Netflix Original 'Thirteen Reasons Why': A series about why it's important to seek help if you need help

By Marie Miguel

Odds are that you’ve probably heard of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why in recent times, but you may not know what it is. It is a show that has been highly publicized and discussed as it deals with the sensitive subject of suicide as a main tenet of the series.

The show starts with a teenager named Clay Jensen who finds a box on his porch. There are cassette tapes inside, recorded by Hannah Baker – a girl who committed suicide beforehand. In the tapes, Hannah explains the reasons as to why she decided to end her life. Clay isn’t the only person who received the tapes, but everyone who did turned out to be people who were related to her suicide in some way.

This is where the titular “13 Reasons Why comes from.” Every episode is another reason why Hannah decided to commit suicide. If you’ve never seen the show, we aren’t going to fully spoil all the reasons for you, but we’ll meet some characters that play an integral role in Hannah’s decision to take her life, and discuss some events that lead up to it.


Justin is a teen athlete who Hannah meets. She is new to the school, so she doesn’t understand who Justin is and is instead charmed by him. They share a kiss, and he takes a photo of her sliding down a slide. The slide photo exposed her underwear, and Justin shows the photo to some of his friends. One friend’s sharing of the photo makes it spread rapidly throughout the school, and this hurts Hannah’s reputation. People think she is promiscuous, even though she and Justin did nothing sexual. This is one of Hannah’s “reasons why” she chooses to end her life – she could not handle the misguided scrutiny.

This situation is unfortunately all too common a problem in high school – one simple misunderstanding can ruin your reputation. Sometimes, it’s a momentary embarrassment and everyone soon moves on to the next controversy. However, some teens can be petty and don’t forget the situation, and could even go so far as to resurface the memory, and the person will have to relive the shame all over again. It can be hard containing damage done to you, and as a teen, you may feel like an embarrassment like this is the end of the world.


Another of Hannah’s friends at school, Jessica was considered another reason for Hannah’s decision. As new students together, they formed a good friendship. However, their relationship suffered after some ‘boy trouble.’ The pair of friends meets Alex, and they form a small group.

Then Jessica dates Alex, with Hannah having no knowledge of their romantic relationship. Like many couples in groups of friends, they began distancing themselves from Hannah. While this puts a strain on their group dynamic and Jessica and Hannah’s initial friendship, Jessica also experiences jealousy when Alex compliments Hannah.

Relationship drama is another inevitable problem in high school. Teens get into relationships, but usually don’t know how to handle them while maintaining all of their existing connections and friendships. They may distance themselves from their friends or even end friendships over the relationships.


Alex’s drama doesn’t end with just Hannah and Jessica. He creates a list of the best-looking girls in school, and Hannah was listed on there. Because of this and other factors that garnered Hannah attention, many of her peers thought of her as an easy person to ‘hook up’ with. Hannah gets mad at Alex for what her reputation has become, and for the end of her friendship with Jessica. However, Alex is the first person who feels remorse for the entire situation.

In your high school years, you’ll hear of people who are known around school as promiscuous. Even if this is true, they shouldn’t be labeled based on their choices as to who they date, how they date, or how often they make do things that people can be judgmental about. Neither behavior is better than the other – there are some negative consequences to each, depending on the situation.

While this show is ultimately a dramatization, there are unfortunately too many cases of teenagers ending their young lives for what may seem like petty drama or inconsequential actions to outside or even “neutral” parties. 

You have enough to deal with as it is – others’ perceptions, opinions, and treatment of you should not cause you enough stress to seriously endanger your wellbeing. If you feel like everyone is judging you or is against you, seeking counseling if you need help is certainly an option for you.

A counselor can help you realize your strengths and unique abilities, help improve your self-esteem, teach you how to stand up for yourself, and techniques not to let others get to you, among many other important things. They can help you enjoy your life, strengthen your resolve, achieve your dreams, and stop worrying about the drama.

About Author - 

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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