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I Am Bipolar and Deep in Debt. – Susan

“Dear Steve,

I’m recently diagnosed as bipolar – and have 25K in credit card debt that I’ve racked up over the last 18 months. I thought the problem started less than a year ago, and have blanked on anything prior to March 2008 with regard to finance trouble.

How do I quickly get out of debt? I’m an at-home mom with a husband ready to take on extra hours… hello!


Dear Susan,

Honestly, bankruptcy is probably a very reasonable and logical solution here. Your bipolar diagnosis does not surprise me based on your spending amnesia. Money problems are very common amond people diagnosed as bipolar. The spending seems to really accelerate during those high times.

Because you have been recently diagnosed and do not have a medium range history of being level and balanced again, I have serious reservations that if you embarked on a plan to repay your debt by yourself or through a debt management program, that you would be able to successfully complete it.

Due to that doubt I think that bankruptcy is a realistic way to address the debt situation that will allow you to focus on getting better.

You might want to ask your husband to pull your credit report monthly to monitor for any new credit accounts, at least for the next year following your bankruptcy, just to make sure there are no new “blanked out” credit excursions.

With all of that being said, let me assure you that you are not alone with bipolar debt. It happens to many and the awakening to the debt sometimes leads to yet another bipolar roller coaster ride. Address the debt but focus on getting bipolar condition under control and leveled as your primary goal.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

See also  My Debt is the Result of a Manic Episode From My Bipolar Disorder

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • Hello,

    My Husband is Bipolar, and we are
    In debt $50,000 on credit cards, I have been making payments on time, until this month one of the credit card payments doubled, due to increase in interest rate, I want
    To keep my husbands good credit.


    • I had a similar thing happen to me back in 2009 with an increase in my monthly payment.  I had a mountain of credit card debt, but was making all my payments on time.  I got notification that one of our creditors was increasing their minimum monthly payment policy which was causing our payment to skyrocket – there’s no way we would have been able to make those payments.

      The good news is there are options out there for you.  I suggest that you research all your options including bankruptcy, debt settlement, and debt management programs.  Once you’ve got all the information you can decide what is the best choice for your situation.

      The important thing is not to worry about your credit score right now, but to eliminate your debt.  Once you take that positive step forward, your credit will take care of itself.

      Hope this helps, and good luck!

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