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The Existence of Mental Illness and the Impact on Your Case
There are millions of people with differing degrees of undiagnosed mental illness. These people, 95% of the time function within standard social norms, work for a living, have kids, raise kids, have friends and the like. I mention mental illness a great deal in this site, and this is for the simple reason that mentally healthy people simply don't act that way. Normal, healthy folks don't harass, stalk and intimidate others. The simple fact that somebody is behaving this way is a pretty clear sign of illness of some sort.
That said, the fact there is or is not mental illness really won't impact your case much at all except in extreme or very violent situations, but if you have suspicion of such mental illness, it could impact how you deal with this person. Throughout our 2+ year drama different authorities involved have mentioned the likelihood of bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (in their opinions) and one officer, familiar with the case, and both parties involved said "I really hope she gets the help she needs". Did that help our case? Well, no, will the officer admit to that in court, doubtful, but it does impact how one would choose to interact (or not interact) with the person and their suggestions regarding how to deal with it on our part.
Somebody with these type of disorders is reasonably "normal" (more or less) but, when something trips that trigger they can "black out", for lack of a better term, and not even be fully aware of what they are doing. That is generally when the assaults, verbal screaming matches and most serious confrontations happen.
If you get a copy of their statement from contesting your petition or requesting their own restraining order, you may find important pieces of events missing. This isn't necessarily because they are actively lying, it could honestly be that they don't know what actually happened and are simply stating what they do know while putting themselves in the best light possible, while actually not knowing the other pieces of the indecent as they were in a manic state at that time.
Obviously, the best course of action in these cases are to simply stay away from this person. Do not expect neighbors to do the same. People are more than likely going to not get themselves in any confrontation with the person and will most likely remain pleasant, if from a distance. The fact others don't avoid this person does not necessarily mean they don't support you or understand the issue, it means they are also looking out for their own best interests just as you are. Everybody handles issues like this differently, and it is often dealt with differently once something serious happens directly to them and they feel what you have been feeling.
One thing to be aware of, especially in the case of dealing with personality disorders, is that if that these people actually have a harder time with being ignored than actively "hated" (for lack of a better word) and will do everything in their power, including making up reasons, to stay in your face about something, or continue the feud as they are focused on it. Ignoring does stand the chance of making things worse.
One thing I do find incredibly interesting about these disorders is that, by and large, many are almost identical in terms of symptoms. They are split into different disorder groups by one or two unique symptoms that are unlike the others. So anyone you are trying to diagnose may fit into any number of disorders, and perhaps have more than one. However, you may find one or two that fits your person of interest that the others do not. So don't be surprised that you find many common characteristics between the disorders.
Many of these people have gotten through life and gotten their way from childhood by simply bullying and yelling, and when somebody, somewhere in life actually does stand up, that's when they can't process it, and enter a manic state. That, I personally believe, is what happened in our case, our adversary is a mean spirited person with no sense of empathy and absolutely has no concept of the fact people disagree with her or don't just give her her way, and she can't stand it when somebody won't. She gets aggressive, belligerent and most recently the possibility of violence has shown itself. All from not getting her way and the inability to accept it.