We analyze ‘For 13 reasons’, the series on bullying, rape and suicide in adolescents

The Netflix series ‘ For 13 Reasons ‘ has released its second season this year, and the truth is that it never ceases to amaze us. In this article we will adopt a more personal discourse, of opinion, to show the strengths of this youth series, highly recommended also for adults, as it has been a revolution in addressing a topic that is taboo: suicide.

We note that this article contains SPOILERS for seasons 1 and 2 of ‘For 13 Reasons’.

‘For 13 Reasons’ not only brings us closer to the dramatic story of Hannah Baker . It also shows us the reality, feelings, decisions and mistakes of a group of adolescents, representing many of the problems that boys and girls of these ages face. For this reason, it is a series with which teenagers can be strongly identified.

Common problems in adolescence

Conflicts and alliances between friends, bullying , the discovery and acceptance of homosexuality, the lack of understanding with parents, drug addictions , the use of alcohol to avoid problems, first couples and sexual experiences, isolation, physical disability , unstructured families, different social classes, death, mental disorders and, one of the key issues, rape , guilt attributed to girls, rumors … In short, the breadth The number of cases is very wide, have you felt identified or identified with any of them?

The parent’s perspective

Each character in the Liberty Institute has a different personal situation, and also a family one. We have met the fathers and mothers of many of them and of them, each with a perspective and a way of seeking the good of their sons and daughters in a different way. For example, some are more strict, others are more concerned with appearances, others are more protective, others have problems in marriage, etc., because there is no one way to be parents . Even those cases where we most doubt the “quality” of parenting, we see that the goal is the good of their children.

However, the closest case is clearly that of Hannah Baker. The feeling of how her mother discovers all those secrets that adolescents keep at home, which cause her great anguish because she thinks she did not know her daughter well, although that kind of distance is the most common in high school age. It is also something that can be understood because he has lost Hannah and that distance is perceived as much greater. On the other hand, Olivia (Hannah’s mother) has opened the confrontation against the institute by denouncing the center as guilty of not having addressed the bullying situation suffered by her daughter. In the second season, with the celebration of the hearings, he sees his objective being repeatedly questioned, a very, very hard fight for which many mothers and fathers have to go through similar cases.

The college perspective

From the Liberty Institute, the perspective that we know best is that of the counselor, who ignored the case of Hannah’s rape and now takes the blame. The other character representing the school is the principal, as well as the defense attorney, trying to release responsibility for Hannah’s suicide. A very brave prospect from the series, as it is one of the most common conflicts in cases of bullying: schools avoid blame for not having identified the bullying or acted upon it. Thus, it is common for victims of bullying to feel that the teachers fail them because it is in whom they trusted, but they do not receive help (although we cannot extend this to all schools, clearly, since many educational centers do work to avoid e intervene before bullying).

Understanding each case

One of the points that we liked the most about the series ‘For 13 reasons’ has been the way in which they have continued the series, without season 2 becoming a vain attempt to stretch the success. While the first season brought the intrigue of listening to each tape, the contribution of each partner and each partner to Hannah’s suicide, and knowing the deep feelings of the protagonist, the second has focused more on the stories of each character . It maintains an aura of mystery, but the interesting thing is found in this approach to the problems that the adolescents that we mentioned at the beginning face and may face.

On the other hand, we go much deeper into different episodes in Hannah’s life. Thus, we see, above all, his best experiences with his colleagues. Not to exonerate them, but to teach that the people who contribute to bullying are not always violent bullies, or as in this case the character of Bryce, but that good people, or those who do not want to do harm, sometimes by omission, by self-defense or because social pressure is very high at those ages , they can contribute to harassment.

Suicide, how such a complicated subject has been shown

Finally, the central theme on which the plot of ‘For 13 Reasons’ revolves, and which has led the series to controversy, has been suicide. In addition, there is talk of both the suicide carried out by Hannah, and the attempt to take Alex’s life, who has survived, has lost his memory, and feels tremendously guilty, as well as frustrated by the physical disability that this has brought him. traumatic episode.

Hannah Baker’s suicide is unprecedented, or at least of the same level of popularity. Especially because it was filmed and the viewers were able to witness how he cut his wrists in the bathtub of his house. It’s a totally heartbreaking scene that can have you overwhelmed for a long time . That scene, together with those of the rapes, made many parents, in addition to schools, prohibit its viewing, the series having to put a notice at the beginning of the episodes. It was also feared that it could lead other young people to commit a suicide attempt.

In the second season, in addition, they offer you in each chapter the opportunity to visit the website www.13reasonswhy.info , translated into several languages ​​including Spanish, where we have different resources available to deal with the problem of bullying. One is a discussion notebook to deal with at school or youth associations, while the other is a telephone number to go to in case of bullying, as well as a link to the resources that the Ministry of Education has in place to tackle this type of bullying. of problems. So, in short, the series is also trying to be offer a positive contribution in the fight against bullying and in the prevention of suicide due to this type of causes.

In conclusion, ‘For 13 reasons’ is a series that entertains and hooks you, but at the same time it is bringing us closer to a very invisible reality, helping us to become aware of it. As we also discussed in this article called ‘ A psychological look at For 13 reasons, can the Netflix series cause suicides in adolescents? ‘, if teenagers see it, it is recommended that it be discussed both at home and at school , especially if we believe that our son or daughter, or a student, may be suffering from depression, bullying or another problem of an emotional nature that could put you at risk.

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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