The book tells a compelling story of love and loss. It’s a tragic account, filled with sadness and frustration, of a family’s futile attempts to save their loved one. It takes readers inside the bipolar mind, a mind tormented by psychotic and delusional thoughts that erase any semblance of reality, a mind trapped in a body ravaged by irreversible damage from untreated bipolar disorder. Readers will grieve for Scott as they watch him lose his successful business, his family, and ultimately his life.
Even as a broken mental health system protected Scott’s civil right to remain mentally ill by refusing treatment, it rejected the fight by Scott and his family to obtain timely and humane treatment for him. When Scott was well, he tried to empower his family to help him during bipolar episodes, but the courts rejected his requests. His story shows us ways we can improve the system.
I have friends who are bipolar whose illness is less severe; for the most part, they manage their illness and live normal lives. Many have very successful careers, happy marriages and live normal lives. They take their medication and are proactive, not reactive, to warning signs. Yes, they have a very serious mental illness, but they manage their illness — the illness does not manage them. These people are true role models for others struggling with this illness and are to be commended.
The chronicle of Scotty’s mind on the run looks at the other side of the problem, where the person with bipolar is not able to care for himself. It is a look at what can and, more often, cannot be done by the family of the person who has bipolar disorder.