You can find the whole article here:
I have had a few embarrassing periods in my life where I engaged in sexual indiscretion. At the time, I was filled with shame, and wanted someone to love me. I was lost, and hoping for a home. There were all sorts of reasons.
When the mental illness system got hold of me, it didn’t demand a single reason for my behavior. It simply declared that these behaviors were part of a larger experience. I had no control or personal responsibility. They never asked the right questions, to understand the context, of what had driven me to what I now see as desperate acts.
They took away my liberty, and drugged me until I stopped acting that way. The professionals simply declared that I “really was ill”. Treating the “illness” became the paramount goal, instead of understanding why I had behaved immorally, and accepting personal responsibility in the future.
When I came out of the hospital, there were always people I had to apologize to. I even remember one time telling a guy I’d fooled around with, a practical stranger, that I had a mood disorder that affected my judgment. I did not accept personal responsibility. Needless to say, we didn’t stay friends.
Some would say he discriminated against me for my illness, but I have a simpler explanation. I never explained myself, never truly repented, or accepted personal responsibility, for what I’d done. I never faced the shame that led me to my poor decision.
And I never learned how to love and care about myself, so I would make better choices in the future.
I tend to agree with the spirit of what this person says.
While I don't agree with the opposite extreme she takes it to later in the article, which is to imply that mental illness is solely personal responsibility, in the sense that someone can simply subdue certain tendencies by sheer force of will, (I don't necessarily agree with that, as I've seen it to not be entirely true, but also because certain tendencies do seem to be inherited from former lives, or this life, that can take years to work through, so some "treatment" could, potentially be useful), I do agree with the spirit of her argument and observation that personal responsibility is an intrinsic and inseparable part of "treatment" and becoming well and cleansing the karmic stream in which we carry the tendencies from.
There is a tendancy in the west, to label all seemingly "negative" emotional states as "mental illness".
Sadness, fear, anger, anxiety, grief, fear of confronting oneself, fear of responsibility, fear of hard truths, irritability, the consequences of poor choices, and others, tend more and more to be labeled as "disorders" that require "treatment" in the form of drugs.
What's more, by doing so, they change the narrative from one of personal responsibility to address one's lifestyle, habits, and fears and avoidance issues as well as one's desires and greeds, to one that says the normal consequences of our actions are not normal at all, and are rather "disorders" caused by "biological imbalances in the brain" that need "treatment" by drugs.
As discussed in the book "Psychiatry Land", there is a tendency to over-drug and victimize people into rethinking of normal conditions such as grief, or childhood playfulness or simply the consequences of poor behavior caused by confusion, as "mental illnesses" that are either normal, or dependent upon our own choices, as rather caused by "biological imbalances within the brain".
This changes the role of personal responsibility, and the ability to do something about it, to a victim narrative, that says one is "doomed" and unless they take meds, they will be unable to live a normal life.
While this makes lots of money for drug companies, it tends to give a pass on impulses which people do actually have the ability to sit still with, and with time and training can actually do something about, as well as discouraging people from feeling normal ranges of emotion such as sadness and grief, that comes with loss, as well as tending to allow people to perpetuate peoples avoidance of facing untrue ideals that the pursuit of which, may actually be a root cause of much of their suffering.
We live in a society that considers invoking morality old-fashioned, dogmatic, conservative, and religious in a pejorative way. Since we have so many freedoms in this society — I can show my ankles, won’t get stoned for adultery, can read whatever smut I want, and so on — we view moralistic arguments as a threat to our rights and liberties.
As if to say that judging someone for their bad choices means that you are condemning them as a person.
I think there's some truth to this.
One of the pitches psychology makes is that by saying someone has no responsibility to work to change their tendencies, they can avoid feeling like their "freedoms" are being infringed upon.
After all, it's not that somebody who eats fast food and takeout every day is overweight, diabetic and sad because they know they are making bad choices that are hurting themselves, on top of any sadness they may have inherited from past lives, if you say they are "depressed" (which make actually be a karmic tendency that they inherit, and need to sit with), then they see no need to stop eating fast food burgers (which may be a food addiction), and can also buy diabetes medication, and anti-depressents.
This may make some parties lots of money, but does very little to actually improve the mental or physical health of the patient.
In other words, "freedom" and "liberty" and avoiding any talk of personal ability (or responsibility) to do something about it, in this case may be a sales pitch to less freedom and more misery.
I prefer personal "ability" and not "responsibility",
Because the word "responsibility" can imply to some a sense of guilt and shame and judgement on the part of society, or some forced sense of "duty" one has to live up to that leads to shame if one does not fulfill.
There doesn't need to be judgement here,
But I do agree that there is a personal ability to effect these tendencies and steer them in a more positive direction, and actively train them.
It is possible to have a middle path between a victim narrative which says there is no responsibility, and a guilt sense burden of duty which unrealistically says people should fit some independent ideal, and not be human and make mistakes, or need time and years to train with things, or help doing so.
What say you?