My neighbor (who was also our tenant across the driveway) was usually a very nice person. Not so when she was angry or when she was having a bipolar episode. When she was manic she was paranoid and out of touch with reality. But that was her reality at those times. Communicating was difficult because our realities were different. How does one bridge that gap?

One day was especially bad and some of her close friends I hadn’t yet met staged an intervention to try to get her to go to the mental health center. She wouldn’t, so they called the police. The police sent a mental health worker out to evaluate. She took her to the county treatment center where they spent the usual three days getting her back on her meds. Usually she stayed on her meds and the atmosphere was peaceful and friendly.

A close friend of ours had a bipolar child who was a college student. His problem became so severe that he could no longer live at home. He had become dangerous to his younger siblings. He was legally an adult, so his parents could not see that he took his meds. As far as I know, he is still in a group home of some kind for those who have mental health problems. He could not be financially independent because he could not be financially realistic.

When I was in high school and college we had never heard of bipolar disease. I sometimes wonder how it has become so widespread so fast.

Christian, bereaved adoptive mom, blogger, amateur nature photographer, voracious reader. Married 54 years. Central Coast of California.

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