Financial tips and debt relief ways for people who have bipolar disorder
Bipolar people often make impulsive shopping decisions to release their stress. They shop excessively during the manic depression. Some bipolar people even shop beyond their affordability to establish their superiority. The irrational spending habit welcomes huge debts and destroys the person’s financial and personal life.
You can argue that you often overspend, but you were never diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Well, exceptions can be there.But, according to the doctors, overspending is the key sign of bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of this disorder.
Dr. Jair Soares, chairman of the psychiatry department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, has said that “Overspending is considered one of the biggest clues that someone is in a manic state. Typically when folks become manic, they get overconfident and lose the ability to evaluate the consequences of their actions.”
What is bipolar debt?
Often a person, who is suffering from bipolar disorder, falls into serious debt problem. Because the bipolar spending spree and reckless spending decision don’t let the person save money. The victim either uses the credit cards or takes out personal loans to fulfill wishes. All these poor financial practices result in damaged credit.
The intense financial condition (debt) can make the bipolar person utterly overwhelmed. But, fortunately, a bipolar person can beat the debt.
Read on to know more.
When should a bipolar person take precautions to avoid debt?
If you find that your debts are going out of your control, you should take precautions to get back to the normal financial life. You need to find the root cause of falling into debt.
Here you go:
- If you notice that you are doing excessive shopping and this habit becomes a mania, then it can lead to a debt problem.
- Making a wrong financial and career decision due to reckless spending habit.
- Spending excessively to feel better in depression.
Bipolar debt can damage a person’s self-esteem as well as personal relationship. Thus, taking precaution is important.
Useful tips to help a bipolar person avoid debt
Impulsive and irrational spending indicates that the person has bipolar disorder.
If the person continues impulsive spending, then he/she will be in debt very soon. Here’s how you can help a bipolar person to avoid debt:
a Monitor the bipolar person's Internet access
You should try to monitor the Internet access to restrict the bipolar person’s online shopping habits. Also, prevent the person from accessing gambling websites.
Check the email and credit card statements of a person who has bipolar disorder.
b Keep the bipolar person away from any source of money
Don’t give cash, credit cards, and ATM cards to the person who has bipolar disorder.
c Split your money
If the patient gets hyper for the money, then try to split the money. It will help you maintain the balance. Try to monitor the patient’s spending. Pay the credit card bills on time.
d Avoid shopping malls
If you are taking care of a bipolar patient, then make sure you avoid any shopping zone to roam with the patient.
e Set filters
You have to stop the person from responding to tempting ads, pre-approved credit cards, and blank “convenient check” coming on their way. Call (888) 5-OPT-OUT or visit optoutprescreen.com to stop unwanted emails. Ask the credit card companies not to send emails containing offers.
f Get debit cards instead of credit cards
Give the patient a debit card instead of a credit card to avoid unnecessary credit card charges.
g Appoint a person
Try to appoint a person to take care of the monetary matters of the patient. Give the power of attorney to a trusted person to handle the money.
6 Ways a bipolar person can get debt relief
A bipolar person even can get out of debt. The task can be difficult but not impossible.
Here you go if you’re suffering from the disorder.
1 If the debt is huge, file bankruptcy
You are solely responsible for your debt. The lenders or creditors will not spare you even if you have the mental illness. Thus, it is recommended to file bankruptcy if the debt amount is huge and out of your control. Contact your local bankruptcy attorney and discuss your mental health and debt. Ask your dear one to visit the attorney along with you to discuss all the matter clearly.
2 Get financial help from the Social Security Disability Insurance Program
Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) offers financial help to people who are struggling to live a normal life. People who are suffering from bipolar disorder can also get financial help from this program. However, to get benefit from SSDI, you should have a job history, because SSDI offers financial help for disabled workers who have paid Social Security taxes.
3 Get financial help from the Supplemental Security Income program
If you don’t have a job record, you may qualify for the SSI program (Supplemental Security Income). This program offers financial help to people who are suffering from mental illness. To get the financial assistance, you have to submit the medical documents (Medical records and treatment records) to prove your illness. In addition to this, there are some more eligibility criteria like:
- The person has to experience the bipolar disorder for 2 years
- There are strong symptoms of bipolar disorder
- The victim has undergone the medical process to treat the condition
4 Enroll in financial counseling
In America, some financial counseling centers give free service for bipolar people who are uninsured and in debt. Find out that specialized low-income counseling facilities in your city and get enrolled for help. Their certified credit counselor will review your financial condition, budget, and credit card information for free. They will also recommend the best option that suits you the best.
5 Contact your credit card issuers
You can contact the creditors and explain your situation; they may or may not agree to lower the interest rate or reduce the payments. You can also seek help from the local nonprofit credit counselor (National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies) for a repayment plan. The credit counselor can help you by contacting the card issuers on behalf of you.
6 Help the bipolar person to avoid overspending
A close friend of a relative should help the bipolar person from accumulating further debts. Try to prevent the bipolar person from using the credit cards and make splurges.
Remember, a bipolar person can’t control impulsive shopping behavior during the manic episodes of hyperactivity. Thus, if you suspect that your dear one is making impulsive shopping to feel good or he/she is trying to hide the shopping, then take medical help as soon as possible. You should make a plan to prevent the person from future spending spree.
Is there any government debt relief grant available for a bipolar person?
Unfortunately, there are no government debt relief grants available because there is a chance of misusing it. However, you should try to get the disability grants by writing your mental health issues and offering medical documents as proof. You can get professional help to increase your opportunity to get disability grants and benefits. Thus, the relative or friends should help a bipolar person to get the right way for help.