Many people with loved ones who have bipolar disorder have reported financial problems – from simple money management problems to having problems paying their bills each month all the way to bankruptcy and financial ruin.

 

Because of a bipolar manic episode, your loved one can run through all the money in your checking account, savings account, retirement account, and even max out all your credit cards.

 

This is because of the impulse control problem associated with the manic episode, which can cause excessive spending sprees, among other things.

 

This type of behavior, whether in one manic episode, or over a period of several episodes, can cause you to have massive debt credit card and otherwise.

 

This debt may build up so high that you may feel overwhelmed by it, beginning to feel as if there is no way out for you.

 

You may even have debt credit card collectors calling your house!  Or sending you nasty letters in the mail.

 

There is no avoiding it – you need to do something about your mounding debt.

 

One thing you may have to do is have all the financial responsibility turned over to you as the supporter.

 

This would mean that you would have control over the checking and savings account, as well as all the credit cards.  You may even have to open up a new checking account that has no ATM card that your loved one has access to, just to make sure that there is a place for the money to go to so that the bills will be able to be paid.

 

You will probably have to cut up all the credit cards but one (keep one for emergencies – just keep it in a safe place, without easy access for your loved one).  Then cancel them all.  You may even want to keep the one for emergencies only in your name as well, so that your loved one cannot use it during a manic episode, should they find it.  This should keep debt credit card to a minimum.

 

This may seem harsh, but your having control over the finances is actually a protective measure.  Sit down with your loved one (while they are not in an episode) and discuss this action with them, making sure they are ok with it, and assuring them this is so that you won't fall into debt credit card or otherwise again.