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Letters

Seeking Solutions for the Mentally Ill

June 02, 2002

For those of us who have a family member with bipolar disorder, the vivid descriptions of Marie Elise West's delusions have an uncanny similarity to things we have heard ("Prelude to a Death," by Paul Teetor, May 5). The constant episodes of relapse also ring true. This is a very dangerous and little understood disease that often destroys the patient and the family. The LPS Act must be modified so that families have the power and authority to mandate treatment, including involuntary commitment to inpatient facilities and the administration of psychotropic medication. California should not be the place where you have the right to act crazy and destroy your life and the lives of innocent people. How many people have to suffer the fate of Jesus Plascencia before we change this outdated and ill-conceived law?

Joseph Beltran

Lake Forest

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