Local doctor discusses Netflix teenage suicide show ’13 Reasons Why’

He says that even though the show has powerful storytelling, he does not recommend for teenagers to watch it alone

Drug Addiction, Heroin, Suicide Generic

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s a show on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why” that recently has led to a lot of discussion about a somewhat touchy and controversial subject — teenage suicide.

Dr. Mike Sevilla from Family Practice Center of Salem has had a lot of patients ask questions about the topic.

He says that even though the show has some powerful storytelling, he does not recommend for teenagers to watch it alone.

If teenagers wish to watch the show, talking about it with their parents, guardians, school counselors or other adults is suggested in case they have questions about what they are seeing and need to process what they are feeling toward it.

Sevilla thinks the show can impact both children and parents, but it also raises awareness about the subject matter. He believes an open discussion should be held between parents and their children.

“I do not think this show will cause teens to consider suicide. However, I think that this show is high risk to trigger those teens struggling with mental illness, or those who are/have been affected by bullying/cyber-bullying and sexual assault in the past,” he said.

To help raise awareness, Sevilla put together the following list of “13” suicide warning signs to look out for:

  1. Talking about death and/or suicide in a casual way
  2. Saying they wish they hadn’t been born
  3. Asking about death or how to commit violent acts
  4. Talking about leaving or going away
  5. Saying they won’t need things soon
  6. Not wanting to be around people anymore
  7. Seeming sad and remote instead of happy and social
  8. Becoming more angry or edgy
  9. Losing interest in hobbies or events
  10. Having trouble focusing
  11. Showing changes in normal routine, such as sleeping, eating or grooming
  12. Acting out in harmful ways like drinking, using drugs or hurting themselves
  13. Getting in trouble with the law

For more information about Dr. Sevilla’s “13 Reasons,” check out his blog.

Ways to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

From a medical standpoint, FamilyDoctor.org has some useful information on increasing awareness about teen depression, cyber-bullying and suicide.


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