This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Kati Morton Kati Morton 12 months ago.

Mental health as Excuse

  • Pankaj Kumar

    Hey Kati love your videos, Is it right for me to make excuse to myself of my OCD and anxiety for severe and consistent academic failures despite of hard work I put in.Or in general for anybody to make excuse of his/her mental health like if someone is being a shitty husband/wife/parent/brother/sister/boss/employee/student/teacher can they blame it on their mental health.and if yes,would their shitty behaviours be justified ??


    I live with a mental illness but I try not to lash out on others. Although it does happen more frequently than I’d approve. I was recently living with someone with a different mental illness and everything terrible this person did I rationalized off with it being part of the illness. I never allowed the behaviors to be this person being angry and larshing out at me. It become a highly unhealthy situation because I allowed the behaviors to determine how I would react. I don’t know if thats helpful but that is just my point of view.


    Hi Punkaj,

    For me, it really helps to distinguish excuses from explanations. My mental health might be the reason I lashed out/was late/behaved shitty/etc, but it is still not an excuse. It does not justify shitty behavior. So while my mental health was the reason I failed some classes, I am still the one accountable. I am the one that needs to take care of my shit, report the delays, ask for support, make a plan on how to deal with the delays/arrange to take a break from college, etc, and I am the one that needs to make a realistic planning considering the circumstances. In the case of other people being affected, I try to manage expectations by not promising certain things I know are hard for me (but promising I will really try and actually do that), or warning them in advance that I might not be as reliable as they hope, but that that does not mean I do not care about their needs. If I still end up letting someone down, I will acknowledge that they are affected and that that was not my intention and that I am sorry that that happened (and thank them for being understanding). Depending on the situation, I might explain the reason. And I will offer up/or ask them how I can solve the issue. In the case of lashing out at someone, I will apologize for my behavior, and, depending on the situation, explain the reason. Especially in this case, I think it’s important to be clear that you see that your behavior was not acceptable despite the fact that it can be explained by your mental health and that you will do everything within your reach to prevent it from happening again. If there was something specific you lashed out about, it might be helpful to explain why that affects you so much and ask them to be considerate next time (without going down the hole of being very judgemental).

    I hope this helps and makes sense,
    Take care,

    Kati Morton

    Hey Pankaj,

    This is a great question, and I have to agree with what Elphaba said. When we are struggling with a mental illness it can be harder for us to do the things we used to do.. or to keep up with work or school. Just like Elphaba said, in those cases your mental health struggles are an explanation of why you are having a hard time with it. But to treat someone poorly, not be working on it, not apologizing and blaming it on your mental health issues.. well that’s an excuse and not okay. I think that’s how we distinguish what’s okay and what we should maybe work on. xoxo

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