Struggling with Bipolar disorder and finances

I’ve been having struggles with my mental health for about as long as I can remember. Recently, I became concerned enough to look for help. I found a psychologist, talked to her for a little bit, and she told me that I have type 2 Bipolar disorder. This diagnosis didn’t surprise me, but it did help me educate myself. The problem is that I very quickly stopped being able to afford her services.
Since then, I’ve graduated college and am now living at home with my parents. I got a job out of college, but I very quickly started struggling. It got to the point where I couldn’t even finish a shift without sneaking into the walk in cooler and just laying on the ground. I eventually quit so I could spend some time focusing on myself (also due to a medical emergency that occured at the time). I’ve been relaxing and doing things that I like, but I just feel like my condition is getting worse and worse.My depressive episodes are kind of just taking over. I don’t like this feeling of helplessness and I want to get help again, but I don’t have the financial ability to get help, so I need a job. But, I don’t know if I can handle the responsibilities of having a job when I can’t even handle the responsibility of bathing myself. So I’m stuck in this situation where I’m not sure if I can get a job until I get some help, but I can’t get some help until I get a job. This vicious cycle is just repeating and making my depressive episodes come back over and over. I’m just not sure how to get out of this rut. I just need some kind of advice on what I should be doing right now.


From: j71s8 (Discord)

Thanks for sharing your story with us! I appreciate that you have been so open about what has been going on in your life. Getting a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is a very difficult thing in life and can be very difficult. It can be so hard to be one to open up about it and that is an amazing thing to do. When I was either 18 or 19 I was initially diagnosed with either bipolar 2 or BP spectrum. It was a rather big shock to me, but with a family history stretching back to a grandmother who had died by suicide, it was something I had been able to accept with the help of the proper resources available. But those resources took time for me to find. I know the biggest journey was the one that I took to get there. I really think that you may need to talk to a therapist if you have not yet. They can really help out a lot. I also am going to suggest you talk to a doctor if you have not. There is a lot that a doctor and a therapist can do together. Theres amazing things that a body, mind, and soul approach can do to help you heal through the struggles. I know you are worthy of the positive strength you have inside of you. You deserve the wonderful things in life. There are some dark days that come, but I do know for me, one of my regimines was to get on a very normal sleep schedule which, while sometimes getting people upset because I’ll take an extra nap, or I’ll say no to somethings, helps me. That’s part of my self care. I encourage you to try some journaling of the self-care you do. Simply giving yourself some grace while you are working through these times can be of such great use. You are worthy of positive things. The cycles do end up becoming a lot less, and while sometimes it is very difficult to see the end when it is the beginning, the end is so much easier. You are loved, you matter, and you are cared for greatly!

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From: Micro (Discord)

Hey friend. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. It is a step to be diagnosed, but it’s another one to get the appropriate help, and it truly sucks when money gets in between. You seem to have a good plan in mind in order to receive the support you need though, and for sure working might be part of it. I’m not bipolar, but I have a chronic depression, which makes the situations you describe very relatable to me. I wake up with less energy than others, and even the most little tasks requires more efforts to me than to someone who isn’t depressed. I’m not currently working but slowly coming to terms with the idea of looking after a job again and… I share the same concerns as you. Its scary to imagine that we’re going to commit to something, have a contract, without being sure if we’re going to be able to handle the responsibilities that are asked to us. However… I’d like to say that this kind of situation is the ones when there is only one way to go. If we never try, we never know. It’s fair to be afraid, but we’re also more likely to underestimate our capacities because of our mental health. If you think abot it, I’m pretty sure you have memories of moments when you have learned to thrive, when you’ve achieved a goal despite your bipolar and/or depressive episodes. It might be good to reflect on your victories as well! When we struggle, we’re more likely to have higher expectations because we’re used to have to do more than others to achieve the same results. As for the job, maybe you could do it progressively and look after part time jobs? You know, just as a way to get one step in and see how you handle it. Another possibility, to do it really gradually, could be to start with some volunteering. This wouldn’t provide any income, but it could also have a positive effect on your mental health for the time being and challenge you to have more responsibilities + a new routine. All in all, take it easy. Finding a job IS a big step to take, and there are plenty of little steps to take there that are important to acknowledge as well. You can do this, friend. Take the time to plan ahead your options, to breathe as well. Moving further and TRYING would be for a good reason because it’s for your well-being and quality of life. You know you need a job to get support, but at this point you don’t know yet if you’re unable to handle a job. So… let’s try friend. Let’s go for it. We believe in you. <3

Hi Chunkychicano, thank you for sharing… I don’t think I am qualified to give any kind of advice, as I don’t know much about your situation. I know for me, I struggle with Bipolar type 1 and it is very very difficult to do like you said, shower and even brush my teeth sometimes. I remember the early days of my diagnosis too, when I couldn’t work, and afford therapy, it IS a vicious cycle. I finally, after years, have found a job that I enjoy and now, am slowly working my way so I can afford therapy. There is no easy answer. It does sound though like you are super aware and insightful. You’ve covered a lot of ground already. I really felt you when you said you would lie on the freezer floor at work. I cannot fully understand but I can imagine what that must be like for you. So tough. I remember, when I was in that situation, of not being able to afford therapy, i started looking into other ways that I knew would heal my body and create positive experiences that i can fall back on when episodes did hit. I started going to peer support groups and simple support groups where I met people in similar lanes and listened to their wisdom of how they managed to navigate life’s hardships. I hope this helps <3 Thinking of you and sending you good positive vibes.

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