In a manic state, it can be easy to see money as limitless and have absolute power in our spending and earning abilities. However, when the reality sets in after spending episodes, it can be easy to fall into despair. We’re often left with wardrobes full of useless items and a maxed-out credit card or empty bank account. However, managing manic spending episodes when you’re living with bipolar disorder can be done with the proper know-how and dedication. Here are a few tips on how you can keep your spending under control.
Lock Your Savings
One of the best ways to prevent you going overboard with your spending is to lock your savings away to protect them in case of manic episodes. One of the ways you could do that is by taking part of your savings and buying a two-year certificate of deposit.
If you aren’t familiar with what CDs are, they are sort of like a bond you buy from the bank that allows you to amass more interest than you would with a regular savings account. The only catch is that you can’t withdraw that money until the CD has reached maturity. CDs are a great way to lock some money away and have it work for you at the same time.
Lay Extra Money in Trusting Hands
You should have a clear budget (utilise a budget planner like the one at Mental Health and Money Advice for this) for your expenses and savings and hand out any extra money to someone you trust to protect it in case you’re going through an episode. And by someone you trust, we mean someone who knows and understands your patterns. It’s very easy to lie to someone and act like you’re not manic when you are. You should ultimately pick someone that you cannot easily fool and that knows when you’re not your normal self.
Hand Your Bank Card Over to a Trusted Friend or Relative
You should also think about handing over your bank and credit cards to someone you trust as well, preferably your spouse or a parent. Credit cards can be much more difficult to manage and protect from manic episodes since the loss doesn’t seem as immediate. Overspending is much easier when the payback can be offset and delayed.
Write Down Your Post Manic Feelings on Paper and Go Back to Them Before Episodes
When mania creeps in, we often focus on the good feelings first. But, one way to prevent episodes is to have a journal where you’ll be able to express in writing how you felt after a crash. When you feel yourself slipping, you can always go back to your journal and revisit your worst episodes. You’ll be able to have a better understanding of the consequences and this might be enough to prevent episodes from occurring.
Bring Someone with You while Shopping
If you absolutely have to go shopping and you’re the type to spend on unnecessary things all the time, then bring someone with you. Having someone with you could give you a sense of comfort, especially if you’re the type of person who tends to have more self-control when you’re around other people. Sometimes, having someone to just remind you that you might be overspending could be enough to keep your spending under control.
Clear your Accounts and Personal Details on Online Retail Sites
Having your payment information or accounts with your most visited retails sites might seem convenient, and it is; just not for someone who suffers from manic overspending. Something as simple as deleting your payment information and accounts could prevent you from overspending in many cases.
Get in Touch with Your Psychiatrist
While manic episodes can be managed sometimes, there are times only talking with your psychiatrist will help. They understand your triggers and patterns better than anyone else and are the only one who can give you actionable advice. There is still a degree of mental health stigma and sometimes, it can be difficult to find someone to really understand what you’re going through when you’re dealing with emotional instability, but that’s what psychiatrists are here to do.
In some cases, they might change the medication you’re on or increase the dosage. This might be exactly what you needed to control your urges, and without talking with your psychiatrist, episodes can worsen over time. So, it’s always important that you contact your psychiatrist any chance that you can if you feel that you may be losing grip.
There are just some of the ways to cope with manic episodes if you are living with bipolar. While most of these techniques tend to work on a large portion of manic spenders, some may work better for some than others. This is why it is essential that you use all the tools at your disposition and seek the proper support to see you through. With the right process and effort, winning the fight against manic overspending is possible, as long as you keep the proper mindset and aren’t afraid to ask for help.