I often get into arguments on social media regarding my hardline stance towards the mentally ill and support versus tacit approval. Too many want to use social media to reach out to others like them as a surrogate for seeking professional assistance toward recovering from their disorder(s), which by definition must be causing intrapersonal and interpersonal strife in their lives. They surround themselves with those like them and often reinforce the negative aspects of the disorder in an echo chamber, embracing tacit approval of their own suffering. Part of the reason I have no desire to resurrect the forums, for instance, is because I could see this happening with respect to ASPD and psychopathy as well. People were asking each other for tips on how to behave badly, increasing their own likelihood of removing themselves from society. It is one thing to seek validation by understanding the processes that drive another like you; it is another to use such knowledge as a replacement for energy devoted to the recovery process.
So should others encourage such behavior from the mentally ill? Absolutely not. It is one thing if the disorder in question affects only the afflicted, but very rarely is this the case. The antisocial causes havoc everywhere she goes. The Borderline often has tumultuous interpersonal relationships that causes harm to others. Everyone has a responsbility to look out for themselves first, and by definition this would imply that if one is suffering at the hands of another, regardless of the etiology, that something should be done. Sometimes compassion is shrouded in what others would view as animosity.
This often is viewed by the mentally ill as being unsupportive or heavy-handed, but it may be better for them than any tacit approval would be. What good comes from approving of self-destructive or outwardly destructive behavior? Everyone gets hurt. For this reason, we must not coddle the mentally ill and we must not offer ourselves as surrogates for the professional help that they need. Even this blog should not be considered anything but the mere opinions of the author lest another try techniques that do not work or embrace tactics that will only amplify the consequences of bad behavior. We don’t need an echo chamber, we need individuals that wish to get better and others that point out that the status quo is unacceptable.