The Illness Excuse

~ R. U. Wacko

The illness excuse is big. I was sick and he left me. They don’t say I am still sick, I am still mean and hateful, I still want revenge. No, they say I did every thing for him and he left me, just look at me. He is an asshole. A former wife use to always say “You’re an asshole and I’m a son of a bitch.” It was comical in a way. She must have meant it the other way around, but I never asked.

People with mental illness rarely admit there is anything wrong with them. When they have a good day they do not feel they need their medicine. Without their medicine they return to their depression. They often do not take responsibility for their actions or inaction. Everyone else is the cause of their problem. They like no one. They trust no one. They do not take responsibility for seeing the doctor or for not taking their medicine. How can you help them?

The illness excuse is used when they cannot escape admission. They behaved the way they did because they “were” ill. They are never ill in the moment, just in the past. And it is every ones fault if they cannot accept the illness excuse.

The illness excuse is their way of not accepting responsibility for any of their behavior. Many forms of mental illness are treatable just like high blood pressure. Millions suffer from depression each year. It is caused by a lack of sleep, too much alcohol, often by a chemical imbalance, possibly by a genetic gene and from events that are depressing (reactive depression). It is not unusual for a spouse to suffer reactive depression if their spouse is suffering from depression. Depression can causes severe mood swings, in days, in hours and minutes. Behavior can change quickly and often.

It is the stigma of having the illness that keeps many from getting the treatment. They see it as a personal weakness. It is much more than that. No one wants to think they have a mental illness. Some times they cannot control or remember what they did. It is scary. And the scare causes more depression. If left untreated, the suicidal tendency increases. Depression is nothing to mess with. A friend can help, but a doctor is needed to prescribe drugs and provide psychotherapy.

A movie like Play Misty For Me may throw them into a state of depression if they see themselves in the actress’s behavior.

Get help! It is nothing to be ashamed of. Take the pills. Get the psychotherapy. It is far better than losing your marriage and family. Depression untreated breaks lives and families. It is your problem if you have depression and it is a problem if someone you love has it. 

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