I don't mean this literally. When my easy child was turning difficult child I was desperate for information. I had to find out his disease so I could cure it (well, now I know it doesn't work that way). I read everything about MI that I could get my hands on. I visited hundreds of websites. That's how I found this board. I learned alot in my effort to "diagnosis" my own difficult child. For awhile,other difficult child's crossed my path on a regular basis (difficult child has different friends now-mostly typical teen's) or I would hear stories of other difficult child's.Ocassionally I would find myself diagnosis (to myself)what the difficult child's issues could be related to. I have a co-worker who's son is a difficult child (he went to school with my easy child). Over the years I heard many stories from different people regarding her "bad" kid and all of the trouble he was in. Trouble with the law, starting fires in the home, he had been suicidal, the list went on. One co-worker would talk about this from time to time. I knew that I did not have the full picture from all of the heresay but I suspected he had a MI but kept this to myself. All I would say is did they ever have him evaluated? Not too long ago, this co-worker approached me and told me that the difficult child had been diagnosis BiPolar (BP) (I believe he was in jail at the time). My response was "I'm not surprised one bit" (that was my diagnosis. too but I didn't say that) Co-worker was outraged, well if he had this MI why wasn't it diagnosis'd a long time ago when he first started having problems? I explained that it is not unusual for BiPolar (BP) to be diagnosis'd years later. MI can be very difficult to diagnosis because of overlapping symptoms, etc...it's not like there's a blood test to prove the illness. Co-worker viewed this diagnosis as false, "an excuse" for this difficult child's behavior. I run across this attitude alot. I find it sad. If this difficult child would've treated like he had a MI instead of like he was just a "bad" kid maybe his life would've turned out differently.