When Are We Truly Missing?

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┬álove goes missing, don’t hesitate to contact the proper authorities immediately! It could make all the difference in their safe return!


2 thoughts on “When Are We Truly Missing?”

  1. I was diagnosed as having bipolar ll after I left the home and found myself in a precarious situation. Reading this, although not great that either of us had to go through this, does make me feel a little better. Sometimes the shame is worst than anything the bipolar can throw at me. I’m your newest reader and fan.

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