Personal Responsibility and Mental Illness: Can it be an “excuse” for our behavior?

Thoughts, musings, and ramblings

Personal responsibility is important to me. I believe in personal autonomy and therefore feel that we should also be held accountable for our actions. One pet peeve of mine is using mental illness as an “excuse” for bad behavior. Now I don’t mean something like canceling on a dinner date because you have bad social anxiety; to me this is an explanation for why you feel unable to do something. It’s like saying that you can’t drive today because you have uncontrolled narcolepsy. This is an explanation that is reasonable. What I mean by excuse is something along the lines of: “I’m sorry I was rude to you earlier, it’s just my depression”. To me this is attempting to use mental illness as an excuse for bad behavior.

What is the problem with that? you may ask. If someone has a mental illness maybe it’s fair that once in a…

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