Bipolar disorder Pendulum: stories and information Money and debt Save me from spending Emma explains the value of having like-minded people around her to keep a lid on her spending. A body at rest stays at rest until acted upon by an external force. Now, I may have butchered the well-worn phrase popularised by Sir Isaac Newton but, never has a truer word been spoken that relates so closely to getting peer support through Bipolar UK’s eCommunity. I’ve not had a depressive episode since April 2019. Psychosis, depression, hallucinations, and a splash of hypomania is how my bipolar disorder manifests itself. I also spend a lot of money. I get an early heads up something is afoot through my interactions with those on the eCommunity. It’s helpful to have that external support that helps me take action instead of my usual remedy, inertia. I’m told that I get ‘fizzy’ so can count on members to keep an eye on me and advise me accordingly. I get exceptionally candid feedback from them and because of the anonymity of the eCommunity forums I find it freeing to be open and honest. Previously I’ve become a perfume connoisseur, a collector of rare and expensive coins and an enthusiastic purchaser of cars. My savings have taken a real hammering and I have lost thousands of pounds. My previous need to spend, acquire collateral and material things I feel is steeped in how good I feel after. That sense of feeling good and being supported is what I get from the warmth and care I receive from those in the eCommunity. I’m a creature of habit and in the past I have tended to be quite repetitive in how I managed my condition. As a private individual it shouldn’t be a surprise that my peer group is very small. The stigma surrounding bipolar disorder does not help me to be open when meeting people face to face for the first time. What I hadn’t appreciated before joining the community is what I was able to contribute to the conversations. The reciprocal nature of the support you receive is one of the biggest attractions of this platform. I’ve seen the therapeutic nature of adding my perspective to the many moderated discussions that take place on a daily basis. Not only is the forum a place to discuss bipolar disorder but also music, theatre, film and TV. The list of lifestyle issues that are covered also makes this an incredible social community and a great place to be. What led me to the eCommunity was the want and a need to be around like-minded people living with the condition. The support I and many others like me have received has been unequivocally honest, forthright and informed. My only regret around the eCommunity is not joining sooner. Joining the eCommunity can be quick and easy. You can support and be supported in this safe environment using this link.