The problem with many of the mentally ill is that it isn't something that always exhibits itself. On medication, they are as normal as you and I. Needing adjustments in meds or feeling so well they don't think they need them and stop taking them can set off an episode. The adjustment need can happen any time without too much visibility or awareness of the individual. This is when the individual has the ability to see a doctor and pay for drugs so I can imagine how bad it can get when they can't. I can speak with some knowledge on the subject. The worst one I've encountered was a next door neighbor, ordinarily a very nice guy. He had had bi-polar episodes before I knew him that were no secret but I hadn't witnessed anything amiss previously. He was one of those who thought he didn't need meds any longer. His son ran over one night with a rifle wanting to get it out of the house. His father had snapped. In his state, he saw the dog as his mother and attempts to calm him down had him lashing out, knocking his wife to the floor. Ranting and raving, it took police to drag him out of the house. He was hospitalized for months before his meds stabilized and he was able to return home, once again the nice and thoughtful person I had known.
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