'13 Reasons Why' Caused Internet Searches on Suicide to Spike

Netflix released the first season of 13 Reasons Why on March 31, and the controversial show has seen a myriad of reactions from fans and skeptics alike. In a new study, it appears the teen drama may have had a greater effect than people initially realized, with the study finding that since the show's release, Internet searches for suicide have spiked 19 percent.

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(Photo: Netflix)

The study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that the searches spiked for nearly three weeks after the show's release, including queries like "how to commit suicide," "commit suicide" and "how to kill yourself."

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13 Reasons Why details a group of tapes left behind by a teen after her death, with the tapes explaining the reasons she chose to commit suicide.

The study did not examine any connection with actual suicides or attempted suicides, and a journal editorial noted that it’s unclear whether the searches “were made out of idle curiosity or by suicidal individuals contemplating an attempt," according to the New York Post.

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The study suggests that while the show has increased suicide awareness, it has also increased suicidal ideation.

Netflix responded with a statement saying, “We always believed this show would increase discussion around this tough subject matter. This is an interesting quasi experimental study that confirms this. We are looking forward to more research and taking everything we learn to heart as we prepare for season 2.”

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In the show's first season, Netflix provided warnings before the show's more graphic episodes as well as links to suicide prevention websites and a hotline.

Photo Credit: Netflix