’13 Reasons Why’ Caused a Spike in Google Searches About Suicide

’13 Reasons Why’ Caused a Spike in Google Searches About Suicide

The debate about how and whether to depict suicide on TV or in any kind of entertainment has continued to brew since the April debut of Netlfix’s controversial series 13 Reasons Why. Aimed a teen audience, the show graphically depicts the suicide of a high school girl and its aftermath. The show was criticized for what many mental health professionals saw as a glamorization and distortion of major depression and suicidality, both of which are on the rise among teens.

Parents and counselors have offered plenty of anecdotal evidence that the show and its conflicting messages have affected middle and high schoolers particularly in the way they talk about suicide, for better or worse. But now there’s quantitative data on the topic.

Researchers at San Diego University in California analyzed Internet suicide-related searches in the 19 days following the release of 13 Reasons Why. All such queries were higher than expected for that period by about 19%, which reflects 900,000 to 1.5 million more searches, according to a new research letter published by the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. While there’s no way to know whether those queries, which included phrases like “how to kill yourself,” preceded an actual suicide, researchers noted that suicide search trends have been correlated with actual suicides and that media stories about suicides concur with increased suicide attempts.

This research also showed an increase in the number of searches for suicide hotlines and for phrases like “suicide prevention,” which would support the argument made by Netflix and the show’s producers that the show has raised suicide awareness and discussion.

13 Reasons Why has been renewed for a second season, much to the dismay of some parents, including the families of two California teens who say their daughters committed suicide after watching the show. They allege that the show’s suicide scene was a trigger for their kids, who were already battling depression. Netflix released a statement expressing sympathy and noting the measures it has taken to help vulnerable viewers. “We have heard from many viewers that 13 Reasons Why has opened up a dialogue among parents, teens, schools and mental health advocates around the difficult topics depicted in the show,” reads the statement. “We took extra precautions to alert viewers to the nature of the content and created a global website to help people find local mental health resources.”

The unease over the show only adds to existing concerns about teen suicide. A study released in May tracking 32 children’s hospitals nationwide showed that admissions for suicidal behavior and serious self-harm among 5-to-17-year-olds more than doubled between 2008 and 2015. That’s just a tiny percentage of the kids who are experiencing major depression or anxiety or are hurting themselves in various ways, like cutting. Nationally, 17.7% of teens reported seriously considering attempting suicide in 2015, according to the CDC.

Psychiatrists like Dr. Fadi Haddad, co-founder of the Bellevue Hospital Center Children’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, are also worried about the show’s renewal. He says the series distorts the devastating realities of suicide and depression for teens and their loved ones. Dr. Haddad notes that medical professionals started hearing about the show from patients soon after it aired: “Some of my colleagues in the ER say they say they see kids now saying, ‘I told my mother I’m going to be Hannah Baker,’” a reference to a character who takes her own life.

Haddad is particularly concerned about 13 Reasons Why because he views it as a combination of revenge fantasy and crime thriller, created more for suspense than a realistic portrayal of suicide. As the first season unfolds, each person who did Hannah wrong is revealed, with Hannah narrating. But as Haddad notes, suicide victims are not around to see people react to accusations that they contributed in some way to their death. And anyone who’s lost a friend or child to suicide knows that you don’t need a tape to feel responsible in some way after someone takes their own life. In fact, part of the job of counselors and psychiatrists like Haddad is to help survivors alleviate what can be crippling guilt and to better understand this devastating illness.”[This show] is the opposite of the kind of awareness we want,” says Haddad.

Read TIME’s cover story:

Teen Depression and Anxiety: Why the Kids Are Not All Right


Teen Depression and Anxiety: What Parents Can Do

What it Feels Like When All Your Parental Nightmares Are Rolled Into One TV Show

Resources from Common Sense Media for families:

13 Reasons Why: Five Conversations Families Should Have

13 Reasons Why: Review (TV) 16+

The Effects of Stress on Your Body and Mind Are Staggering! Watch The Video Below To See What You Can Do To Regain Your Health...

Discover How Laminine™ Can Improve Your Health... Watch The Video Above!

Laminine™ Will Help Anyone. The Benefits, When Taken Regularly May Include...

  • Moderate the Stress Response
  • Maintain Healthy Cortisol Levels
  • Regulate Serotonin Levels
  • Reduce Physical and Mental Stress
  • Help Your Body Recover from Major Illnesses (e.g. Depression, Anxiety, Cancer)
  • Promote More Restful Sleep
  • Build Collagen for Healthier Skin
  • Reduce Signs of Normal Aging
  • Improve Emotional Balance
  • Promote Faster Post Workout Recovery
And Many More Health Benefits Reported By Everyday Users!




  • Enhance Muscle Tone and Strength
  • Improve Stamina and Energy
  • Increase Alertness
  • Aid in Brain Function and Activity (For people suffering from Alzheimer's syndrome, ADD, etc.)
  • Increase Physical and Mental Strength
  • Improve Focus
  • Increase Libido/Sexual Desire
  • Stimulate Natural DHEA Production
  • Improve the Overall Sense of Well-Being

Make 2017... the Year You Improve Your Health!

Join Thousands in 42 Countries (shown at the bottom of this page) Who Are Already Seeing Amazing Health Benefits from Regular Use of Laminine™ & Laminine™ Omega Plus!

"The Happy Pill"

Laminine™ is a Natural, Synergistic SuperFood that contains 22 amino acids, trace minerals, vitamins and Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) The perfect combination of life-giving sustenance sourced from land, sea and plant. Its source is from the "Miracle of Life". 

 Clinical Studies have been conducted which showed Laminine's™ positive effects on Physical, Mental, Emotional Strengths and Overall Health. Laminine™ is an all Natural Product
CLICK HERE To Join My Group & Order (Wholesale) & Choose the "Laminine™ Activation Pack"

After Clicking on One of the Links Below, Just CLICK the "Click Here to Agree and Continue" Button in the "Informed Consent and Participation Agreement" Form... to Begin Your Own Personal Q & A Session on How Laminine and Laminine Omega +++ Can Help You Achieve PERFECT Health.

Updated: July 31, 2017 — 7:30 pm

Copyright © 2019 - All Rights Reserved - Site Map - Resources (Add Your Link)

The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health condition or concern, consult a physician.

Glenn Freiboth - (815) 524-3752 - CST - [email protected] - Company Site
An Independent Lifepharm® Distributor

Available In The Countries Below: 

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States - More Countries Coming Soon!