Ordinary Views

I think the majority of [people with mental illnesses] really work hard to live with it and want good things out of life, want to succeed, want to have families, do stuff that people without mental illness get to do. But at the same time, it would be nice if people understood that what we’re fighting is like other diseases that are more visible. This disease has a great potential to be fatal, and that’s scary. Readallaboutit!

All of these sound terribly complicated—because bipolar mood disorder is a complex condition. And it is chronic. It comes and it goes—I’ve been living with the condition for 31 years. That’s actually good news because, according to some statistics, people with bipolar mood disorder are more likely to die by suicide than those with just depression. More

Service members are not immune to bipolar disorder. Exact rates in active-duty troops are not known, as most are medically retired once the diagnosis is made. However, there are comparable rates between veterans and the general public. Even more concerning: Research shows that veterans suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to die by suicide than those diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

On this morning, 40 percent of the people booked into Chicago’s jail tell a counselor they are mentally ill. Other facilities around the country report similar rates, with nearly half of those diagnosed with a serious disorder. Cook County estimates around 30 percent of inmates have a serious mental illness.

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