Should mental illness be used to explain bad behaviour?

Mental Health @ Home

illustration of an angry germ

When people see and hear statements or actions by others that seem to make no sense or are morally abhorrent, all too often mental illness is tossed around as a possible explanation.  Take mass shootings, for example.  For someone to do something like that, they must have something wrong in their heads, they must be disconnected from reality, they must have mental illness, right?  Yeah not so much.  Yet far too many people don’t understand this.  I even remember speaking to a fellow mental health nurse several years ago who thought mass killers must be psychotic to do something so unimaginable.  If even someone that works in mental health is that misinformed, is it any surprise that the average idiot out there in the world doesn’t get it?  I’ll warn you right now, this post is perhaps not the most cohesive; instead it touches on a variety of unpalatable subsets…

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