Does having depression or suffering from mental illness (such as bipolar) give people a license to treat other people poorly?

My husband has been SUCH a jerk lately; ignoring me when I speak to him, snapping at me for no reason, throwing things on the ground and refusing to pick them up, being bitter, angry and resentful in general and isolating himself from the whole family. He says he suffers from depression and that's why he's acting this way. I understand that he struggles with medical issues, but by the time you are 50, shouldn't you also be able to deal with said issues without treating people poorly? I just wonder where I should draw the line. I empathise with his condition, but I also don't believe it should be a get out of jail free card to treat people poorly. Any advice would be appreciated.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I agree with you. Just because you have a mental illness, doesn't give you license to act and behave immature toward anyone else. I fought that battle with my step kids as they were growing up. They knew what was right and what was wrong. I did what I could to hold them accountable for their actions and let them feel the consequences for their actions.

    If he throws things on the floor, leave them there. If someone steps on the stuff, so be it. If he ignores you, just go on with what you planned anyway without him. When he gets mad for not including him, let him know had he said something when you asked, he wouldn't have been left out. And so on... Actions have consequences.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • It absolutely does not. I'd draw the line in the same place as you would for someone who doesn't have those issues. If you let him keep treating you that way, he's going to keep doing it and pushing until you push back. Don't enable him.

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