weeks back then. The depression hit me on my honeymoon.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. *makes mental note to watch “13 reasons why” sometime soon.*

    There was a time when I considered committing suicide, although I wasn’t serious about it. I only wondered if my problems would really end if I took my life, since adults — who we teens believed to be wiser than us — took their lives when they were overwhelmed by their problems.

    When people commit suicide, especially when they’re teenagers, it’s usually for a cliché reason. A student killed herself some weeks ago because her boyfriend dumped her (I couldn’t believe it myself until I saw screenshots of a conversation she had with a friend the night before she killed herself). Last month, a final-year student took his life because his GPA was VERY low.

    When people kill themselves for unjustifiable, cliche reasons like these, I want to get angry. But then, I remind myself that I don’t have an inkling of what they might have been experiencing. I mean, we only know half of the story.

    Perhaps, the guy who killed himself because of his grades was facing too much pressure from his family and couldn’t deal with it anymore. Or maybe, the girl whose boyfriend dumped her only killed herself because she had been with the guy for so many years and had invested EVERYTHING (time, money, etc) in their relationship. She probably felt betrayed when the guy threw everything away.

    I don’t know…

    I know I used the word “unjustifiable” before, but to be honest, I don’t think there’s any justification for suicide. Or is there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What made you want to watch it?

      On one hand I am surprised to hear that you pondered suicide. On another, I wonder if there is a single person on this planet that has not.

      You are right – we don’t know the full story. However, it is hard to imagine why a breakup serves as a good reason. People get married, have kids and get divorced. What should THEY do if a teenager is broken up with by a boyfriend of 3 weeks?
      Even though we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others when it hurts us, maybe sometimes we should, to see that others have it worse.

      Honestly, I don’t think there is justification. But like with anything else – we make choices. Some are better, some are worse.

      Like

      1. To be honest, I only want to watch it out of curiosity. I want to see this movie that most people say is very influencing. I want to see it and then judge if it’s so influencing that it can encourage someone to hurt himself.

        I’m still surprised I didn’t know about the movie until yesterday. It seems very popular

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh yes, it is. Dstv and Gotv (still under Dstv) were like the most popular cable TV five or maybe eight years ago. But since 2017, Netflix and ROK TV (another internet TV) has overshadowed cable TV.
            It’s a shame I can’t use Netflix as I can barely afford enough data to blog 😂
            But yes, it is popular.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. I was under the impression that in the winter months the rates of suicide were highest…I had no idea it was May. Wow..

    I think that one of the things I’ve always learned from your comments and posts is “We are who we are and we need to work with what we have.” And I appreciate you for it!

    I didn’t watch 13 Reason Why, but I read the book, and I didn’t understand why the book couldn’t have been simply turned into a movie instead of extending it to a show with who knows how many episodes and seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a very common misconception. But it’s true that it’s easier to get through a rough time when everyone is struggling, while it’s much more difficult when everyone else seems happy to start anew.

      Oh, wow! That’s awesome to hear. I do believe in that.

      There was a book?
      You’re right – certain things can be made into a great movie, but they choose to make money off of it, and turn it into a million seasons, or a movie with 7 movies to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see. I hadn’t thought of that and it makes sense. I usually transform into my normal, more happy self as soon as the warm weather arrives. Yeah, there’s a book! I believe it’s written by Jay Asher. I probably read it two years ago I think, but it’s been out way before then.

        Liked by 1 person

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