The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur
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New Jersey parent unable to help bipolar daughter

Unfortunately, the daughter exercised her new independence by running away from home and declining treatment for her mental condition. She is now living on the street as a meth addict. She also continues to refuse help from her parents.

This story illustrates that mental conditions may substantially impair an individual's ability to think rationally, let alone perform work duties. According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately half of patients who have been diagnosed with a mental illness may lack awareness of their condition. State law may not recognize this distinction, however, affording such disabled individuals full legal rights as adults when they turn 18.

Many mental conditions manifest at an early age. According to one estimate, 75 percent of mental illness diagnoses occur in individuals under the age of 24. For that reason, parental intervention in health treatment decisions of adult children might be feasible, perhaps with financial assistance from programs such as Supplemental Security Income.

Source:, "Mental illness laws need to change," Rachel Pruchno, April 12, 2013

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