By now, you’ve likely read my intro to my 13 hidden messages found within the Netflix series’, 13 Reasons Why main message. If not, you need to read that to discover what the heck is going on here. Otherwise, flip the tape and read away.
Here is the first of thirteen messages hidden within the 13 Reasons Why main message.
Tape 1: The signs of suicide are always there
If there’s one thing you can take away from the 13 Reasons Why message, it’s that the signs of suicide are always there. The problem is, the signs often go unnoticed or underestimated.
Research shows that 80% of people contemplating suicide will bring their intentions to others, as reported by TAPS.
One of the most important things to notice in the 13 Reasons Why main message is that the main character, Hannah, is desperately crying out for help. She tries to talk to her friends who shrug her off for being “dramatic” and she tries to talk to a school counsellor who doesn’t take her words seriously. She does not commit suicide until her cries for help are exhausted and remain unanswered, and this is a reality for many people today. As a society, we don’t take people’s cries for help seriously even when we do notice them and we claim the person suffering to be “crazy” or “dramatic” when in reality, they’re just looking for a chance to live, a glimmer of hope.
The main character reaches out several times before committing suicide – and that’s best case scenario, as it provides several opportunities for people to notice and help. But it’s important to know that not everyone will reach out more than once, nor will their signs of suicide be so loud and obvious. So, it’s crucial for you to pay attention at all times.
Misconceptions about people suffering from suicidal thoughts
You often hear people saying, “If she really wants to commit suicide she wouldn’t say anything”. This is true, but not in the way you expect. 80% of people won’t say anything but 100% of people will show signs of suicide. The signs may not always be verbal, but the signs will be there.
It’s also true that when people mention their suicidal intentions, they may not actually do it. That’s why they’re bringing it up. It’s their cry for help so they don’t have to do it because most suicidal people don’t want to die, they just don’t want to live like this anymore. If their cries go unanswered, that’s when the silence and action begins.
Just think back to 13 Reasons Why. The main character, Hannah, reaches out and reaches out, and reaches out, and it’s only after all of her cries for help remain unanswered that she stops talking, makes a decision to commit suicide, and follows through with it.
So, the next time you hear someone mention death or suicide, that’s your opportunity to step in and answer their cries.
Another common statement/belief is, if someone talks about being suicidal, they’re only looking for attention. And you’re right – they are looking for attention – attention that will bring hope, help, and change. Despite what people who don’t know what it’s like may believe, the only attention such a devastated and broken soul is looking for is attention that will save their life. Otherwise, they’d rather vanish, disappear… Die.
The cries for help I’ve noticed from people with suicidal intentions
Let me put this into perspective for you. Someone I know attempted suicide when I was 15 and he said for 3 days straight prior to the event that he didn’t want to go to school. A typical statement from a teenage boy, right?
However, had we looked a little deeper and probed a little further into the meaning behind his statements, we may have been able to reveal the truth intention behind his words. The words were a subtle cry for help.
Now, with that said, you can’t blame yourself for missing the signs of suicide but you can educate yourself so you can pick up on the little things that may hold a lot more weight than you think.
Different signs of suicide to look for
Whether someone is simply having a bad day or has had so many of them that everything has now accumulated into a suicidal manifestation, the signs of suicide are always there. The statistics show that 80% of people reveal their intentions to others, but 100% of people shows signs. It may not be intention, but the signs of suicide are always shown.
The only way to prevent the signs of suicide from going unnoticed is to educate yourself on what to look for.
Physical cries for help
- Making preparations for death, such as completing a will, writing a suicide note, saying their goodbyes, etc.
- Isolation and lack of interest from the things, activities, and people they love
- Over-sleeping, insomnia, or low-energy
- Not wanting to go to school or work
- Increase alcohol or drug use
- Showing signs of low self-esteem and self-worth
- Playing extremely dark and depression songs on replay
- Increased feelings of guilt or blame
- Walking with head down or showing signs of self-doubt
- Frequent outbursts, angry or sad
- Severe drop in school grades
- Worried about being harmed or hurting others
Verbal cries for help
- Talking or joking about dying or suicide
- Making statements that hint to their unhappiness
- “I can’t stop the pain”
- “I can’t see a way out”
- “I’m so done”
- “Nothing will ever change”
- “No one cares”
- “I can’t do this anymore
An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors.
As the 13 Reasons Why main message shows, along with several statistics, people will always give some sort of sign of suicide or cry for help. It’s your job to help to spot the signs of suicide and take action. We need to stop underestimating people’s feelings, statements, and emotions because it can be a glimpse into the true feelings of a truly broken soul. So, if someone’s having a bad day, use the information provided within the 13 Reasons Why message and my blog post, and listen and look specifically for the signs that could hint to something deeper than “just a bad day”.
More importantly, if you or someone you know is suffering, please contact the Canadian National Suicide Helpline.