The author of A Family’s Secret: Bipolar Disorder on Treetop Lane, Carol Horan, feels strongly about our need to advocate for laws that help those who suffer from mental illness. They need access to professional help, medication and hospitalization.
Far too many people suffering from mental illness find themselves homeless or incarcerated. For many it is a vicious and never ending circle. Individuals and families suffer, and so does the public at large. Mental illness is treatable.
Untreated mental illness, however, is frightening to the patient and their loved ones. A major difficulty is getting a patient to submit to treatment and medication, since one of the worst aspects of the disease is the accompanying denial that there is any need for help. The denial found in patients who are suffering from a mental illness is often similar to those who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs.
When Carol’s first husband was experiencing mania, he saw no need for help. He was convinced everyone else had a problem. This is too often the case. Her memoir is drawn from her memories and journal describing her experiences in a twenty-six year marriage. There were many good memories, but untreated mental illness changed everything.