This is a comment by Sister of Bipolar Brother on the post “The Evil That Men Do—James Holmes, Aurora Colorado and Mental Illness“.
“What a good article! I am a sibling of someone diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. After experiencing a few manic episodes with my brother, I gained a knowledge about bipolar disorder that I do not think I could have ever believed or understood by simply reading about it. I do not fault others who make ‘uneducated or inexperienced’ conclusion that James Holmes was ‘evil.’ I mean this sincerely and not sarcastically. I would not have believed that people could act in ways so inconsistent with who they really were and had been their entire lives until I witnessed it first hand. During his manic phase I watched my brother do and say things so inconsistent with the person I knew for over 30 years. We are only 2 years apart and I spent a lot of time, during our childhood, hanging out with him and his friends.
“In the little information we have about James Holmes, I have wondered if, in fact, he is bipolar. A few things seems consistent with someone suffering bipolar disorder during a manic phase:
- Excessive spending — Guns, ammo, etc.
- Heightened sexuality — Creating an Adult Friend Finder Profile on July 6th looking for sexual encounters
- Potential paranoia — Full body armor (often commented on that it was in excessive of the amount worn by our soldiers in war), booby trapping apartment to destroy the evidence
- Sudden change in behavior — inconsistent with person everyone knew in his past
- Very Intelligent
“They are many more I am sure but I can say I DO NOT believe he is just ‘evil.’ I agree that just labeling him as evil is the easier thing to do. I also believe that it is hard to comprehend, unless you have experienced it, that someone can act in a way that is so inconsistent with who they are.
“I pray for all those involved that they get comfort and peace at some point, I cannot imagine the loss and terror that those affected are going through right now. I also pray for James and his family. I know how hard it is to be a family member of someone who is bipolar and on medication. It is so hard to sit back and watch someone you love make irrational choices that you cannot control. I worried that something bad would happen with my brother when he was manic. Thank God nothing ever did and he is now in acceptance and actively participating in staying medicated.
“It is a tough disease that is very often misunderstood or mistaken for something else, I pray for all of you who deal with this disorder, either personally or through a family or friend. Never give up trying to help yourself or your loved one–as hard as it maybe at times.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Dean812