I’m sure by now you have seen all the articles and commentary about if watching Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is really safe. I personally like TWLOHA’s response as I agree that yes it has brought Mental Health to the front of our conversations but yes it can be triggering and it may need to be avoided.
But let’s be honest, lots of shows are triggering. I couldn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy for the longest time because I related to Meredith Grey too much during my severe depression. I would sob through episodes because it felt like my story on the screen – the mother who was disconnected, the father who moved on with his new family, the sister who suddenly shows up and wants to be a family… yep I was Meredith. So I had to stop watching it for that time period in my life.
Recently I was telling my husband that I was going to watch this spy show because there was nothing triggering in it. Next episode I watch – the dad dies suddenly. Thanks TV.
Then we go see a Science Fiction Action movie – nothing triggering about dancing trees and gun toting raccoons. Well guess who was crying at the end — me.
Because really nothing is really safe. Life is reflected in art. Movies, books, music – it is all art that is reflecting and processing life around us.
I’m not saying that we have to avoid everything, but we also need to acknowledge that there are lots of triggers out there. When I’m in my low spot I have to be actively aware of what I’m watching and listening to. I have a silly playlist on my Spotify just for days like that.
When I am strong enough and ready, I can watch Grey’s and process what it means to be like Meredith and come out stronger. I can also watch that other movie and talk to my husband about how it made me think of my step-dad. I can watch parts of 13 Reasons and have conversations with my kids about being kind to others and watching out for those around us. I can also recognize that what is triggering for me may not be triggering for someone else.