Fighting Money Stress in Bipolar Disorder -- 10 Tips

August 16, 2018 Natasha Tracy


Money stress in bipolar disorder is a very real thing and stress like this can actually make bipolar symptoms worse. In my last post, "Money Worries in Bipolar Disorder", I outlined why people with bipolar disorder have so many money worries and how horrible and drastic they can be. In this post, I'm going to talk about how to fight money stress in bipolar disorder.

Money Stress in Bipolar DIsorder -- 10 Ways to Fight It

I wish I could wave a magic wand and remove the money stress for those with bipolar disorder (or, you know, everyone), but I can't. Here's what I can suggest, however:

  1. Prioritize your mental health to reduce money stress. The fact is, if you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything. Your health is more important than brand name jeans and the latest fad toy for the kids. It just is. And remember, if you aren't mentally well, your money stress will just seem all the worse.
  2. Prioritize your spending. This comes back to the above. If you don't have your health, you don't have anything, so buying medications, paying insurance premiums, etc. is infinitely more important than something like a new pair of shoes.
  3. Make a budget and stick to it. Budgets suck, they just do. They're rules imposed upon your pocketbook. But really, this might be exactly what you need. You might need a bit of extra guidance when it comes to knowing what to spend where. It can really help you stop extraneous spending when you suddenly realize how much you have been spending on eating out, for example. Get a friend who's good with numbers to help you with creating a budget if you need to.
  4. Build savings into the budget if at all possible. If there's one thing I know, it's that bipolar disorder (or any mental illness) tends to flare up from time to time and often without warning. You need some funds to be able to take care of that when it happens.
  5. Look for healthcare providers who charge on a sliding scale. Some healthcare providers charge a variable amount based on your ability to pay. Yes, it's hard to find these people, and when you do, there can be quite a waitlist, but they are still worth seeking out.
  6. Look into government and other programs. There are government programs available to help many people -- children with mental illness comes to mind. I know these programs are hard to find and hard to access, but they're worth it if they can alleviate your money stress in the long term.
  7. Get in touch with local mental health groups. Local mental health groups such as those through Mental Health America (MHA) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) may have knowledge about the programs available to help you.
  8. Check to see if the drug manufacturer can help. If you're on a new drug, there's a very good chance that the drug manufacturer has a program in place to give their drug away to those of low income. Comb through their websites and take a look -- you might be surprised to learn that a drug manufacturer can actually help ease money stress. You can search for patient assistance programs in the United States here.
  9. Get involved in a treatment study. There are major positives to getting into a bipolar disorder treatment study but go into this one with your eyes wide open because there are many negatives too. That said, your care will be paid for by the study for some period of time during (and possibly for a period after) the study. You can search for studies looking for participants here.
  10. Learn how to fight stress and anxiety in general. Your stress may just be stress or it may even become a part of anxiety. It's important to know there is a myriad of techniques for fighting undue feelings of stress and anxiety. While some stress over money in bipolar disorder is quite normal, by learning coping mechanisms for extreme stress or anxiety, you can lessen it. (You can start by checking out our great blogs Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog and Treating Anxiety, here at HealthyPlace.)

As I said in my earlier post, there are so many reasons money stress asserts itself in bipolar disorder. That said, we can work on controlling our finances before our finances control us.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2018, August 16). Fighting Money Stress in Bipolar Disorder -- 10 Tips, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

April, 26 2023 at 8:07 pm

Thank you for your insight, Natasha. Money stress is an intrusive emeny. Seeing dollars fly out of hand and pocket can lead to feelings of anxiety and loss of control. This is something I have paid close attention to over the course of the Pandemic. Buying what I need and needing what I buy is helping me to get my act together, finally. Better late than never.

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