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date: 20 January 2018

Abstract and Keywords

A person suffering a mental illness or disorder may differ dramatically from his or her previous well self. Family and close friends who knew the person before the onset of illness tend to regard the illness as obscuring their loved one's true self and see the goal of treatment as the restoration of that self. ‘He is not really like this,’ they will say with increasing desperation. Treatment teams and others, who have no acquaintance with the person when well, respond to what they see in front of them and do sometimes make harmful judgments of character based on the person's presentation when ill.

Keywords: mental disorder, moral agency, the self, mental illness, family and friends, treatment

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