My name is Anna and I have bipolar disorder. The first really major manic episode I had that really ruined me financially was beyond anything that I had experienced before.
I spent maybe about $30,000 on my credit cards in a manner of -- you know, less than a month. I think it was a few weeks. And then, I proceeded to spend another 10,000 on my boyfriend's credit card.
Many people who are manic or hypomanic will spend money that they don't have, overextend themselves in their credit cards or they'll sign checks but the money is not in the account.
I was buying really expensive clothes, expensive meals. It wasn't even about possessing those things. It was just about the buying. I was giving them away half the time.
They get excited when they see things in the store. They get excited, thinking that, "I'm really going to enjoy it." They don't think about the consequences later.
You know was there a particular moment where I said I shouldn't spend money? No. I had perfect credit before that.
My credit was ruined, so none of it's on my credit report anymore. It's cleared up, but it took you know like 10 years.
If you think you're manic or you're hypomanic, as you're becoming somewhat manic, there are some things that you can do to try to reduce the risk and the negative outcome.
Catching the mania early is number one. Second thing is set some limits on my spending. Another is waiting 48 hours before any large spending. You may want to keep a record.
Write down what happened in the past. You don't have to regret it. What you can do is use it in the future to remind yourself not to do those things again.
There is so much control you have if you make these decisions ahead of time. I will not walk out of the house with credit cards. I'll put all my ATM cards, my credit cards away.
I'll only have enough money if I'm going out to lunch or somewhere.
I won't go into a mall and I'll try not to make any major decision that would maybe allow me to spend or do anything else that I would regret doing.
I'm very aware and controlled about it and I think anybody can be. I really, really, truly think they can and it's so empowering.
I just paid some bills.
And the reward of that is that you just feel really strong. You don't feel overwhelmed.