Today in counselling, I brought up this bizarre belief many in society, including many within the mental health profession have…. of justifying/rationalising abusive behaviours… and ‘blaming’ mental illness. I see it all the time … “she/he can’t help it, she/he is mentally ill”. So unwise. Actually in most cases, yes they can help it. They made choices.
And the response was, an agreement that indeed not all mental illness means people are not responsible and conscious of their actions.
There are some mental illness, like psychosis, that does mean people are not consciously aware of their behaviours. But this a very small % of people.
To say narcissistic, sociopathic people, paedophiles, predators, con artists etc…. are ‘just mentally ill’ and ‘can’t help what do’ – is absolutely wrong. That’s not compassion/empathy. That is cognitive distortion – rationalising, denial, minimizing, justifying etc. That’s not dealing in truth.
Within most mental illness, people still know their abusive actions are wrong and they do it anyway. They are fully responsible for their actions.
Having a mental health diagnosis does not negate personal responsibility for actions. It is still choices people make. And people need to be made responsible for their actions. Continue reading