The full-on topics and issues addressed in 13 Reasons Why are hard for anyone to watch, but for Brandon Flynn it was all a little too close to home.
Turns out the actor, who plays Justin Foley on the hit Netflix show, struggled with bullying and substance abuse during his own high school years and it just breaks our hearts to hear what he went through.
"When I was in middle school, I dealt a lot with people not being cool with me being into acting," he dished to The Hollywood Reporter. "[The kids] thought it was feminine. They thought I should be in sports. I was chunky, so I got made fun of for that. It was hard. It put me in a dark space of not wanting to be myself and trying to be what others wanted me to be."
And it was cruel treatment like this that led to him taking on some unhealthy habits. "I self-medicated a lot," Brandon revealed. "I did a lot of drugs and I chose to quiet my truth and alter my perception to make it easier to be comfortable."
"Jessica is the character I relate to the most. The way she dealt with her attack was similar to the way I dealt with things in high school. I numbed myself constantly and ignored the truth of certain things," he said about Jessica, who we see engaging in harmful behaviour after her attack.
"It's a form of self-harm to try and not be yourself and not live your truth. This show has made me look at the world and my relationships and try to be kind and have an open heart to people because you truly never know what's going on in people's lives," he added.
He also addressed the ongoing debate about whether or not the show should even be watched by young people but Brandon reckons this is EXACTLY why the show is so necessary.
"Many kids don't know how to turn to their parents because their parents don't offer that outlet," he explained. "They don't know how to turn to their school because their school doesn't offer that outlet, so they get stuck and feel like everyone and everything is against them. I sure as s**t remember feeling that way at that age."
If you or someone you know needs help, you can speak confidentially to a trained counsellor 24 hours a day at headspace.org.au or Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800.