13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher

13 reasons why just reminds me so much of “Die Leiden des jungen Werthers” by Goethe. That book written as a collection of letters caused a wave of suicides in the 18th century. And whilst 13 reasons why hasn’t necessarily had the exact same effect as of yet, it still is a highly triggering book, which is hard to read for people who had or still have to deal with mental health issues.
Since I’ve been struggling with my bipolar disorder for more than ten years the book was crucial for me to read.
Reading the thoughts of Hannah Baker brought me straight back to my darkest times, which I feel very happy to have escaped, but nevertheless, I still have the feeling that the demons are always lurking in the shadows, ready to jump back on me.
But I want to be honest here, I read the book for the first time a couple of years back during a highly depressive period, and at that time it actually gave me some kind of hope, because it showed me that suicide will always be there for me to choose, in case things really got too much. By now I’ve realized though how dangerous that actually was for a mentally unstable person.
So, let’s say 13 reasons why may have the right intentions in showing how the sum of small things, that don’t seem important to some people cause a teenage girl to take her own life, it still has a very weird way of talking about mental health. I mean that book actually displays suicide as a real option to run away from any problem, which I believe to be very dangerous for everyone, but especially for teenagers.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not see people who committed suicide as weak or cowardly, I just think instead of creating the image of suicide being so glamours 13 reasons why should rather show how to pull through hard times. Because in some situations all we have to get is a tiny sparkle of hope, of things getting better eventually.
Again, I don’t judge anybody who has made the decision to take their own life, but I just think no one should ever increase the number of suicides by putting it as a great opportunity to pay people back.
I know people or rather life, in general, can be extremely cruel and sometimes you feel as if you’re the one every misery happens to and nothing ever seems to go right, but suicide hasn’t only an effect on the person doing it, but also on their friends and family. For, no matter how lonely and forlorn you feel, no matter how much you think nobody cares, you are not alone and believe it or not, they do care. They really do. You just have to give them a chance to prove it.
It took me years to get the courage to try that out and it makes you feel vulnerable, but in the end, it’s definitely worth it.
And that’s what 13 reasons why should have shown.
It certainly is important, that the stigma of mental health issues should disappear and that we all should be able to talk openly about it and it is good that there are books and movies out there, because they reach a big audience and because they are so easily available to so many people the authors and producers do have a high responsibility as to what they display in their products. And in my opinion, they should really focus on pushing through rough times instead of showing how to revenge people that may have hurt a character.
They should show how humans can talk with each other. I mean it’s not that hard to tell someone that in saying or doing this and that they hurt you. Usually, people are not that evil to hurt somebody on purpose and if a person happens to do just that, there’s always the option to kick them out of your life. Anybody who hurt you and does not care enough to apologize and change things a bit does not deserve to be in your life. It’s that simple.
Don’t give somebody else the power to let you live a miserable life. You have your faith and your destiny in your very own hands and nobody can ever take this freedom away from you.
No matter how much somebody may hurt you, they can never ever reach the essence of you. That part always remains untouched, and that alone is enough a reason to keep going.
Because we are all here for a reason, we all bring something unique to this world, and we all go through bad times every now and then, but no one is ever completely alone.
So, just talk to someone. Someone will be glad to help you.
And for heaven’s sake keep going on. Life’s beautiful, we may not always see it, but it is.
Anyway, I’m not saying that book is evil or anything, it’s style is good, and most characters are real and relatable, even though they sometimes miss on a bit of depth.
Therefore, it is a nice read for people who don’t have to deal with mental health issues, because they may understand how much even the smallest thing can hurt somebody and it may also give people who have to go through rough times the feeling of not being the only one who has to deal with such issues.

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