(BlackDoctor.org) — Shopaholics: At one point in time, men of the world jokingly diagnosed any woman with a fetish for fashion with this condition. Many people didn’t and don’t realize that overspending is a compulsive disorder that is commonly associated with bipolar disorder.
Many people who overspend feel that they are richer than they are and ultimately feel more powerful because of the risks they are inevitably taking. Further, recent studies show that people with bipolar disorder are twice as likely to develop gambling problems compared to those without the disorder.
If you suffer from compulsive spending brought on by bipolar disorder, these suggestions may help you avoid spending beyond your means.
Healthcare professionals suggest that people with this condition should enlist “care partners.” Every highly successful person who has bipolar disorder has several care partners with whom they check in multiple times a week.
Bipolar sufferers should have a “collaborative care plan” that outlines a care partner’s role. For instance, if he or she has the urge to spend $50 or $100, they should run this by their care partner first. And if overspending does occur, they should take responsibility and apologize, and try to mitigate the consequences.
Here are other tips to help compulsive spenders with bipolar disorder:
• Keep only one credit card with a low limit.
• Have several care partners in place.
• Let one trusted care partner monitor your bank account and credit card.
• Keep most of your money in non-liquid investments, such as CDs.
• Take classes in financial planning.
• Join Debtors Anonymous, a 12-step program that helps participants deal with many different aspects of overspending.
With prior planning, consistent treatment and a lot of support, you can keep your finances in good health, even through the manic episodes.