About four years ago I had my worst mania EVER! In that time I left my house not telling anyone where I was going, much less when I would return.
The first time, I would leave for about three days. The next time for a week. The difference in my situation, is I would text my husband from time-to-time letting him know I was ok. But still not telling him where I was. All this happened prior to my diagnosis of type 1 bipolar disorder.
Many people with bipolar disorder take-off, never saying where they will go or for how long. Frankly, I didn’t know where I was going either. I just knew I had to leave! On occasion I would experience psychosis. I heard voices in my head telling me to bail out of my house.
I often read stories of people with bipolar disorder missing. I wonder if they truly are missing or if a little voice in their head told them to go. Rarely do I find a follow-up article tell interested readers of the person being found. I only hope they were found safe and sound.
It can be a scary situation for one’s family to go through such an ordeal. Speaking to my husband about what he went through not knowing my whereabouts or if I was ok, was one of the worst experiences he’s been through. I NEVER want to put him or my family through that pain again!
But the question still lies as to “when is a person truly missing?”
I suppose once you leave and are not heard from for an undetermined amount of time, and/or have stopped taking your medication. These would be red flags! I say, if you’re concerned and have tried to make contact with someone with no avail, it might be time to worry! Especially, if this is a youth or if that person has shown signs of mania, depression, or suicide.
Each circumstance is different. Though, it raises the question “when do I call the proper authorities?” As soon as you feel necessary. Better to veer on the safe side.
It is not uncommon for a person with bipolar disorder to abruptly leave. It is also not uncommon for that person to find themselves in a precarious situation due to abrupt exiting.
I am not special in that fact. I too found myself in a situation I wish I hadn’t got myself into. If I and my husband had known I had bipolar disorder, my situation would have been very different. I might have been hospitalized, and could have avoided all the shame and embarrassment I endured. Along with keeping my husband and family from worrying about my whereabouts.
I’m happy to say, I have not taken off since my diagnosis. I’ve stayed on medication, see my psychiatrist and therapist regularly. It was, I’ll say a very dark time in my life!
If someone you know or love goes missing, don’t hesitate to contact the proper authorities immediately! It could make all the difference in their safe return!