Many people with a loved one who has bipolar disorder find themselves with a less than healthy financial situation on their hands.  In fact, many of them find themselves in debt - with massive credit card debt due to the high cost of bipolar disorder itself, as well as the characteristic impulsive excessive spending sprees of bipolar manic episodes to which their loved one might be susceptible.


If you find yourself in debt, don't be discouraged - there is still hope for you.  There are several avenues to getting out of debt that are available to you.


The first thing you should do is make a list.  Write down all your debts.  People tend to underestimate what they owe.  Writing it all down will give you a more accurate picture and a good starting point.  Keep all information together, including the debt amount as well as the creditor information.


One way you can choose to go is debt negotiation.  With this method, you can go one-by-one through your creditors, negotiating the debt down to a more reasonable amount and lowering the monthly payment.  You might ask them to stop the finance charges where they are so that you are not incurring more debt as you try to pay off the amount you already owe.  You might even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate, if they are agreeable.


If you choose this avenue and the creditor agrees to a negotiated amount, it is crucial that you make this monthly payment, or it can negate all negotiations.  Stick to your agreement – make this payment a priority.


Go down your list of creditors and do the same thing with each one.  You will find that you can lower your monthly payments by as much as 50% this way.  Just make sure you make your payments as promised, or your creditors are no longer obligated to stick to their end of the bargain and can come after you with a debt collection agency (or worse, can sue you for the debt).


Another avenue so that you are no longer in debt is debt consolidation.  With this method, you consolidate all your unsecured (credit card) debt into one monthly payment.  There are services to help you do this; however, be careful – if you choose to use a debt consolidation service to help you, make sure they are a reputable one.  Make sure they have no hidden fees, or you may be more in debt than before you started!


You might also want to consider taking out a personal loan from your bank.  You may not have the best credit any more, but if you have been with them a long time and have a steady source of income, they may still consider you for the loan.  Especially if (once you have made your list and know the exact amount of money you need to get out of debt) you don't need a whole lot of money.  It can't hurt to ask!


Be encouraged - you will not be in debt forever.  Try using one of these methods to get your finances back in order, then begin to practice good money management so you don't end up back in the same boat again.