Do loved ones and friends ever say, “PTSD is just an excuse for bad behavior.”  Quote from this website link…

“No matter what the Diagnosis, personal responsibility still comes into play.

I have been completely Dissociative, Depersonalized, and at times in psychotic state but in the end I take responsibility – not for what brought these things on but should these things cause harm through me to others. It’s not a free ride to behave badly, ever. 

This means I owe apologies, need to continue to seek help where and when I can, and try to do what I can to get better. At the same time, I’m not responsible if those around choose not to understand or take care of themselves.”

“Personal responsibility” is always a good rule to follow for most mistakes we make as humans.  No one is perfect, right?  Even those around us who care the most lose patience with us often for many incidents in normal day to day living.  You don’t have to have a mental health diagnosis, which is highly advertised like PTSD, for others to think of it as a excuse.  The “path of least resistance” for most is a normal reaction.  We easily reduce a diagnosed mental health issue or any typical human annoyance, including having an adult tantrum, to very simple terms by using “excuse.”  It is easy…requiring little or no thought or analysis, and a quick response of, “PTSD is just an excuse.”

I have learned a 1000 times over that mitigation of PTSD symptoms is the best course of action, and taking responsibility when there is a misstep comes automatically.  Apologies make a huge difference.  Your loved ones and friends will become your strongest support system when you take responsibility.  When they hear the apology and when you continue to take steps to get better; and especially show improvement, your loved ones will be with you all the way.  A high level of awareness and education regarding the symptoms of PTSD and moral injury will go along way to create an atmosphere of personal responsibility by everyone in your circle of loving support…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

One thought on “Do loved ones and friends ever say, “PTSD is just an excuse for bad behavior.”

  1. Dan and Elaina* ~

    This is a huge problem, for both my husband and me. Because we both have PTSD, we each struggle with dsyfunction in many areas of our lives. We never want to use our PTSD as an excuse for bad behavior, or for failing to do what we ought to do. Yet we both struggle with letting people down, for example, when our anxieties prevent us from leaving the house to make an appointment, or even doing something as simple as getting birthday and Christmas gifts in the mail to our loved ones. We have bought so many things over the years for our grown children and grandchildren, that never made it out of our closet. It’s sad! And ridiculous, I mean why is this simple thing so HARD?

    Now, we buy gifts by ordering things online to be delivered straight to our loved ones. That’s just one of the many ways we’ve learned to adapt to our peculiarities.

    I don’t like having PTSD. Oh how I wish we could just be NORMAL! We are both in therapy, and doing all we can to try to heal. Our hearts are in the right place, even if our respective dysfunctions don’t always allow us to show it. For months now we’ve been ordering groceries on a regular basis for my disabled brother to be delivered to his home, and we regularly wire money to our grown kids to help them with problems ranging from car repairs they can’t afford, to legal hassles. My husband and I are on disability, and we could use the money for lots of things for ourselves, like plumbing and other much-needed house repairs for this old run-down house we bought for only $25,000 two years ago after our $90,000 house was foreclosed on, and we also need to pay off bills, and I need dental work, etc. But we both feel guilty because we weren’t there for our kids the way they needed us to be when they were growing up, because of our then-unknown and untreated PTSD issues. So now we are doing everything we can to help them, because we believe that their adult lives are so dysfunctional because of how hard it was for them to grow up, having us for parents.

    You can only do what you can do, though, you know? A favorite quote of mine comes from the renowned poet Maya Angelou: “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.” Amen!

    Using PTSD as an excuse to not even try, that’s just not us. I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but most of the people I personally know who have PTSD, typcially will go far out of their way to help someone who is in need. Why do they do that?

    I believe it’s because those of us who have been utterly broken by overwhelming trauma, can relate to what it feels like to be in trouble. We who have known the depths of pain are, more often than not, the first to step up to the plate when we see someone hurting.

    So if anything, we use having PTSD as our ”excuse” for being too caring and generous when we see a need.



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