Child Psychologists Weigh In On ’13 Reasons Why’ Suicide Portrayal: The Show ‘Comes At Great Risk

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While many cast members have defended the graphic scenes depicted in Netflix’s hit show, 13 Reason Why, some child psychologists have also weighed in, expressing their concerns.

As the Inquisitr reported earlier today, both the Netflix CEO and actor Devin Druid defended the show’s most recent graphic scene. And now the show has been renewed for Season 3, CEO Reed Hastings defended the Season 2 rape scene, saying that they’re not forcing anyone who doesn’t want to watch it to watch it.

13 Reasons Why has been enormously popular and successful. It’s engaging content. It is controversial. But nobody has to watch it.”

Actor Devin Druid also expressed a similar view, saying that the events in the show are not sugarcoated because that’s not real life. Instead, he says that the scenes are trying to portray real-life events and what happens in these unfortunate situations.

While plenty of people tied to the show have commented on the controversial rape scene, many psychologists are weighing in on the traumatic suicide depicted in Season 1, saying that it poses a great risk for young adults. According to JC Online, Melissa Butler, who is a pediatric psychologist at Riley Children’s Health, said that she has yet to watch Season 2 of the show, but she and her colleagues have spoken at length about Season 1.

Butler says that the show glamorizes teen suicide and that many people who end up in her office who have either attempted or thought about suicide have told her that 13 Reasons Why is their favorite show because the characters “resonate” with them.

Thirteen Reasons Why comes at great risk, especially for teens who are already struggling. This is not a documentary or an after school special that is trying to promote awareness. This is something that is maximizing shock value and has vivid imagery that can be triggering.”

And after the scene in Season 1 where character Hannah Baker’s commits suicide, the phrase “how to commit suicide” climbed to 26 percent above the expected rate. Since the series features flashbacks and notes that Hannah left for friends after she died, it also creates the dangerous idea that suicide is not final, which can be very damaging.

Butler confesses that another part that she finds troubling is the fact that 13 Reasons Why portrays the fact that going to a school counselor or talking to an adult will not help people with suicidal thoughts, which is obviously untrue.

“That is a big issue with this media portrayal and we could have really modeled [seeking help] with this show, but it probably wouldn’t have been as good TV,” she said.

With Season 3 already slated in Netflix’s lineup, the debate over the show will likely continue for months to come.