Money Worries and Bipolar Disorder

How is your financial situation? Does bipolar disorder affect your ability to make money? Is your health insurance too expensive? Have you lost your insurance or can’t pay for it? Do you worry constantly about our economy?

These are questions all of us with bipolar disorder are facing these days- either about ourselves or the people we love who have the illness. I know many people who have had to change their lifestyle completely due to what has happened due to the banking and mortgage crisis in 2008 and now we seem to be heading into another financial downswing due to the rising costs and in many cases lack of health care.

One of my friends lost a $15 an hour job and another lost a $300,000 a year job- and you know what- it impacted them similarly. It’s about savings and how a person is set up financially.

I have a  friend who has a LOT of money saved blue a big house and child support- what we would consider a cushion for any economic crisis, and yet she lives in constant stress.  It’s all about how a person looks at their situation. I often want to say to her, “Do you have ANY idea what it’s like to have a mental illness that affects your ability to work and make money?  This is true stress!” But I remind myself that we all have separate challenges and her situation is not my own.

How do those of us with a chronic illness deal with economic stress? Here is one of the ways I am working towards a postive out look.

1. Focus on the people who love me and see that as financial equity. With love comes support.

2. Think of what I HAVE.  This is often hard work, especially when the depression is raging. If I go to bed and my head starts to tell me what’s wrong, I say to myself, “This is pointless. I will make a list of what is going well.”  Sometimes this is as hard as getting a root canal, but I still practice.

3. Make a pact with friends to have a ‘money talk’ free zone.  It’s easy to talk about what is going wrong- especially if the person on the other side is having trouble as well. I simply say, “I know things are difficult now- let’s talk about what we can do about it. ”

Ok. What is your next step? If you are doing well financially, is there someone you can take out to dinner? Buy a movie card, pay a bill?

People with mental health disorders often struggle financially. Pride keeps us from asking for help. We appreciate the help that is offered!


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