Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
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.
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