Spending money. Retail therapy. Debt. Mania. Bipolar.
A selection of words that for many go together. The idea of retail therapy is nothing new. When we are feeling down, regardless of mental health illness, spending can make us feel good. Great, even. When we experience something nice, it can release endorphins into the brain. Sometimes it may give us a small hit; others, a huge hit of feeling happy.
But with bipolar, spending can become dangerous.
Especially when depressed or manic. LWOS Life looks at the issues surrounding money and bipolar disorder.
Spending Money: A Dangerous Conundrum
Your spending can get out of control. Quite simply because you are out of control.
And it can cause a very vicious circle. Spend, feel better, realize what you have done, feel guilty. Spend to feel better. Spend because you don’t have the ability to manage the risk attached to your spending.
But, by the time you realize, your debts can be insurmountable. Trust me. I know. I know only too well and it is heartbreaking. It makes you feel sick to the very core of your soul.
Don’t Deal with Struggles Alone
I would implore anyone with bipolar who is worried about spending habits to talk and not try to deal with it alone.
I am not suggesting you should borrow money to pay your debts. I am not saying I have not had help, but in September this year, I will be debt free for the first time about 18 years. And I have done that. But I couldn’t have done it without talking. Not all of the conversations have been easy, and it can cause tension in other areas of your life.
I can assure anyone that I am not proud of how my spending got out of control. I will never be proud of it, but I will never forget it. Because it serves as a huge warning about my wellness. When people start knocking at your door, it is frightening and at times led me to a depression that felt unbreakable. In fact, at times, I felt that the only way I could break it was to not be here. To be anywhere but on this godforsaken planet.
But talking has helped and still does help. And talking and listening can save lives. There is a way out and a way to manage your condition.
And talking has got to be better than losing everything. Better than thinking life itself is not worth fighting for.
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