Hello you guys, and thank you for the posts -- and your welcomes! Here are answers to your questions
I've had anxiety and depression most of my life, but no problems w overspending till the 1970's (I am 66) when my 1st marriage broke up for good. That period of consumerism lasted between one and two years, and then was over. After that, during my second marriage, 10 years later, I began to spend too much, but since I was making good money, there were no real consequences. This situation continued for many years, and began to border on problematic, but I then came into an inheritance.
When I retired in 2003, I made a mistake in where I settled and ended up isolated in a small rural area. Abt 6 months later I decided to try Rx's to relieve my anxiety and depression. I tried Paxil, switched to Lexapro, and ended up on Cymbalta. Before starting any of those, my MD prescribed a very low dose of Mirapex for nightime restless legs.
That alone helped my mood (presumably the dopamine agonism) though the dose was/is so low, and that gave me the courage to try the other drugs. They have been a godsend, but somewhere in there I began to spend. I have used up all of my retirement money, all of the equity in my house (more, actually, since its value has dropped), and incurred a massive amount of credit-card debt (w interest rates of up to 28%). All of this in only 5 years.
As for bipolar tendencies, I don't know. Definitely, though, during my most frantic spending I would stay up all night buying things online. It seemed extremely important to make these purchases and, actually, there were very good "reasons," as there still "are," and they seem much more important than having money for the future, and I am talking about the very near future.
Other than rarely I don't really worry about it. Which makes no sense at all.
As far as how the mirapex and cymbalta help me, I wouldn't consider myself manic -- it is more an absence of the misery and agitation of the past. I have changed my living situation and am now living with old friends.
Assuming bipolar or mania is the problem, what action would I take? And how would that affect me emotionally?
For example, I've recently heard that Cymbalta withdrawal is extremely difficult. I wasn't too surprised, since going onto it was difficult.
Thanks again for your responses, and I am looking forward to hearing what you think now that you know more.