Danielle Steel urges treatment
"When people aren't medicated it can be lethal," she said, adding that she hadn't realized that when dealing with her own son. "I thought it could ruin his life. I really didn't understand how high the possibility was that it could cost him his life."
Steel -- who will release her 72nd novel "Honor Thyself" on February 26 -- believes the laws need to be changed to allow mentally ill people to be hospitalized against their will.
"Usually bipolars present extremely well and they can bounce into court ... look very together and be a complete mess three hours later on the streets somewhere," she said. "There's nothing you can do."