Reason vs Excuse – Is mental health a safety blanket for bad behaviour?

mental health, copper stationery

I just want to pretext this by saying that this is not aimed at any one person or groups of people. This is a generalisation from what I’ve seen online.

The last week/two weeks online and around the blogosphere have been peppered with a lot of blogging drama. Ugh, even just typing that, ‘blogging drama’, made me cringe.

However, recently I’ve seen a whole explosion of drama all over twitter/instagram from bloggers who feel like anything another blogger says is indirectly aimed at them and then they’ll subtweet and continue this and someone else will think it’s about them and then another subtweet.. yadda yadda, you get the idea.

The drama the other night, though. Seriously. I thought I had removed a lot of the people that were constantly all up in drama’s business, but clearly not. Now, to make things clear, there were a few people who had been dragged in against their best interests, so that’s fine. They were only defending themselves.

But what came out at the end of all this drama seemed to be the same type of phrase.

“Mental health isn’t an excuse to be a shitty person”
“Having poor mental health isn’t an excuse to be a bad person”

There were a few more variations, but you catch my drift. While I do agree on a very small level that what those people were trying to say was in some way correct, I think people need to understand the difference between reason and excuse.

The people involved in all the drama from the other night all have blogs that contain posts about mental health and they all have some form of mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, BPD, etc. I love seeing that mental health is becoming much less of a taboo subject and that people are being more open with it, it’s amazing how far we’ve come in terms of accepting someone with poor mental health.

But, where I draw the line is weaponising your mental health.

Before I get people just clicking off without reading any further, please let me try to explain.

mental health, tea, wood, plants

There is a difference between the reason someone is acting or behaving a certain way and a person excusing their behaviour because of other factors. For example, the reason someone might be lashing out or is acting more aggressive than normal might be because they have BPD and are going through an episode. This is entirely not their fault and it cannot be helped. BPD is the reason it’s happening and it’s not them using their mental health as an excuse to act like a shitty person.

However, I also know people who use their mental health as an excuse to validate their behaviour. I’ve seen people take part in blogging drama where it becomes an absolute witch hunt with bullying and an all round snake pit of nastiness.

When these people are called out, they often switch things around and turn from being the bully to the victim. They would never have used their mental health as an excuse had they not been called out on their behaviour. I’ve seen people sit at the middle of all the drama, say some really shitty things (example – ‘I hope she goes and kills herself’) and then leave it at that without thinking otherwise or deleting the tweet. It’s only after a few hours or days when people realise that what they’ve said is disgusting and horrible and call out the bully for saying these horrible things that they’ll play the mental health card and turn themselves into the victim.

You can’t be a bully and then use mental health as a get out of jail free card. That’s not how things work. You’re just excusing your shitty behaviour, without actually acknowledging it, after being caught. If you truly felt bad about what you had said you would have deleted the tweet or apologised directly to the person you were bullying. The mental health angle is often only played after things have calmed down or people call them out for it and then it simply becomes an excuse, nothing more.

And you know what, 9/10 times there isn’t an actual reason why these people are acting like bullies, they’re just choosing to behave in a really shitty way knowing they can throw the mental health red card at people if they’ve been called out on it.

When you actively take part in drama that involves the bullying of an individual or group of people, then you can’t just use your mental health as a safety blanket whenever it suits you. The penny always drops and more often than not you’ll be called out on it.

If people can understand the difference between the reason a person might be acting this way and someone just using mental health as an excuse, I feel like there would be a lot more understanding into the way people act the way they do.

I realise this post might be somewhat of a loaded topic, but I would love to hear people’s opinions on this. If you think I’m totally in the wrong, I would be happy to learn why or if you agree with me in way I would love to know, too.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: