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'Minus the Mental Illness, He Was a Good Guy'

I attended a class not long ago, and the instructor talked about someone she used to know who had a mental health condition.

“Minus the mental illness, he was a good guy,” she said.

The class when on without a bat of an eye. No challenge, no question. Had she said “minus the [insert another illness], he was a good guy,”  I imagine the reaction would be different.

No one should be blamed for getting sick.

So often, mental health is confused with character. Even an intelligent, articulate, well-educated teacher made this mistake. She was wrong.

Her friend was not a good guy minus the mental illness.

He was just a good guy.