The massively popular TV show ’13 Reasons Why’ has sparked a lot of controversy and discussion about mental health as a result here are my 13 reasons why suicide isn’t worth it. 

The show centres around a high-school girl named Hannah who commits suicide and leaves audio recorded tapes to each of the people she felt were responsible.

Whether you think the show helps or damages teens with mental health problems we can all agree that the issue in question is one that is very serious and surprisingly common. 

Having personal experience with suicide I’d like to put forward these 13 reasons why suicide isn’t worth it.

My 13 Reasons Why suicide Isn’t Worth It

Note: I by no means am a mental health expert or a professional and if you are in need I suggest you reach out HERE.

I am also aware that my experiences aren’t the definitive, end-all discussion on the topic and that everyone’s story is different and unique to them. 

This also isn’t a bash on 13 Reasons Why… sure it isn’t perfect, but I think it raises a lot of important issues and has got people talking about them.

With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

1. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

This is the clique answer that gets thrown around a lot so I wanna tackle it first.

Despite it being a common adage repeated by most people when the issue of suicide comes up I still think it still holds a lot of truth.

This one resonates with me because I remember feeling like the darkest days of my life were far from temporary, that this was just going to be the way my life was forever and even thought that the worst was still ahead of me.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but I often wonder if I could have seen me and my life now how dramatically that would have helped me through those hard times.

Suicide is an ultimatum, there are no second chances or rewinds, our problems are not final, things change, even if it’s just our perception of them.

2. Life is a gift

Even the most atheist scientist out there will tell you that the human body and the existence of you are nothing short of a long line of genetic lottery tickets (in short miraculous.)

The world is a crazy messed up place, there’s no denying that, but the fact that you are here is incredible.

It’s a rare gift to be alive, don’t throw it away.

3. People care about you

Can people treat you wrong? You betcha.

Do sometimes the people closest to us hurt us the most? Oh yeah.

Is it easy to fall through the cracks? Too easy.

For me the thing that impacted me the most was the role of Hannah’s parents throughout the show 13 Reasons Why. I like how the writers depicted them as a normal family with normal struggles and fights.

Sure, they didn’t see the warning signs, but life passes so quickly and we have no idea what goes on in people’s minds that it’s hard to miss.

No one cared about Hannah more than her parents, their reaction showed that, yet in her eyes, they were overlooking her.

We can’t truly know how much people care about us. The trivial things in life often get away and the squabbles we have mask how much we truly care but strip all that back and you will see how much people really care about you.

It’s just unfortunate how this is often realised too late.

4. People need you to get through this

I’m a big believer that sometimes we are brought through situations in life so that we can help other people in similar situations.

There’s a quote that really grips me from Ayesha Siddiqi:

“Be who you needed when you were younger.”

When we are suicidal we tend not to think about the future too much, but if it’s any consolations think about how you can use your experience to help someone else who is in this situation.

How you could step in for them and walk them through it, how you could be the person that was or wasn’t there for you when you needed them most.

You have the potential to save lives.

5. The pain suicide causes is unimaginable

If you’ve watched all of 13 Reasons Why then you see the horrific pain Hannah’s death causes.

I remember being at the funeral of a friend of mine who took his own life and the ripples of pain that caused were deep and widespread.

I’ve been to a few funerals, family, friends, colleagues (even one when my friend was shot) and all of them were painful in their own way.

But suicide leaves such a harrowing sense of personal responsibility.

“All of us felt like there was something we could have done, we played the ‘what if game’ a thousand times but were left with the reality that there was nothing we could do to bring him back.”

I refute the idea that ‘suicide is selfish’  but it wouldn’t hurt to think about the people you would be leaving behind.

6. There is help out there

Even if there is no help at home, no friends you can reach out to, there are people who have dedicated their lives to helping people who are battling suicidal thoughts.

Make use of them.

They are free and they are there to help, it’s why they exist, it’s why they breath… they are there for you.

If you live in the UK try Samaritans, in the US try here. 

7. No problem is too hard to overcome

Bookshelves, movie theatres, and news reports are overflowing with examples of people who have overcome the most insane challenges and often horrific things life has thrown at them.

“If they can make it, so can we.”

This is not to brush off you pain or situation, but rather to encourage you that you can do it.

8. Suicide is not natural

By default, we are wired for self-preservation, it’s literally human nature along with every other living thing.

It’s why we pull away from a hot kettle instinctively, why we eat, sleep and breath.

It’s why we fight or flight in dangerous situations – because living things are designed to stay alive at all costs.

In my opinion, this makes suicidal thoughts against the human nature and therefore is not from us.

I understand this is where I will lose some of you, but it’s my own personal opinion that those thoughts subsequently must be from an external source.

These are often labelled as ‘evil’ ‘the devil’ ‘negative forces’ – whatever you want to call it.

Having experienced suicidal thoughts myself, I cannot reconcile that it comes from within myself. If you think that makes me self-deluded then so be it.

This is why I don’t think people should feel guilty about having these thoughts and even now I choose to seperate myself from them.

But again this is just my opinion.

9. You have no idea what the future holds

When I was prepared to take my own life I had no idea what the future would hold.

I didn’t know that I would end up having an amazing group of friends to live life with, that I would achieve my dreams of travelling the world and marrying an incredible life partner.

“When I thought of the future all I saw was black.”

Give your future the benefit of the doubt. Give it time.

You don’t know what is ahead and my guess is that you will look back on this season and question how you could have ever considered throwing it all away.

There’s only one way to find out.

10. You are not the only one

Depression is a very isolating experience. We tend to withdraw from our lives and the people in it, losing touch with the world around us.

It’s easy to feel like we are the only one who feels this way. Well…

Did you know that 18% of High School students have seriously considered taking their own life?

Suicide is also the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 20-34 and as most of us know, is 4 times more likely for men.

But it’s not just an issue for the young as it is often reported, the age of highest risk for men is between 45 and 59.

“Without a doubt suicide is a universal issue, it is not a bias of age, gender, race or geography.”

Possibly the the most dangerous tactic suicidal thoughts use is to make us feel like we are the only one.

This should give us hope, knowing that there are other people who feel this way and that if there are millions of people who have made it out the other side, we can too.

11. It gets better

Let time do its thing. Wounds heal, situations change and so do we.

12. Suicide is not a way to take revenge

The big issue I have with media’s portrayal of suicide (including 13 Reasons Why) is that it paints suicide as an appropriate way to take revenge on people.

It put forwards the idea “oh they’ll be so sorry that they ever hurt me once I do this they will never forget me.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m calling it on this one.”

People move on.

Even the grandest scheme like Hannah’s in ’13 Reasons Why’ will pass and people will move on from it.

If you fast-forwarded to 13 years after 13 Reasons Why was set in my guess is that you will find most of the characters living their life without much memory or remorse of Hannah.

Chances are it will come up every now and then and someone will say “oh yeah, that girl who killed herself, yeah that was crazy, poor kid… anyway what are you doing these days anyway?”

The person who loses the most from suicide is the person who dies.

Yes damage is done and people will hurt, but life moves on with or without out you, it always has and it always will.

The best thing to do is to be a part of it, not take yourself out.

13. There is a plan for your life

Again, this is where I may lose some of you and that’s totally fine, thanks for making it this far.

“In the darkest moment of my life, I had an encounter with Jesus and he showed me that he had a plan for my life.”

For me, this was the turning point in my situation.

Please be under no illusion here, this wasn’t a magic moment where my depression disappeared and the next day I was out Carpe Dieming life, it took years frankly, but it was the defining moment where things started to change.

” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

A lot of things had been stolen and destroyed in my life.

But, to know that there was a full, rich satisfying life out there for the taking, to realize there is meaning to my life (even in the mess) gave me the hope I needed to pursue life once again.

If I believe there is a plan for my life then I believe there is one for you too.

How to get help.

If you find yourself depressed or suicidal, please contact Samaritans if you live in the UK or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you live in the US.

This article is just a collection of thoughts and I hope that it will encourage you to take the first steps forward to get out of this temporary situation today.

More from Matthew Thompson

Thanks for reading this post on 13 Reasons Why suicide isn’t worth it.

I try to write openly and honestly about my life experiences to benefit in anyway, anyone who reads my work. 

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All the best,

– Matthew Thompson

Further reading:
– 7 Lessons About Depression From A Suicidal Prophet
– My Friend Got Shot 2 Years Ago: Here’s What I’ve Learned
– Whatever You Do In 2018: Be True