Counselor Discuss Mental Disorders - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/7/07-Smith County

Counselor Discuss Mental Disorders

A mental disorder may have been the reason for Lynn Davis Smith's violent outburst Tuesday night. Her family says she has been suffering with a bipolar disorder for decades. It's a condition that affects millions of Americans and leaves families wondering what they can do to help. 

According to the National Institute on Mental Health, one in four adults suffer from a mental disorder. Only one and 17 are serious, but almost half of those that have a mental disorder, suffer from two or more.  David Smith says his wife has been in and out of mental health hospitals for years.

"They put her in last Friday," said Smith.  "Monday morning she called me to pick her up."  Timothy Roberts is a professional counselor in Tyler. He says family members need to learn about their loved one's disorder and what triggers them. 

"It only takes one person in the family that is dysfunctional to make the entire family dysfunctional, so like it or not the family has to get involved," said Roberts. "The first thing you want to do is integrate yourself into a person's therapy, if they have a therapist. Find out exactly what medications they are supposed to take." Smith's husband says Smith had stopped taking her bipolar medication because she did not like how it made her feel.  It's something Roberts says is not a good idea.

"People don't want to take their medication when they start feeling better, and then they don't realize they are spiraling out of control," said Roberts. "If you see a person is not wanting to take it, never decide to go any other route, keep them on medication and consult a doctor." Roberts says help is out there, and families don't have deal with it on their own.

To find out more about mental disorders and where you can find help in East Texas, go to our homepage and click on the Know More on 7 link titled mental disorders.

Molly Reuter, reporting.


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