Saturday, November 24, 2007

Manic Depression and Debt

For those with bipolar disorder, manic-induced spending can be a devastating problem that results in substantial debt and sometimes even personal bankruptcy. I am a women with bipolar disorder who also has a degree in psychology. My disorder is presently under control after years of struggling. Here is what I've learned, through experience, about bipolar disorder and creation of debt.

Treat the Root of the Problem First
If you, or a loved one, have piles of debt as a result of manic depression, the very first thing that needs to be done is to get treatment for the bipolar. See a psychiatrist, get on the appropriate medications and stay on them. Bipolar can't be overcome with mere willpower, it is an illness. The sooner you being managing your disorder, the sooner you can begin tackling the debt that you've generated.

Getting Help With Your Debt
If you have a sizable debt, one of the best things that you can do to manage and eliminate it is to enlist the help of a debt consolidation service. But choose wisely. There are many services out there. Evaluate a few programs, and also use the better business bureau website to investigate any services that you are considering. Non-profits are the most trustworthy, but an ".org" website doesn't mean that the site is non-profit. So really do your homework before selecting a debt consolidation program. To help manage my debt, I used Consolidated Credit, and it worked well for me, but this was years ago, when the debt consolidation industry was new. There are probably many more options today, and with the country in economic crises, there is also no shortage of scams.

How a Debt Consolidation Service Can Help
A debt consolidation service can assist you in getting a lower interest rates on your credit card debt. These services also typically prohibit you from getting new credit cards (They may even dump you if you try to register for a new card). The lower interest rate and single payment can make it easier to quickly pay down your debt. They also organize your payments so that you are always paying off the highest interest debt first.

Early in my struggle with manic depression, my spending was WAY out of control. I had around 30K in debt. This wasn't a student loan or secure debt, such as a home or car loan. This was a debt based on buying things I didn't need while I was in a hypomanic. It took more than five years to pay off my debt, but I did it with the help of a consolidation service and listening to a lot of Suze Orman (finance guru) books on tape. You can get your bipolar under control and get out of debt too.

Manic 10 9 8 7 6.5 5 4 3 2 1 depresseD

This blog is for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be used for the treatment of mental illness. If you are having emotional troubles, please see a mental health professional .

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