The show even addresses this, but still its message is confused: ‘I cost a girl her life because I was afraid to love her’ Clay says – fundamentally fucked-up – to which Mr. Porter replies ‘You can’t love someone back to life’. True. This little exchange, however, ends with Clay saying, ‘You can try’. What kind of message is that? ‘We all killed Hannah Baker’ Tony tells Clay. No, you didn’t – she killed herself. That’s the point.
Suicide is caused by mental illness, not bullying; but is Hannah Baker portrayed as mentally ill? Everyone’s experience is different, but are there any symptoms of depression here? Where’s the numbing lethargy? Where’s her losing interest in her appearance? Where’s the self-harm? Speaking of which – Skye, the one character with scars, tells Clay ‘it’s what you do instead of killing yourself’. Where’s her recovery? What sort of message is this sending to the millions of young adults watching this show? Not everyone who commits suicides shows signs, granted. Almost all suicides are described as ‘shocking’. But is the word ‘depression’ ever uttered once in all 13 episodes?