Today I was talking to my friend Trish. She was telling me how her husband lost his job and it took a long time for him to find a new job--over a year. She was saying that she had to cut expenses and stop being a stay at home mom and start working to bring in extra money. Although no one in Trish's family has bipolar disorder, I learned a few things from her that relate to bipolar disorder.

She told me her husband went into a kind of depression because he couldn't find a job and money was really, really tight. It continued to get worse, and then she worried because he was depressed and money was tight. It became a vicious cycle that they had difficulty getting out of.

Do you know how many people are on my bipolar newsletter mailing list that had money problems that made their bipolar worse? Lack of money became an external trigger that created episodes, made those episodes last longer, or prevented people who had bipolar from recovering. Lack of money can also cause a NON-bipolar support person or partner to become depressed him/herself because of the frustration and anxiety that builds within the household. The combination can be disastrous.

Money is a VERY important concern in households where one or more people suffer from mood disorders, especially bipolar. But I want to be really clear about something, although you can get free and low cost treatment, if you lack money, treatment is generally not as good and life is more difficult.

I often see a number of mistakes when working with families who are dealing with bipolar:

  • Not even considering the importance of money
  • Not working toward reducing debt
  • Not cutting unnecessary expenses to free up additional cash
  • Not speaking with an accountant to look for a way to increase deductions or legally reduce their taxes to increase cash flow
  • Not considering jobs that pay more and are more flexible for increased income potential, such as commission sales
  • Never looking into a home business to increase income
  • I urge you to start thinking about your finances and how you can improve them.