Monitoring Finances: A Guide For Bipolar Recovery

By O'Connor Professional Group

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Bipolar disorder consists of shifting experiences between mania and depression or variables of each, like hypomania. A long list of symptoms and behaviors characterize both mania and depression. One of the most notable and notorious symptoms of bipolar disorder is binge spending. Manic episodes are elevated states of spontaneous and often reckless behaviors as well as insomnia, having big ideas, and extreme restlessness. Binge spending is one of the many ways mania manifests for individuals living with bipolar disorder.

Despite availability or lack of availability of funds, someone with bipolar might indulge in reckless spending. Binge spending is more than the average above budget shopping spree. Someone with bipolar disorder who is experiencing a manic episode may walk into a store and buy fifty pairs of jeans unnecessarily. Under the influence of mania, rationality and logic are not in full operation. Instead, grandiosity takes their place. Feeling entitled beyond consequence can take a toll on one’s finances. Learning to monitor and manage finances is part of recovery for many individuals seeking support for bipolar disorder.

Sarah Freeman, a woman living with bipolar disorder, wrote about her self-titled “manic money meltdown” for Business Insider. “The disordered thinking of bipolar mania and irresponsible financial behavior share the same dark core,” Freeman writes. “Wish fulfillment, selfishness, delusion, deceit, egomania, self-gratification, escapism- words often used to describe the psychic landscape of the financial profligate are strikingly similar to the experience of mania.”

Symptoms of mania in finances:

  • Extreme spending
  • Gambling
  • Substance abuse
  • Risky investments
  • Giving away personal belongings
  • Selling personal belongings for less than their value
  • Avoiding or neglecting creditors, debtors, and financial responsibilities

Living in recovery from bipolar includes self-care and mood regulation, staying keenly aware of signs that a shift from mania to depression or vice versa is coming. Managing finances should be part of that recovery as self-care and as a indicator for potential shifts.

Financial management should come with accountability for bipolar recovery. Trusted family, friends, or professionals at O’Connor Professional Group should have access to finances, enforce budgets, and set financial goals. Monetary managing apps like Mint, banking apps, or even an easily accessible spreadsheet can help keep track of spending and trends. In addition to monetary tracking, emotional tracking is recommended. Regular check-ins with a therapeutic recovery coach, therapeutic recovery companion, a counselor, therapist, case manager, or other trusted individuals is helpful for observing emotional changes. With a supportive team and watchful eye, financial disaster can be avoided during manic episodes.

Let the O’Connor Professional Group take the guesswork out of putting a treatment plan together. Our combined personal and professional experience empowers us to empower you with a private consultation and customized plan of action for getting the help you need. Call us today for information: 617 910-3940

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