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5 Tips to Avoid Overspending

The following is an Editorial Resource from YourTotalHealth.

bipolarOut-of-control spending can be a huge problem for people in the throes of mania, a manifestation of bipolar disorder marked by extreme elevations of mood and energy and a diminished sense of consequences. Just ask Andy Behrman. The Los Angeles-based author of Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania, a chronicle of his struggle with bipolar disorder, used to squander tens of thousands of dollars on wild spending sprees and thought nothing of jetting off to Tokyo or Milan on a moment’s notice—and wound up more than a million dollars in debt. Having clawed his way out of the giant hole he dug for himself, Behrman—now a consultant to people with mental illness—offers money advice to others with bipolar disorder. Here’s what Behrman recommends:

  • Make sure you’re getting good medical care. Money trouble isn’t a personality defect. It’s a symptom of bipolar disorder. To keep it and the other symptoms in check, you need appropriate treatment, administered by a psychiatrist with expertise in bipolar disorder.

  • Cut up your credit cards. You’ll find it easier to hold on to your money if you adopt a cash-only policy. If you absolutely must have a card, get a debit card.

  • Ask friends and family to keep an eye on you. They should give you a heads-up if you seem to be spending above your means or if there’s other evidence of impending money trouble.

  • Create a written budget. Do your best to stick to it. You might feel less hemmed in if you set aside a few dollars each week that you can spend however you like.

  • Join a support group. The and similar organizations can be very helpful.

David Freeman

What's Next: Symptoms to Watch for


Review Date: October 20, 2009


Ask Your Doctor

bipolar disorderBefore you go to your doctor’s office, be prepared to ask these questions, according to your situation:


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