If your child is teetering on the edge of depression, certain programming involving suicide can have powerful enough content to increase the risk of self-harm, a new study has found.
Michigan Medicine, the health arm of University of Michigan, researched just how much impact the widely popular, and rather controversial, Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” had on vulnerable teenagers. The study didn’t confirm the show had a direct link in increasing suicide but instead concluded parents with at-risk children should be more vigilant of their viewing habits.
The study only included teenagers who were previously considered at risk of suicide. The study did not include how this type of media exposure impacts kids who are not already considered depressed.
The show, “13 Reasons Why” revolves around a 17-year-old high school student who, before taking her own life, leaves audiotapes for people she believes are responsible. Parents, experts and teachers have said the show seems to glorify suicide, while some critics acknowledge it for its artistic merit in tackling an issue many teens face these days.
Victor Hong, M.D., medical director of psychiatric emergency services at Michigan Medicine and lead author of the recent study, saw the show become a phenomenon and decided to see if it contributed to suicide-related symptoms in teens already experiencing depression.
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