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Unread 10-20-2012, 12:40 AM   #1
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Heart Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

In March of this year, I had my first SEVERE manic episode. It lasted about 2 weeks. During this time (that I have almost no recollection of) I apparently got in some trouble. Woke Up feeling completely normal...in jail. I had already been there for a day and a half and I have no memory of that. I am just wondering if anyone else has had some pretty serious charges pressed against them for something they did while manic? I'm still in the process of going to a million court dates and all that. I'd like to know if anyone has been through it and what happened during court. Did it turn out good or bad for you?
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Unread 10-20-2012, 01:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

I've been through some stuff like this with my son. Since he is a minor, and because of the county I live in, they are very lenient on him. I'm worried about this next issue coming up from his manic rage last week. He's on probation from the last time, court ordered to take meds, etc. but did not comply.

I think that any state in US would say that you were not in your right mind to know what you were doing was wrong. They will probably order you to take meds and get counseling, pay fines, do community service.

I remember you wrote about it before, and I know you feel horrible about it and totally confused. Express this to the judge. And since it was your first mania, they can't come down on you for not taking meds that you didn't even know you needed at that time. (the courts like to see us medicated :/ or at least in therapy if you're not into meds)
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Unread 10-20-2012, 02:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

Yes I had some similar experiences when I was younger. Including waking up in jail, being incoherent, and not even realizing I had been placed under arrest. It's pretty devastating, I know that.

When I get manic it usually lasts for a few months, and I also get psychosis which can be pretty bad. I can be pretty out of it, not knowing what I am doing. One time I had apparently taken handfuls of valium, halcion, and mixed it with a lot of alcohol, not a sui attempt, just an attempt to slow down. I was arrested outside city hall directly across the street from the police station. My "friend" who was with me had decided after I had gone unconscious, to kick the crap out of me. And she did very badly. I woke in a cell and I couldn't see or barley open my eyes. I thought I was having an allergy attack because my eyes were so swollen. In reality I had two massive black eyes. I was finger printed, photographed and interrogated about a crime committed by a different friend. I had charges of theft pressed against me. And the whole time I did not know what was going on. I did not commit that crime however and eventually charges were dropped.

I have been held in jail cells many times by the police when I was younger, most of the time I was very manic and psychotic, usually I was not under the influence of anything. I was tho always accused of being under the influence, and not once did they ever attempt to get me any type of medical assistance or evaluation. Since I was a known street kid to the police, no one was ever notified, sometimes I was held for days on end. I think being a street kid dubbed me a title of "trouble maker".

Another time I had eaten several bottles of ritalin over the coarse of a few days. This led to being arrested for "public nuisance". I had been taking the ritalin trying to get my brain to stop doing what it was doing. Obviously not in my right mind, because who takes that much ritalin who is not trying to sui ?I was very psychotic and I got myself in trouble for causing disturbance thinking that someone was following me and going to kill me. Basically I panicked and tried to get whoever or anyone on the street to help me. Nothing happened as a result.

Sorry I do not have any advice or info for court. I think Blue had good advice. Do you have any representation?

I thought I would share my experience with you, at least know you are not the only one. I know how confusing and scary that it. I am really sorry that happened to you! I hope the judge will clearly see the reality of the situation.
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Last edited by Anika.; 10-20-2012 at 02:52 AM.
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Unread 10-20-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

My nephew in AZ ran from the cops when they tried to pull him over, which is a felony. He thought they were going to kill him. When he first went to court they found him unable to contribute to his own defense and he was hospitalized. Once he was stable, he had to go to court again and was given 9 months in jail. Even if you are mentally ill you are held liable for anything you do.
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Unread 10-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

I shop lifted. I felt "outside of myself" when I did it. As the cops took me to jail, the only thing I said was "how much did I steal?"

I am actually glad that this happened...it was one of the determining factors in changing my diagnosis from clinical depression to bipolar. I've been on lithium ever since and have not had anymore legal trouble since then.

I'd say I feel like I have a lot more control over my life.
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Unread 10-23-2012, 06:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

Thank you for sharing your stories. I think I know what I'm going to do. After all the research I have done, I realize that the justice system doesn't seem to give a ***** about mental illness..unless of course you can't help with your own defense. Unfortunately, the mania doesn't last forever so we will eventually be found competent. I live in a decently small city, so I think my only shot at walking away clean from this is by trying the case in the media before it ever gets to trial. I'm sure that a single mother of 2 that is a dean's list student and never knew she was bipolar until this incident would get a lot of sympathy with the public. I think I need to speak out about bipolar and tell my story to anyone that will listen. If I can show the prosecutor how much sympathy I will get, he might start to believe that he wouldn't be able to convince an entire jury to convict me. Not only do I want to get myself out of this (obviously) but I want people to be aware of the injustice of it all. I mean, I continuously told them that I had been going to the dr because there was something really wrong with me, I wasn't high on drugs and yet not ONE person believed me. I have no record, have a 3.8 GPA in college, raise 2 beautiful kids alone...and I was treated like a common criminal. I now know that it happens way too often to us and I think it's time someone does something about it..or at least tries to.
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Unread 10-23-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

Wishing you the best of luck Winter. You are brave and I hope it works, you do not belong in jail.
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Unread 10-23-2012, 07:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

My question is at what point should you be held responsible? If you hurt or kill someone? If you commit a felony?

In some ways being found guilty but mentally ill and being committed to a mental health facility can mean a longer stay than if you were put in a prison. My sister is a psych nurse at a state mental hospital housing people who were found guilty but mentally ill. There are people in there who have been hospitalized for more than 30 years. They would be out if they had been put in prison. I read recently that more than half the people in prisons are mentally ill. At least they get their meds for free while they are incarcerated.
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Unread 10-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winternycole View Post
In March of this year, I had my first SEVERE manic episode. It lasted about 2 weeks. During this time (that I have almost no recollection of) I apparently got in some trouble. Woke Up feeling completely normal...in jail. I had already been there for a day and a half and I have no memory of that. I am just wondering if anyone else has had some pretty serious charges pressed against them for something they did while manic? I'm still in the process of going to a million court dates and all that. I'd like to know if anyone has been through it and what happened during court. Did it turn out good or bad for you?

..it's been pretty continuous for me Winter...years and years, particularly all of them. I've been charged several times for things during manic episodes. it's just been a part of my life to be getting in trouble.

then I go fine for a while ...like another person altogether. I never meet the 'criminal' me!....but the police do...paramedics do, other people do and have done.

the courts have taken into account my psychiatric instability and diverted me into the mental health system each time.....so far anyway.

...I'm dealing with another case right now thats more serious this time. A suicidal male with a knife is not a good situation for those involved and mis-understandings or not....regular people like ambulance officers are just not ready for it!

...today in fact, I have to meet with my lawyer...
yeah it's stressful and never-ending it seems ....but I have some real problems at times and it might sound a bit hairy fairy but I'm more interested to be a better person than worried about what the system decides to do with me anymore

sorry to hear you are going through stuff too....
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Unread 10-24-2012, 12:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Legal trouble while having a manic episode?

I wasn't arrested but I was charged and put on probation once when an manic episode encouraged me to get into a text war w/ a very vindictive gal. Also if her step-dad hadn't made her too embarrassed to report me, my ex's gf threatened to charge me for assault. She struck first but she ended up worse for the incident. Her step father told her it was a fair fight, she started it and she should put on her big girl panties and except she lost.
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