I’d say I do! Who doesn’t!!?

If spending were an Olympic sport, I'd win a gold medal

I would argue for someone with bipolar it’s a necessity to have an unlimited amount of money especially when, for example, you’re on a hypomanic bender. That’s the ideal but it is rarely the case for most of us. Cue the use of the overdraft or, god help you, the credit cards. As I like to say my spending sprees are THE only reason why the UK economy is booming... I’m actually propping it up with all my retail and food spending! I should be given awards for my money expenditure. If it was an Olympic sport I would win gold every time... like no competition needed; well actually maybe if a fellow bipolar teammate joined the party!

I often spend as if I have no upper limit, when in fact I’m flat broke, living at home and paying to be in an overdraft... whoever invented the overdraft should be shot. No seriously, who is able to resist the temptation of that pile of money that’s just sitting there. The money is literally crying out to be spent. I’m not dim, I know it’s not MY money it’s the banks but it’s there and the shoes in the window that I want to buy are whispering “treat yourself”. Who am I to resist! I would say having an overdraft when you’re bipolar is just a slippery slope that leads to severe anxiety and stress over the fact of how little money money you have, if any.

Now please don’t even get me started on credit cards! That’s just asking for trouble. I’ve never had one and if you’ve got an ounce of sense you would steer clear of even having one, bipolar or no bipolar. If you do have a credit card then all I can advise is keeping on top of paying it off monthly or however it works so that you don’t rack up hundreds if not thousands of pounds of debt. 

In my late teens and early twenties I was definitely hypomanic

I’m talking about money because I used to be obsessed with it and getting it when I was younger. I was working everyday god gave me so that I was rolling in it. Looking back on my late teens to early twenties I was definitely hypomanic most of the time. I was unaware of what was just around the corner (a full blown manic episode that would lead me to a bipolar diagnosis). I was burning the candle at both ends with the five jobs I was managing to maintain. Some people can barely hold down one and there was me juggling 5! I just loved working and the freedom the money gave with it. Yet I’d be spending the money like it was going out of style. I was also at this point not living with my mum as we had fallen out, so I was renting. The money was helping me have freedom whilst at the same time giving me the illusion that I was happy and had everything I wanted, but in hindsight I would say I was pretty unhappy. I was spending money on diet pills and shakes to try and fulfil this warped image of what I should look like. I could afford personal trainers to help with the body side of things so that’s where I would say having the finances to afford that luxury was great. However, like Ed Sheeran says in his song Eraser “money is the route of all evil”. Like quite literally.

The advise I would give for anyone struggling with money is to not turn a blind eye or bury your head in the sand on money matters. I would actually get some support on how to manage your finances as well as some tips on how to save. This help can come from speaking to debt advisers or banks to help you pay back what you owe. Also, as I mentioned earlier try and steer clear of the overdraft and credit cards until you can manage or control your urge to spend. If you can see yourself start to spiral into a hypomanic or manic stage then maybe ask a loved one or someone you trust to look after your cards and delete all saved cards to online websites to help curb temptation and limit the potential damage of a splurge.

To find more information about debt and money advice services that can offer you advice and support, check out our FAQs on managing money.