Hello! My partner and I have been pondering this question for a while and I'm not really sure who to ask. How much of one's actions is excused by their disorder, do you think? My partner has bpd and they have thought and acted on some pretty out there impulses~ things that could get them in legal/ethical trouble that They wouldn't have done w/o bpd. Does that make them inherently a bad person? Or should certain things be excused? Sorry if this was offensive at all!
It wasn’t offensive. Hm, well, my personal opinion on this might be different than a lot of people’s.
Personally, I never find mental illness to be an excuse for any behaviour, but it CAN be a reason. Let me explain. I believe that no matter what’s going on in one’s life, they have to take responsibility for their own actions, even as ill. Especially if they want to be treated equally. Unless someone physically forces them or manipulates them into doing something, it is their own doing.
That being said, of course mental illness has an affect. It’s a lot harder to not do something related to bad coping mechanisms or mental illness. This does not make them a bad person! Just know that they can’t just get away with doing whatever simply because they’re mentally ill. They have to be held responsible for their actions.
You can still hold someone responsible for what they do and still try to be understanding that their illness has an affect. If, for example, I were to punch you in the face because my depression comes out as anger, I should still have to apologize and make up for hurting you. But at the same time you could understand that I was really upset and unhappy, and that normally I wouldn’t go around throwing punches.
So, no, nothing should be excused, especially if it hurts someone else. Legally, I don’t know. I’m sure there are rules about it, but I personally do not know them.
This does not mean your partner is inherently a bad person. Mental illness does not equate evil or anything of the sort. A good person can do bad things. A good person with mental illness is definitely prone to bad actions, particularly against themselves.
I hope this answers your question, and that it is explained properly.