I caught myself myself having what I first thought was the most insane thought ever. Now I'm not so sure anymore.
It happened as I was researching advice on how to best mention a health condition/disability affecting job performance in am application. I was browsing a book chapter on the subject that included examples around issues such as hearing impairment or need for a wheelchair. As a read these I thought "At least those things aren't their (meaning the applicant's) fault". A second later, I was like, wait a minute, do I honestly think that it is my fault that I have schizo-affective disorder (and ADD and Asperger's)? Or that they are some sort of character weakness? Much to my consternation, I found that yes, I subconsciously believe that they are a character weakness. In my case at least. I don't think, for example, that my younger sister is weak for being Borderline. Nor did I look at the other patients that way when I was hospitalized some years ago. Crazy, right?
Well, I thought so at the time, but as I got into thinking about it, I started wondering if maybe my past lifestyle wasn't partly to blame. After all, the thinking is, as far as I know, that mental illness is a combination of genetic predisposition (which I no doubt have) and environmental factors. I have a past of anorexia/bulimia as well as abuse. While I have been in recovery from ED for some years now, I can't help but wonder at the effects. (Strangely enough with the outbreak of schizo-affective disorder around age 20, my ED issues faded away and only flare up very rarely these days). And a big part of getting serious about HCRV is, for me, about taking responsibility for my health. I know responsibility isn't quite the same as blame, but they seem to mingle more than I'd prefer. Not sure what I make of that yet.