STIGMA OF BI-POLAR DISEASE
His name was Richard Fortino, he was born on March 28, 1969 and he left us by taking his own life on March 2, 2008.
There is no guide or handbook for us to read that will help one’s understanding of suicide. They may make you aware and educate you about this act of deliberately taking one's own life; but only first hand experience truly leaves you with an understanding. There are risk factors that may be thought of as leading to or being associated with suicide, and that some people possess a greater risk factor and potential for suicidal behavior.
I am writing this essay in honor of a very dear relative and great friend whom somewhere along life’s highway seemed to have lost his path and purpose for life from a horrible, yet quite common disease. From the outside Richard was an extremely intelligent, loving and giving individual who would give you his last dollar if you needed it more then him. However, unknown to any of his family or close friends, no one would ever recognize that on the inside Richard was battling the most severe of mood disorder’s known as, bipolar. Bipolar disorder affects approximately 1 out of every 45 adults or estimated to affect more than 5 million Americans, and it is a known leader in excessive mortality by suicide.
Until 1995 Richard was a guy who seemed to have it all together, a beautiful wife (my cousin), lovely new home, great job and the love of a very large Italian family. I remember even being a bit envious of his job and lifestyle; he always seemed to have the latest of gadgets that he would find here and there at flea markets and bargain stores. He would not just buy for himself, but for just about everyone. My husband and I would go and visit, enjoy dinner and conversation and Richard would always ended the evening by giving us a gift, something he had found at a flea market that he knew we would like. Maybe it was then that I started to suspect his...