The Link Between Bipolar Disorder And Money Problems

Does bipolar disorder cause money problems? Do you only have problems when you’re triggered? What are some common money problems you face because of bipolar disorder? Let’s explore the link between bipolar disorder and money problems?

At the end of this post, we’ll offer some valuable tips for overcoming money problems.

What Is Bipolar Disorder And How It Can Affect You?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder marked by severe mood episodes. These include severe highs (mania) as well as severe lows (depression), they affect your concentration, how you see things as well as your decision making.

Also, when mood episodes happen they can cause behavioral changes such as being impulsive with money.

Many people with bipolar disorder reported a vicious cycle of money problems. The disorder causes intense emotions that induce spending sprees.


At the moment, they feel good. Someone may have a euphoric or high feeling when they’re spending money. However, this feeling is followed by feelings of guilt, remorse, anxiety as well as depression. In order to feel good again, someone may start spending to start feeling good again.

Even if you don’t suffer from bipolar disorder, this toxic cycle can repeat itself over and over again. It can be the result of not having financial knowledge. Also, poverty plays a role too despite having financial knowledge.

If you suffer from bipolar disorder, you’re more vulnerable to this toxic financial cycle.

When you suffer from bipolar disorder, there are many self-destructive factors at play. Becoming aware of these factors can help you not only manage your symptoms better but also avoid financial ruin.

What Bipolar Symptoms Are Linked To Money Problems?

Bipolar disorder comes with a wide range of symptoms with varying intensity. Let’s explore some of them and what they can lead to.

Mania And Depression:

As mentioned earlier, bipolar disorder is a mental disorder marked by severe mood episodes.

Severe highs such as mania as well as hypomania can cause you to go on spending sprees, which can result in financial issues. Severe lows such as depression can also lead to an urge to spend too much money.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):


Some people with bipolar disorder also suffer from OCD. It can go hand-in-hand with either mania or depression and can cause money problems.

A study showed that people who suffer from OCD are six times more likely to have money problems than someone who doesn’t have a mental illness. Common symptoms of OCD include poor memory as well as poor decision making. As a result, it’s harder to manage money.

There are some people with OCD that have the opposite problem, extreme frugality. As a result, they may hoard too much money.

False Beliefs:


Either you’re having false beliefs about your greatness or you feel like a fool for not having something. False beliefs about yourself can induce spending sprees and may ruin you financially.

For example, mania can cause you to have false beliefs that you’re richer than you actually are. Also, you feel like money is limitless and you have an urge it spend it.

It’s also possible to feel like a fool or an imposter for not having something because of low-self esteem. As a result, you may spend money to make yourself feel better.



Better known as the fear of missing out. FOMO is a form of social anxiety that comes from the false belief that others are having more fun than you.

This is also true in the financial world. For example, other people on social media may be posting about the hottest cryptocurrency going to the moon. FOMO kicks in and you jump all in and if you’re not careful, you may end up not only losing money but also end up broke.

Here’s a related post: “What is FOMO or Fear of Missing Out”

What Are Some Common Financial Problems?

The strong urge to go on spending sprees can lead to money problems involving not only a depleted bank account but also debt.

It’s common that untreated bipolar disorder can cause problems with steady employment. As a result, you can run into financial problems because of not having a steady income.

Another common problem that adversely affects your financial well being is gambling as well as other forms of addiction. Also, when someone is manic, they may impulsively get involved in a business venture and go into debt that way.

Money problems can be an early sign of a mood episode. Stress from financial problems can even trigger mood episodes.

Valuable Tips For Overcoming Money Problems

Now that you’ve learned about the link between bipolar disorder and money problems, let’s learn how to manage and overcome them.

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that varies in severity. Some people who suffer from it need help from a caregiver to manage their finances, while others don’t.

Even if you’re symptoms are managed properly, these tips will still help you.

Here’s Some Valuable Tips:

1. Seek Help From A Professional:

It helps to talk to a professional if your bipolar symptoms are causing problems. There’s a chance that you may need to be on medication and you may need therapy to manage your symptoms.

2. Become Aware Of Behavioral Changes:


In a previous post, “Let’s Explore How Self-Awareness Leads To A Better Self”, we learned that bipolar disorder can cause changes to your behavior.

Changes to your behavior can happen without you being aware. For example, you’re good with money when your mood is stable but when you’re having a mood episode, you feel like going on a spending spree. When this happens, it can be a sign that a manic or hypomanic episode is starting.

Once you’re aware that your behavior is changing, it helps to lay low until the mood episode passes.

3. Think It Over Before You Buy It:

If you’re feeling off and you want to make a big purchase like a car, you might be tempted to buy it without thinking about it. Also, you might be feeling FOMO from the latest meme stock and you have an urge to invest limitless amounts of money.

Remember someone telling you to sleep on it? When you don’t get enough sleep, it can trigger bipolar symptoms and adversely affect how you make decisions. This is also true if you don’t have bipolar disorder, by getting enough sleep you’ll have a clearer mind.

If you’re still interested in purchasing the car you want when your mood is stable, then go for it.

By thinking it over, you not only minimize buyer’s remorse but also avoid potential financial problems down the road.

4. Have A Plan In Place:

Regardless of how severe your bipolar symptoms are, it helps to have a plan in place.

Just in case in the future you have a strong urge to go on a spending spree, it helps to only have one credit card.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, it helps to let one trusted care partner monitor your bank account as well as your credit card. Also, your care partner can watch out for any behavioral changes you may not be aware of when your symptomatic.

It helps to keep most of your money in non-liquid assets that can’t be easily converted to cash. Examples include vehicles as well as collectibles. If they’re liquid, that means they’re easier to cash out and then that money is spent. Another suggestion is to take a class in financial planning, which will teach you how to correctly manage cash flow as well as set goals for yourself.

Along with consistent treatment, a lot of support as well as prior planning, you can keep your finances healthy despite having bipolar disorder.

Do You Notice A Link Between Bipolar Disorder And Money Problems?

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