As with many disorders, Bipolar creates a unique situation that can be costly. Given the chronic nature of this mental illness, the patient and entire family can be impacted emotionally, physically, and financially for decades. Because Bipolar is a mood disorder, affecting every aspect of the individual's daily living, many different steps must be taken to help the individual live a more normal life.

Some of the steps that will need to be taken will include things such as medication, herbs and supplements, therapy, counseling and, in severe cases, part- or full-time care and supervision. The tricky part is that with Bipolar, moods cycle from low to high. Not only is the individual unaware of when this might happen, but neither are family and friends. Therefore, trying to get the right care at the right time can be a serious challenge.

Unfortunately, another problem is that over time, treatment becomes more expensive. When you think about the cost of healthcare insurance, educational tools such as videos, books, and seminars, the amount of co-pay, special foods and vitamin supplements and everything else required to care for a person with Bipolar, money becomes an issue very quickly. Although better solutions are still needed, there are a few options to consider.

For one thing, families who have loved ones with Bipolar should begin to put money aside on a regular basis as soon as a diagnosis is made. Even if the amount is not considered 'significant,' this is the time to start a budget specifically for the Bipolar disorder. When it comes to Bipolar, it is crucial to understand just how important money is. 'Saving for a rainy day' takes on new meaning when someone you care for has bipolar disorder because that 'rainy day' is always potentially just over the horizon.

To save money, a conscious decision must be made and a realistic plan must be created and then implemented. But remember, to help someone with Bipolar disorder save money, a clear understanding of the plan and its value is needed. With this, priorities can be established that will help the individual when it comes to medical, emotional, and psychological care. While saving money can mean a change in lifestyle, just remember each time money is frivolously spent it takes away from the care needed for the person with Bipolar. Eventually, with the values in mind and the priorities set, better spending habits will become second nature.

If you find staying on the budget you initially create is too difficult, you might need to revisit your budget to see if adjustments are needed, or you might consider meeting with a professional financial advisor. It is possible to care for someone with Bipolar disorder, but you need to be very realistic about the associated expenses. For example, it is common for a person with this disorder to need specialized care or hospitalization at some point in their lives. As we all know, both of these options are exhaustive financially. Since there is currently no cure and experts need to conduct far greater research for a cure, chances are it will be years before a solid solution is found.

In addition to the family saving money when and where possible, some programs are available to offer assistance. For example, you might consider looking into federal government programs associated with Medicare and Medicaid. Both service programs are designed to assist low-income people. To see whether you or your loved one would qualify for this type of aid, you would need to check with your local organization. Checking with the local social services office will provide you with information on these and other resources, and you may be surprised to find that the income guidelines are relatively generous when it comes to aid for those families coping with mental illness issues. Typically, most states also provide some type of program that will provide some monetary 'caregiver assistance' to a family member who is taking care of someone with mental illness in some situations.

Another option would be checking out long-term care insurance through Medigap. This private insurance company usually provides coverage for the cost of healthcare not covered by Medicare. Typically, this type of insurance would help if long-term care is needed. In addition, you may qualify for tax deductions and credits to help with some of your out-of-pocket expenses.

For a person with Bipolar to get better and become a viable part of society, it is crucial that he or she be consistent with care. Bipolar is not a disorder that can be treated once or twice or even for a few months and then stopped. Proper treatment has to be ongoing until a cure is developed.

Just remember that changing the way you shop for clothing and food items and even simple things such as cooking more often and eating out less present great options for cutting back financially. Is it hard? It can be. But it is necessary to ensure that you'll always be able to afford to help your loved one!