Why Skye in “13 Reasons Why” Matters: Character Analysis, Mental Health Themes, and More


The character of Skye plays an important role in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” and raises awareness about mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder and self-harm. This article will explore why Skye is a crucial part of the show’s narrative, analyzing her character development, Sosie Bacon’s portrayal, and the themes of mental health and self-harm. Additionally, it will examine differences between the book and TV show, the controversy surrounding the decision to remove Skye’s suicide attempt scene, and the responsibility popular media has in depicting these issues.

Character Analysis of Skye

Skye’s backstory includes struggles with bipolar disorder and self-harm, which makes her relationship with Clay an important part of the narrative. Throughout the show, we see Skye’s character development shift as she becomes more vulnerable with Clay. The supportive relationship that develops between them becomes an important part of the show in raising awareness about mental health challenges.

One of the most significant aspects of Skye’s character development is the exploration of how mental health impacts relationships. Clay’s perception of Skye is initially limited to her being “difficult,” “challenging,” and “unavailable.” However, as the show progresses, Skye and Clay become closer, and his understanding of her mental health struggles grows. Their relationship is an important representation of how supporting someone through their mental health challenges can be transformative.

Review of Sosie Bacon’s Performance as Skye

Sosie Bacon’s performance as Skye provides depth and empathy for Skye’s character. The choices made in her portrayal of Skye are nuanced, empathetic, and skillfully executed. Bacon’s portrayal of mental health struggles is realistic and raw in its portrayal of bipolar disorder and self-harm.

Her performance gives a much-needed insight into mental health struggles, and their portrayal in popular media. By accurately portraying the intricacies of Skye’s mental health challenges, Bacon brings powerful attention to the issue of self-harm and mental health awareness in a compassionate, engaging manner.

Exploration of Mental Health and Self-Harm Themes

In examining Skye’s character in “13 Reasons Why,” we see the narrative highlighting the difficult reality of living with bipolar disorder and self-harm tendencies. Skye’s struggles challenge stereotypical perceptions of those who live with bipolar disorder and self-harm tendencies but also brings to light the difficulties faced, such as connecting with others and maintaining relationships.

The show’s unflinching portrayal of these matters is confronting, but it encourages viewers to have the necessary conversations surrounding mental health that are often left undiscussed. The show not only shows the negative impact of mental health crises, as it also highlights the importance and the power of relationships when dealing with that.

Opinion Piece on Bipolar Disorder Representation

The show depicts bipolar disorder in Skye’s character with impressive accuracy. The nuanced portrayal accurately depicts the diagnostic criteria of bipolar disorder, including the cycles of depression and mania. Mental health problems, like bipolar disorder, are often stigmatized and misunderstood, and they are accurately portrayed in the show-long with self-harm tendencies, making it an important, informative representation and opening up insightful understanding into the lived experience of those with these conditions.

Additionally, studies reveal that media representations of mental health and corresponding stigma are significant and diverse. This is why the show has a responsibility for accuracy in their representations and to promote public understanding of mental health. This is vital for viewers, who may not have enough context to form their own opinions without guidance. The show’s narrative squarely centers on Skye’s mental health, making it an essential part of the show’s message.

Comparison of Skye’s Storyline in the Book and TV Show

Skye’s character’s biggest departure is in the TV show because of her storyline. The TV show provides Skye with a significant character backstory, ranging from a deep understanding of her character development to her relationship with Clay. While the book gives Skye some depth, the TV show allows her character to become more than just another name through backstory and performance. The TV show effectively creates a character that is well-rounded, effective, and an essential aspect of the show.

Discussion of the Removed Suicide Attempt Scene

The decision to remove Skye’s suicide attempt scene was controversial for the series, but the decision to remove it was not surprising. The show aims to raise awareness of mental health issues, and it was deemed that Skye’s suicide attempt was too graphic and could potentially trigger vulnerable viewers.

Some argue that removing Skye’s suicide attempt scene detracts from the show’s overall message, but most viewers agree that the show has been effective in raising awareness of mental health issues and encouraging discussions surrounding stigma and recovery. Ultimately, the show’s message extends far beyond one episode and experiences, and removing this scene does not diminish its overall effectiveness or the integrity of the message.


Overall, Skye’s character in “13 Reasons Why” matters because it raises awareness about mental health, including bipolar disorder and self-harm. Skye’s character illustrates how relationships can aid in the recovery process and highlights the personal journey of self-acceptance.

However, besides promoting awareness, the show has a responsibility to present mental health accurately. By depicting these critical issues and breaking down the stigma surrounding them, the show educates and starts conversations on these important subjects.

It is a positive sign that this show has given a voice to the complexities of living with mental illnesses. This article is a clarion call to ensure that mental health is continuously addressed in our popular media, and to help open up space for critical conversations surrounding mental health.

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