• Child Psychologist: 13 Reasons Why Is “Suicide Propaganda”

    by  • June 8, 2018 • Streaming, Violence • 5 Comments


    My feelings about 13 Reasons Why changed from the first season to the second.

    The following is an unsolicited guest opinion piece, reprinted with permission from the author. 

    The first season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why called viewers to greater consciousness about bullying and harassment, about how we may affect others without intention, ignoring what each individual person is going through. The first season created empathy and awakened concern, awareness, and involvement in the viewer.

    The second season teaches us the exact opposite. It takes the viewer’s hope and expectations away.  It shows how money and power can buy the way out of consequences, how bullies will always be bullies and the bullied will always be bullied. The second season gets the viewer thinking, “Of course Hannah killed herself. In these circumstances, who wouldn’t? I may as well do so, too.” It makes the viewer empathize with Tyler, a kid who is about to shoot his classmates at the dance. It almost makes you think, “Yes man, do it! Kill them all!  Nobody else will ever help you.”

    Suicide HotlineTyler’s character was abandoned long before the last episode. He was the one who told the truth, the one who cared. And he was left alone. Totally alone. What happens to him in the bathroom…I have never seen anything so horrifying in my life. I’ve seen rape depicted in movies before, but not like this. I cried my eyes out, couldn’t catch my breath, couldn’t stop shivering. It was not only unnecessary, but was cruel and sick. I cannot imagine what this scene could do to underage kids, or to anyone who has been through a similar experience.

    I spent the day after the premiere talking to my patients’ families, to my working team, to the counselors I work with at every school, to prevent children from watching this.

    The second season is a trigger for suicide. It leaves the viewer hopeless and in pain for humankind.

    I am sickened by how so many people (actors, producers, writers, directors, Netflix and everyone involved) could participate in creating and airing such a thing, despite its consequences. It seems like the only thing that matters to Netflix is making money and trending on social media — even if it means viewers suffering panic attacks, breakdowns, and  considering or even attempting suicide.


    I chose to do something to help kids, those who are left alone, who feel left out, who feel broken and hopeless. I choose to make a difference, to teach children about the value of life, about how it’s worth living. I work against bullying, against depression and suicide. This is my job…but the second season of 13 Reasons Why is one reason why I have to work so damn hard. As of Friday, May 18th, my job got a lot harder and more complicated.

    I live in Argentina. Bullying in my country is bad, but is not nearly as bad as it is in the U.S. And 13 Reasons this is part of the reason why. Air it, make it seem natural, and it will happen, and it will keep on happening. What kids learn by watching 13 Reasons Why is: You will be stalked. You will be harassed. You will be bullied. You will be threatened and beaten up. You will be raped. You will be killed. No one, especially no adult, will help you. And no one will care.

    We need to help and protect children until they can protect themselves. As the grownups at Liberty High failed at doing so, so did this show. It wasn’t about protecting the children, it was about money, and power, front pages and trending topics. Children should not be exposed to this kind of graphic content, or to feeling the way I felt. Children should never have to feel hopeless, that no one cares. But 13 Reasons Why teaches them the opposite. It’s suicide propaganda. It is by far the most outrageous show I’ve ever seen.

    I read the reviews. Many, many people are disgusted and offended. So many experienced horrible things while watching the last episode. Are Netflix’s profits worth it? Really?

    If you need help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org and Click to Chat




    Agustina Garrahan is a psychologist who works with children of various social and economic backgrounds, in both school settings and in private practice. She lives in Argentina.

    5 Responses to Child Psychologist: 13 Reasons Why Is “Suicide Propaganda”

    1. June 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      I appreciate all the work you’re doing to alert people to the dangers of “13 Reasons Why.” After one episode I was so disturbed that I decided to do a little research. What I found was appalling. That’s when I started writing. Then I posted it and 124 people shared my blog. One of them said they cancelled Netflix after reading it. I’m sending this to you to see if you can use it. I want to get this show removed. Thank you.


    2. Gabe
      June 12, 2018 at 7:42 am

      This show is rated TV-MA. The definition of TV-MA is that these programs are intended only for mature audiences and may be unsuitable for children under 17. This is the TV equivalent of an R rating.

      • William Warfield
        June 12, 2018 at 12:28 pm

        I always thought it was more of an equivalent of NC-17.

    3. Georgi Malchov
      June 9, 2018 at 12:14 am

      Agustina, I agree with you. 13 Reasons Why is a show all about glorifying suicide. I can’t believe that Netflix is making millions and millions of dollars producing this sickening series. I’m very glad I’m not subscribed to Netflix, so that I can never watch an episode of this suicide-charged filth.

      And to anyone who defends this show, I have this message for you:
      Switch to Hulu or Amazon. Their original series are way better than Netflix’s pathetic attempt at rendering suicide into charming fun

    4. Jenilee
      June 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      I have watched both seasons and feel this show can teach this generation a lot about what they may be feeling. I do not get a sense of glorification to what Hannah or any of the other characters have done. They are telling a story of what really goes on with today’s youth in school nowadays. As parents we have to decide wether or not our children are mature enough to watch this series. I say Hooray to Netflix for continuing to shed light on mental illness, bullying, and suicide. This show definitely has people talking and for good reason. Shame on you for trying to control what I as a parent have the right to let my child see or not see. STAY OUT OF MY LIVING ROOM!!!!!

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