HBO’s “Euphoria” Brings Awareness to Damaging Topics for Teens

Mental illness is a very prominent issue in the young demographic and a show like Euphoria is essentially just what they need.

Ni'yah-Marie Preacely, Opinion Editor

The critically acclaimed HBO drama “Euphoria” has been very popular with the teen demographic because young adults can identify with and find the show very relatable. The show portrays certain topics in an engaging way that helps the demographic comprehend what they are going through. Topics include substance abuse, mental illness, body positivity, and domestic violence. 


“This is the feeling I have been looking for my entire life, for as long as I can remember. Because suddenly the world went quiet. And I felt safe in my own head,” said Rue. That exact feeling Rue is describing is the feeling a lot of troubled youths are searching for. The idea of feeling “nothing” is appealing because it frees you from pain. Euphoria shows this situation in a way where the audience feels for and understands Rue but also is worried for her. 


Mental illness is a very prominent issue in the young demographic and a show like Euphoria is essentially just what they need. It shows the truth of having an addiction as a coping mechanism and the truth of having horrible anxiety. Students have most likely felt anxiety but use other things to cope as opposed to getting help. 


The character Rue Bennett portrayed by Zendaya is a recovering teen drug addict fresh out of rehab. Growing up Rue was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar depression. Then she lost her father because of cancer. Rue starts using drugs to cope. In the pilot of the show, she speaks about a memory of her father receiving a good prognosis from the doctor and she had a bad panic attack. Her parents called the ambulance and they gave her liquid valium to calm her down. 


Another character young people can identify with is Kat Hernandez portrayed by Barbie Ferreira. Kat’s character is a plus-size teenage girl struggling with body positivity. Body positivity is great and should be encouraged. However, it becomes toxic when you ignore how you’re truly feeling to try to push through. Being constantly told to “love yourself” to ignore the negative feelings you feel about yourself is not productive or a healthy coping mechanism. “Self-help” is so popular on social media but in reality, it’s not helping anyone. The show does an excellent job of showing what’s wrong with this toxic idea of just “loving yourself” instead of taking the steps to eventually get there. 


Euphoria is a show that is not only great for the drama and writing but also for the message it conveys to its audience.