Andrew Laming MP – Finding out you’re a unicorn doesn’t excuse the fact you stabbed people on purpose when you thought you were a pony.

Mental health management is the fundamental personal responsibility on the part of the individual. If our mental illness or set of behaviors related to a condition impacts others around us in negative ways, it’s incumbent on us to adjust our lives accordingly. This can mean apologizing, reparation and even resituating ourselves in terms of our employment, relationships and putting support systems around ourselves so any harmful or inappropriate actions have as little impact on others as possible.

Andrew Laming MP finds himself living with the revelation he has a diagnosis helping him explain and validate his personality and past actions. Whilst this in itself is positive, the fact remains his condition has wreaked havoc in his particular professional sphere. Many adults of this generation are finding out there is a reason they are the way they are, and this can be both a cause of great relief, and a source of deep grief. No doubt, as an intelligent man, Laming is experiencing the full gamut of emotions and thoughts which come with a mental health diagnosis and reflecting on the impact his behaviour has had in the past. However, as he’s indicated, his condition cannot be used as an excuse. It may be an underlying reason, but explaining why we do what we do, and the justifications for it, do not diminish the glaring fact mental illness does not pull motives, morals, ethics, worldview or perspectives out of an alternative universe in the ether to be acted out despite our beliefs and ideas. Mental illness causes us to manifest outwardly what already exists in our heads. Thusly, a man who respects women and understands appropriate behavior isn’t going to suddenly completely invert those values because of his mental illness. He’s going to act out from the values he already has when he’s unwell or in full flight.

In short, Lamings ADHD does not magically change him in a moment of unwellness from a man who understands how to behave towards women to a man who doesn’t. His illness manifests to others as a window into what he really thinks of women, and what he believes is acceptable behaviour. It’s fundamentally a matter of his diagnosis impacting his impulse control, not his values, worldview and opinion of who women are and what they’re for.