13 Reasons Why

April 17, 2017

I haven't blogged in exactly 30 days and the reason is because I've attracted a lot of attention to my twitter and I know it can be difficult or uncomfortable for general public to read honest remarks about mental illnesses. Therefore, I've shied away even though I know that there are people who visit my blog looking for a word or two to relate to during hard times.

Making the decision to blog about mental health this evening was a battle in my head between what people want to read vs my honest thoughts. Every post I write triggers my anxiety - Am I being too honest? What would people think of me? etc.

Through all that anxiety, the society needs honesty. The society needs openness and depth. Superficiality is overrated.


So,  just like everyone else, I caved in and started '13 Reasons Why' about a week ago and I finished it this evening. Unlike many of you, I found the show to be rather triggering. Of course, with every tv drama, parts were clearly dramatised to increase spectator views but I felt that many of scenes rang true.

'13 Reasons Why' is a Netflix series of a teenage girl who took her life and the 13 reasons that led up to it. A scene in the show (where the counselor failed to listen to her cries) made me realise I had forgotten to do something important, which I should have done ages ago.

It made me realise that I need to take a step and correct the treatment that I was provided a year ago. I don't blame anyone in particular, nor do I feel that I'm angry over the things that happened in the past, but I do have a better understanding on the steps that I can take to prevent others and myself to getting even that close to disfigured thoughts.

It didn't occur to me what a huge impact a medical personnel can have on turning someone's life around. A year ago, I sought help from my GP at my university's clinic. I tried to tell her how awful I felt through my tears. She said, because I've not made an appointment, she can only spend 5 minutes of her time to see me and that it would be best if I made an appointment for next time so we can discuss options (her next availability was weeks away). She also suggested that I register for the university's psychological services.

Let me tell you what the medical personnel should have done. She should not have allowed me to leave. She should have given me immediate help and more importantly, she should have listened.

Please bear in mind that I couldn't think rationally at this point. I was feeling very distraught and confused - not knowing what I had to do or what were my rights.

(A week after, I was hospitalized for severe depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.)

So, this evening I've filed a complain for the treatment I received a year ago. I hope that the entire surgery would receive thorough training to recognize signs and symptoms to help other students.



Nobody talks about it - until it happens and suddenly everyone is encouraging the need to be more open about it. My question is, "Why?" Why does it take such a huge impact to get people out of their shells about suicide?

Yes, I said it. Suicide.

Mental illness. Mental Health. Depression. Sickness.

All these words are just so scary that everyone avoids using those terms, and avoid the people who are trying to reach out for help by talking about all the aforementioned words.

'13 Reasons Why' also made me realise that people would rather think "positively" or rather imagine a "best case scenario". They say things like "everyone goes through crap" or "they're just being overdramatic" or "they just want attention". Truth is, when we're in an uncomfortable situation, we would prefer to brush it off as something small or even make a joke about it. No one likes gloom and doom. It's just awkward I guess.

Well, my honest thoughts say that it shouldn't cost a life to be more to any living being. More attentive, more kind, more gentle, more giving, just more.

When you're at your lowest, your thoughts can cloud your judgement. It may seem like the world doesn't care and that you are incredibly lonely. This is known as catastrophizing - your brain is wired to think negatively so that your body is prepared for defense (i.e. fight or flight). Take a deep breath and try with every ounce left to find beauty around you. A tiny cloud in the sky, a lonely flower in the bush, a kind word, or a tiny person in the tree.

Rachel W.

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