Bipolar World, an excellent resource covering just about every aspect of the illness, offers some sage advice for family members of a person who refuses treatment. At times an individual may not believe him/herself to be ill – one of the hallmarks of psychosis and mania.

The article is relevant to anyone with a family member suffering mental illness, not just bipolar disorder. The key is that unless the person is a danger to him/herself or others (and therefore subject to being committed/certified to a hospital for involuntary care) treatment cannot be forced, and what is most helpful is protecting and educating yourself. Many mental health organizations offer support for family members – try the Depression and Bipolar Supprt Alliance or the Canadian Mental Health Association for free, confidential assistance.