Don't use your mental diagnosis as an excuseDoesn’t really matter the diagnosis; stop using your mental diagnosis as an excuse. Stop blaming something “outside of your control” for something inside your control. Stop justifying your negative actions with the guise of a mental diagnosis. Just stop.

There’s a line here, of course, when a person is physically or mentally incapable of performing an action or refraining from performing an action — but in most cases, a situation isn’t this extreme. We just like to be dramatic and make it out to be this extreme.

I’m not talking about these extreme situations; rather, I’m talking about the situations where people use a mental diagnosis (whether self-diagnosed or professionally diagnosed) as an excuse to place themselves in the “extremely rare case” category.

mental diagnosis excuseEvery person (except in instances that you, reader, probably don’t fall into and that I’m not going to mention again) possesses free will or agency or the ability to make choices or whatever you’d like to term the phenomenon. This means — shocker — that you are in control of your life and the actions that set your life in motion.

By using your mental diagnosis — or, on an even lighter note, your mental disposition — as an excuse for acting a particular way, you give your diagnosis the power to rule your life. You take yourself out of the driver’s seat of your life. Trust me, things go awry when you do this.

Long story short: you crash.

This is coming from someone who used to have panic attacks if eating in any restaurant fancier than Applebee’s, who refused to order a sandwich for two years of undergrad because it required actually asking a person for my food, and who has spent countless sunny days in the hulking shadows of my bed.

So when I say, “stop using your mental diagnosis as an excuse,” I don’t say it just because it pisses me off; I don’t say it just because I’m sick of those diagnosed with ADHD using it as an excuse to say they can’t (won’t) listen to me; I don’t say it just because I’m sick of those diagnosed with anxiety using it as an excuse to say they can’t interview for a job (but then complain about not having money); nor do I say it because I’m sick of those diagnosed with depression using it as an excuse to stop trying (do it, even if you don’t want to).

No, I say it because I want the very best for you.

Diagnosis or not, don’t make excuses. Own up to your actions. Put yourself back in the driver’s seat. If there’s always an outside reason you aren’t being the best version of yourself that you can be (because the computer crashed, because I have OCD, because it scares me), then you’ll never be the best version of yourself, because you’ll convince yourself that you aren’t in control. Why give more power to something that already tries to suck the control from you?

mental diagnosis excuseA problem with excuses is that if you get in the throes of passion with them, you’ll never end the relationship; you’ll never own up to “you” being the reason you made a mistake or showed up late or forgot a meeting or acted out in a negative way.

Don’t use your mental diagnosis as an excuse to place yourself in the “extremely rare case” category — you don’t belong there. Don’t let a label constrict you by telling you how you are expected to live your life.

You are your greatest ally, your strongest medicine — keep yourself on your side.

Don’t use your mental diagnosis as an excuse for why you refuse solutions to your problems. Don’t add to your problems; instead recognize the fact that you yourself may be the solution. I acknowledge this may be terrifying, because recognizing this and acting upon it would involve effort, effort with the possibility of failure. And to many, failure is not an option. So, instead, some would prefer to revert back to only seeing the problem and complaining (without openness to solutions) than to better their situation.

Am I hypothesizing? Am I ranting? Yes and yes. Am I proponent for cognitive exercises as a therapy for mental disorders? Clearly. Will some people take sensitive offense to this? Yes, but many people take offense to truth.

mental diagnosis excuseIf athletes who have lost legs can run marathons, you can get out of bed. I’m not saying that because I lack empathy or sympathy for those with depression (and not because I want to provide an example of a logical fallacy) but because I truly believe you can, and you will. Or, in “meme speak,” if Britney Spears survived 2007, you can make it through today.

Drive your life.

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