Toni

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    13 reasons why neither is correct

    Releasing a series that covers a multitude of controversial themes, steered by one that is often disregarded due its explicit nature was bound to provoke skewed, conflicting responses as such. I can’t help but muffle a chuckle as I reflect on the handful of reviews that brutally slam down the themes raised, deeming the content to be offensive to individuals facing psychological battles alone, no camera, supporting actors or stage makeup to falsify the cruel reality of their circumstances.

    I imagine the majority of the demographic falling into this category would not vary significantly. I can’t help but consider the likelihood that an intolerance towards portraying mental illness is intrinsically linked with the shared beliefs, attitudes and ideologies that were ‘normal’ of your era. This theory has been proven with time, as I’ve witnessed the relentless modifications and amendments to my fathers’ psychological state. I’ve reached a point of maturity where I have come to terms that I can not help this anxious little man, as he is not willing to help himself. As malicious or spiteful as this may come across, once accepting this fate I decided to exploit this opportunity and probe at the possible causations. The blockage in his right cerebrum (that impedes his aptitude to absorb information that is current, and makes it painfully unbearable to listen to an option that differs to an insignificant degree) I find personally offensive. A sombre afternoon (I don’t recall how these events unfolded), my father and I just happened to be sharing a couch. The silence was eventually broken by the theme song of 13 reasons why. The sense of gratification I received by predicting his exact response was sickening. I cannot stress enough that neither opinion is wrong neither inapplicable when tackling such a grey theme.

    The circumstantial nature means that every individual’s journey will differ from the next – it is impossible to hypothesise a collective response or be assured that your opinion is correct. Depending on the experience of mental illness, this series could offer comfort, relief, understanding, self-assurance, or perhaps, the complete opposite. In my opinion, it is imperative that we strive to break down the barriers that reinforce false misconceptions. I believe shining light on the prevalence of this issue on a public media platform will lead to increased discussion, in aim to remove the elephant in the room that has become mental illness.

    • This is such an interesting look at a topic that like you said is often disregarded because it can be so dark. First of all I want to say that the points you made about the show either being helpful or hurtful are great. For myself I have been that person who has considered suicide and honestly there were times that the show was both helpful or hurtful for me. It was helpful to see that the ways I dealt with my own reasoning's behind considering it were better than the alternative of what I could have caused (as seen by what Hannah caused) but at the same time it was hurtful because there were times where I felt like the show didn't accurately portray the thought processes of someone going through this decision process. However, at the end of the day the show will be and do different things for different people and it would be interesting to take a deeper look at both sides of the spectrum and see how it impacted those who have considered it to looking at how it impacted the families of those who have committed suicide. All in all though a great way to look at the topic! – ChaosMistress5817 2 years ago
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    • Amazing and very relevant topic. Also thank you for sharing your story with us. This topic is approvable, but I would like to see a little bit more context towards why this show, that was catered towards those suffering with mental illness and promoted accurate portrayal, has left such a horrible impression on viewers. Then this topic could definitely dive into the deeper and darker themes that you've outlined. – Pamela Maria 2 years ago
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    • I don’t think the show was all that harmful but it wasn’t all that good. The book was much better because it felt quick and overwhelming and you could feel how Hannah would be unable to cope. As someone who suffered from mental health issue the book made me feel like my thoughts where natural for the situation I was in and that they alone didn’t mean I was crazy. I think it should be noted that the television lost a lot of this in its translation. – Shannon Colee 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    Creativity is the greatest form of rebellion. It was probably years ago that I came across this proposition, however overtime I have gradually adopted it, an idea founded on the freedom of expression. I believe the phenomenon of creativity can only be defined as an emotional state. Just like feelings, due to it’s all-encompassing and subjective nature, to pin-point whether reaching this state of being can only be taught overtime or should be put down to biological predisposition is virtually impossible. Every thought, decision, judgement you make, consciously or not, has been shaped by an internalised set of values and objectives that guide you, particularly in regards to ethical decision making. These beliefs are not stagnant – continuously being questioned, challenged, modified by external influences. This moral compass defines and controls your ability of creative expression. Yes, some can express themselves more ‘creatively’ easier than others. Yes, by attending an art class you may learn how to mount an easel. Both answers are correct. These days, a blank canvas can apparently prove a natural aptitude within the sphere of postmodern artistry. My need to express my stream of consciousness has aggressively increased since being prescribed amphetamines. Yes, a potent central nervous system stimulant potent central nervous system stimulant that is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder fuels my desire to exploit those constant, pervading stream of thoughts. People are scared off by creativity, and this saddens me. This question has sparked my desire to encourage people to strive to attain this state of being, as it exists within all. Taught or not, this tool will provide self-gratification and assurance like no other.

    Are Creative Writers Taught or Talented?