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Mental Illness Vs. Evil


LOSTONE

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I know this subject has been address before, but I am revisiting it because someone in my personal life and all that they have created.

I have an older brother. We are not actually related. I was adopted into his family at a young age so I share no biological connection to him. He has major strange disturbing issues and behaviors that easily cause tons of problems for himself and others. My adopted mom and her kids all have banged their heads mad trying to get through to him and help him. Nothing has ever worked and now, no wants anything to do with him. He seems to be just plain old evil in his personality and behaviors. He seems to enjoy hurting people emotionally and causing them tons of stress, yet he has made is life out to be very dependent on these same people he messes with. He is unable to work or be healthy around people. Legally, he has nor done anything that the law allows anyone to step in and take corrective actions. The law is very limited and confining.

 

My question is this... Is he mentally ill needing care the law does not allow to be placed on him without him agreeing to it or is he just plain old evil and needs to be let go?

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Or both?

I don't see as how one can really know unless one is capable of mind reading.

But just because someone is mentally ill does not require, imo, others to ruin their lives over. Even with physical disease, there may come a time we need to step back and let nature take its course even when that means death. We should try to do what we can to alleviate suffering, but if someone has the legal right to refuse, we shouldn't feel we are obligated to do things their way if we believe it is wrong or unhealthy.

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A few points:

You're last comment is dichotomous (maybe falsely so, I don't know).

Also, you state that maybe he needs care. My question to you would be: what care?

Being a jerk, even a really bad one (not to say that's the extent of what he is or isn't), doesn't equate to having an illness that's amenable to some type of care. Often times people, particularly families, have a difficult time with that. Often times people lump people with rigid, inflexible personality patterns with being mentally ill, which I think is a detriment to both society and the mentally ill (again emphasizing that I'm not saying that's what you're brother is or isn't).

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Someone just told me that the difference between mentally ill and evil is that evil is a choice and mental illness is not a choice. With that as a bases, he is clearly evil. He chooses to hurt people and enjoys it. He is awaer of what he is doing and how it effcets people and seems to look forward to it. I am not a doctor, but I have know this person all my life so I am very, very experainced with him and his behavior. Ye, he is evil.

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Mental illness is an umbrella term that encompasses many different things that are often on a spectrum. If someone simply enjoys hurting someone then that is much different than someone who attempts to kill another individual because they believe they're an imposter from a prostitution ring who is trying to kill them. The latter brings into question someone's competence. The former often reflects someone with a long-standing personality problem. Though it could be classified as a mental disorder, it'd be important to distinguish from mental illness, though many would argue that's an illness itself. These are just generalizations, however.

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Mental illness is an umbrella term that encompasses many different things that are often on a spectrum. If someone simply enjoys hurting someone then that is much different than someone who attempts to kill another individual because they believe they're an imposter from a prostitution ring who is trying to kill them. [Emphasis added by Kenngo1969]. ...

Wow.  That's an [Ahem!] "interesting" delusion.

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I had these thoughts on the subject some time ago ... for what they're worth.*

 

http://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/on-illness-willfulness-and-alienation/

 

*"For what it's worth" and "For what they're worth" © Kevin Christensen.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission. ;)

Edited by Kenngo1969
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I know this subject has been address before, but I am revisiting it because someone in my personal life and all that they have created.

I have an older brother. We are not actually related. I was adopted into his family at a young age so I share no biological connection to him. He has major strange disturbing issues and behaviors that easily cause tons of problems for himself and others. My adopted mom and her kids all have banged their heads mad trying to get through to him and help him. Nothing has ever worked and now, no wants anything to do with him. He seems to be just plain old evil in his personality and behaviors. He seems to enjoy hurting people emotionally and causing them tons of stress, yet he has made is life out to be very dependent on these same people he messes with. He is unable to work or be healthy around people. Legally, he has nor done anything that the law allows anyone to step in and take corrective actions. The law is very limited and confining.

 

My question is this... Is he mentally ill needing care the law does not allow to be placed on him without him agreeing to it or is he just plain old evil and needs to be let go?

 

Stop giving him the power to mess with your life.  Get out of the drama.

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Does it matter whether he is mentally ill and/or evil?   Seems to me that is an existential question not a real one.  The real one might be "I don't want to support his drug habit anymore.   I will no longer tolerate his hate speech.   He steals things that he wants."    Mortals are not positioned to know either another's capabilities or their wounds.    A young man once told me that all of the hateful and threatening things he'd said to his parents over the years, were things he really thought about himself: they were simply easy targets.

 

Mental illness doesn't mean we cannot require the sufferer to be socially appropriate.    Being in terrible physical pain isn't an excuse to call someone names or not to hold a job, though it might make both of those very tough to do consistently. 

 

And if people simply left or threw him out when he didn't act nice, he might learn to act nicer.   There are books written on codependency and how that impedes progress.

 

My best suggestion in dealing with any relationship issue with people is to seek inspiration and follow it.

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Someone just told me that the difference between mentally ill and evil is that evil is a choice and mental illness is not a choice. With that as a bases, he is clearly evil. He chooses to hurt people and enjoys it. He is awaer of what he is doing and how it effcets people and seems to look forward to it. I am not a doctor, but I have know this person all my life so I am very, very experainced with him and his behavior. Ye, he is evil.

I believe this is a really poor judgment you are trying to make. Imagine a child of yours growing up and making bad choices. At what point do their choices become extreme enough that you apply an 'EVIL' label to them? Why would you even do that? To me it seems like a simple way to assuage guilt from inaction.

If inaction or separation are required, and you feel inspired to do so, then follow inspiration without any guilt. You will likely still feel bad about it, which would be appropriate and would hopefully keep you praying and seeking inspiration for chances to help someone you love.

Mental illness can be hard to understand -- both from the outside and from the inside. It is extremely difficult to draw the line between unfettered choice and mental illness. Kindness is always the answer, and the best way to know how to show that kindness is through the inspiration of the Spirit. Kindness does not mean accepting or enabling bad behavior. It means doing what the Lord would have us do to best help a fellow child of God. At times the kindest thing we can do is speak sharp words or just walk away. Be open to what God would have you do, even if it is staying nearby and even if it is backing off.

Edited by JDave
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I regret posting this and sharing on this site. My words and statements have been taken out of context and twisted into unintended meanings. I should have known better than to feel okay to share given it’s the web, even on this site. I will use alot more care when I post anything here or other places.

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I read a study once that demonstrated the majority of communication online is miscommunication. I think this is something we always need to be aware of in deciding whether or not to share and what to share. This is a very sensitive topic and people have strong ideas about it so will more easily misread intent and other things that aren't really expressed but are read into what people say (we often ask ourselves why a person is posting something though usually not part of the actual discussion).

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Alexander Morrison has written a book about Mental Illness from an LDS perspective:  http://deseretbook.com/Valley-Sorrow-Laymans-Guide-Understanding-Mental-Illness-Alexander-B-Morrison/i/4581757

 

See also a talk he gave:
http://ce.byu.edu/cw/fuf/archives/2004/Alexander.Morrison.pdf

 

 

And please don't be offended at responses.  Those who interact with people with mental illness have their own challenges and it is easy for those on the outside to misjudge their attempts to process the experience they are having because of another's illness.   

 

II ran across this today and thought of you.   Maybe it will help you as you deal.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/05/cause-of-emotional-pain-gary-zukav_n_5641679.html?utm_hp_ref=own&ir=OWN

Edited by rpn
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I regret posting this and sharing on this site. My words and statements have been taken out of context and twisted into unintended meanings. I should have known better than to feel okay to share given it’s the web, even on this site. I will use alot more care when I post anything here or other places.

I was pretty blunt, so if I mistakenly took things out of context I apologize.  I have dealt with similar situations and only hoped to help with another perspective.  This is definitely an emotional topic, and as I am  sitting here imagining how I would feel reading people's responses to my experiences ... well, I wish I had been kinder with my choice of words.

 

Best of luck.

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I know this subject has been address before, but I am revisiting it because someone in my personal life and all that they have created.

I have an older brother. We are not actually related. I was adopted into his family at a young age so I share no biological connection to him. He has major strange disturbing issues and behaviors that easily cause tons of problems for himself and others. My adopted mom and her kids all have banged their heads mad trying to get through to him and help him. Nothing has ever worked and now, no wants anything to do with him. He seems to be just plain old evil in his personality and behaviors. He seems to enjoy hurting people emotionally and causing them tons of stress, yet he has made is life out to be very dependent on these same people he messes with. He is unable to work or be healthy around people. Legally, he has nor done anything that the law allows anyone to step in and take corrective actions. The law is very limited and confining.

 

My question is this... Is he mentally ill needing care the law does not allow to be placed on him without him agreeing to it or is he just plain old evil and needs to be let go?

Pray that he and you and all involved are protected from evil. I think that is acceptable to any Christian.

 

If you were Catholic, I'd recommend a St. Benedict medal. :D 

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I know this subject has been address before, but I am revisiting it because someone in my personal life and all that they have created.

I have an older brother. We are not actually related. I was adopted into his family at a young age so I share no biological connection to him. He has major strange disturbing issues and behaviors that easily cause tons of problems for himself and others. My adopted mom and her kids all have banged their heads mad trying to get through to him and help him. Nothing has ever worked and now, no wants anything to do with him. He seems to be just plain old evil in his personality and behaviors. He seems to enjoy hurting people emotionally and causing them tons of stress, yet he has made is life out to be very dependent on these same people he messes with. He is unable to work or be healthy around people. Legally, he has nor done anything that the law allows anyone to step in and take corrective actions. The law is very limited and confining.

 

My question is this... Is he mentally ill needing care the law does not allow to be placed on him without him agreeing to it or is he just plain old evil and needs to be let go?

I suffer from depression, PTSD and a number of other issues, so know something about this. The use of the word evil in reference to another person makes me nervous because it can be used to just write someone off and not help them and I think there are relatively few really evil people in the world.

 

Maybe is is as simple as the parents not allowing him to experience the consequences of his own actions? Maybe some firm love needs to be applied? However, perhaps you are not the one to do it. Perhaps you do not need to be involved in his stuff enough to let it hurt you? You are the kid, not the parent.

 

It sounds to me like you are living at home in the middle of all this drama. We adopted a young child one time, but he was so mean and disruptive that he did not last in our house. How old are you? Maybe you will just have to suck it up and try to survive? Are you Mormon? Are your parents active Mormons? I know it is hard to share this sort of thing outside the home. Does he act out at church?

 

At least perhaps you get three squares and a flop and if you can not help him, perhaps you can isolate yourself from him and last long enough to grow up and leave?

 

I ran away to escape the drunkenness and beatings, and the police blamed me, and what happened after that was worse than the what I faced before. In the end, I went back and face illegal confinement for the next two years.

 

My heart goes out to you. If you wish to talk more, PM me.

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