Rigoberto Alpizar Shot during Manic Episode? Importance of Medication and Treatment Compliance in Sufferers of Bipolar Disorder
> 12/8/2005 12:13:06 PM

The tragic shooting of a man on the runway of Miami International Airport on Wednesday highlighted the dangers that can often accompany bipolar disorder.  It has been reported by several news outlets that Rigoberto Alpizar had not taken his medication and that this may have directly resulted in his manic behavior and eventual death. 

The failure to comply with medication and treatment schedules can often lead to troubling and potentially dangerous situations for suffers of bipolar disorder.  Medications are intended to stabilize the moods of sufferers, and they serve the purpose of suppressing the potentially thrill seeking behaviors that often accompany the disease.  Hypersexuality, gambling problems, rampant alcohol or drug abuse and illogical shopping sprees are just some of the potential negative situations that can accompany a failure to maintain a proper medication schedule.  Many times these type of behaviors will put undue strain on a relationships, but sometimes they can end more tragically, even in suicide. In the most severe cases of Mania symptoms of delusional thinking and even hallucinations can occur which frighten all those who know the patient.

It is also important to keep in mind, that airports and airplanes can be extremely high stress areas for sufferers of any mental illness. Panic disorder patients can be terrified to boad a plane and consequently appear very suspicious as they endure their symptoms and debate boarding.  This tragic episode illustrates just one of the possible negative outcomes of the failure to recognize a mental health disorder.

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