Mania and repairing credit?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 8/25/2007 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, I've been having a hard time this past 8 months or so. It started when I was kicked out of school after I spent a semester in bed depressed. That let up in april or may, but despite my meds, I've continued to go up (and down, occasionally).

I crashed a bit yesterday, and took a look at my credit card statement. All I can say is "oh my god"- somehow I've managed to rack up 7 grand in credit card debt- and I don't even have a job.

I don't know what the heck to do.

plus I'm married now. I'm screwed.

Does anyone have any experience with saving themselves from this sort of thing? I've not missed a payment (was a little late on one, though) yet, but that's only days away, I fear.

any help would be hugely appreciated!

Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 8/25/2007 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
If you find a solution I'd be interested as well. I defaulted on six cards when my husband and I split. Looks like bankruptcy is my only alternative. I can't even get a savings acct. No bank will touch me.
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
You just have to accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/25/2007 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
One thing which seems counter-intuitive, hammilton, but will save your credit rating in the long run, is that if you can't afford to make your minimum payment in any given month, call the credit card company and tell them. They will ask you to pay a lesser amount, and they will still charge you the full interest, but they will usually arrange for you to slide a little for a month or so. If you just default without calling them, you'll start to rack up points against your credit rating.

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 8/26/2007 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   


Haven't seen you in awhile, glad you posted.  I'm sorry you've had such a rough time.  All I could think of was what serafena said, about calling the company and trying to work something out that way.  It'll go a long way if you communicate with them, to see if they can help you.  If they don't hear from you, the mess will just get bigger.

Meantime, try to stick to using cash for things, and only the things you need.  I know that's hard, but you don't want to dig the hole deeper.  Keep at yourself with your moods...If it's time to talk to the doc, then maybe that will help you deal.

I hope you are feeling better soon.
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
--currently not on meds for bp--

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 8/26/2007 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
First you should call your credit card company. There are several of them that offer an insurance which runs just a few dollars a month that covers your payments while your out of work or get into some sort of accident. It's usually offered when you first get your card. You should look into this and see if you have this or not.
If you are not covered, you should consider looking into another credit card. There are very good introductory rates out there just for the purpose of getting people to transfer their balances to a new card. This low interest period usually lasts betwen 6 to 12 months and that should give you time to get on your feet with out racking up a ton of interest fee's on the card you have now.
Cut up your card. Do not use it again for anything. Try your hardest to pay more then the minimum due, or you will not see a dent in the balance if you just pay the minimum since that is just interest fees.
Ellie1 : Don't declare bankruptcy, you will spend many many years trying to repair the damage that this will cause. Especially if you ever want to purchase a home or a car. There are several programs available that will consolidate your debt - they pay off your lenders and you will pay them one monthly fee. They will of course charge for this, but it's certainly better then having the cloud of bankruptcy hanging over your credit.
Once you get to that point, you need a credit card that you will pay off in full each month to start rebuilding your credit. After about six months or so you will notice that you will be able to get a savings account. Have you tried opening up a savings account at a Credit Union? You should look into this, you may be able to do this now.


28 years old

Bipolar II, Panic Disorder, OCD

Seroquel and Klonopin as needed



Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 8/26/2007 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I wanted to do the consolidation loan, but without an income, there's no chance of it. My wife did take one out earlier this week, though, but on 1000 a month, with 600 bucks monthly in rent, we're really limited in money that can be used for anything else.

All my life I've always had this really strong belief that no matter what happened, I'd be okay. My parents both make good money (about 120K a year) and I haven't really been required to "make it on my own" ever. My mom was always able to bail me out if I got in the slightest trouble. Now I'm in serious trouble, and really friggin worried. She's just finally paid off her credit cards that were mostly racked up because of me, and I can't ask her to help me out again. I mean, I'm married now.

I found out my credit rating the other day, though. 740-something. Incredible right? Not for long! It's a good thing we consolidated her part of the loan before my credit tanked. An odd thing, though, is that when they checked it, not single dime from my credit card showed up. It's a card I took out to help get my small business going better, but has ended up keeping me more alive than anything.

Any idea if emergency room bills can be used against your credit? If they can, I'm really, really in trouble if I don't get SSI and or Medicare (which I believe, if I read right) would pay medical expenses back about 3 months from the initial application date.

I keep looking for work, but I have no idea if I could even do it for very long, to be honest. I don't go 3 months without ending up suicidally depressed or manic to some degree. I have never managed to keep a job for more than a year, except once because of their massive understanding by allowing me to perform incredibly basic tasks (putting books in order, putting them on the shelf) and to work when I was able to. I told them I was absent because my elbow injury (which was indeed a factor, but not the sole or even main cause, and is now 80-90% better), though I once had to take a week or two off last summer when I was manic and a bit psychotic.

Besides that, I my average term of employment was probably 4 months, and those that went longer invariably had a period where I had to take time off because I was too ill to work.

I'm really frustrated. I'm at my last breath financially, unable to find any work since February, depressed, panic-y and having bits of paranoia. I've convinced myself a man is stalking me so I'm leaving notes on my door to my wife saying I'm going to be gone for X length of time and haven't left the house besides to hit a drive through or take the dog outside in days. I can't figure out if it I'm right or wrong. My wife thinks probably not, but admits I have a fair point, though she constantly reminds me that I'm prone to paranoia. That doesn't help, btw. Yesterday, though, when there was a knock at the door, I locked myself in a closet and loaded 4 guns placed in 4 carefully hidden locations so that if the stalker broke in I'd be able to grab one from any position and scare him out, and if it was someone else (a cop for instance- I'm always paranoid they're following me; it's a long-running concern of mine) they'd remain unseen and not cause me a problem. I made sure I'd have enough time to ascertain who it was before making any drastic moves. It seems odd to me (now) and my wife that I'd be so considerate of a stalker's safety (since it'd be really unlikely anyone else would enter without permission). I come from a very libertarian background, though. Thinking about it, my first word was actually "gun" and loaded guns in the house for protection has never been an unusual thing for me- as long as young children aren't around (I think that was after I turned 13).

But now I'm really worried about the SSI process. I'm worried that I'm going to have a hard time getting approved (whether or less on the initial attempt) because I'm not slow intellectually. My IQ tested pretty high (I forget if it was 135 or 145), and I've always been able to excel at learning things. I fail horribly at talking under the slightest pressure- even just trying to carry on a conversation with my wife in the car is exhausting because I continually forget everything mid-sentence and need to be helped in order to get back on track, only to lose it a few minutes later. Personally, I think it's a permanent side-effect of Topomax. I never even managed to stay on Topomax long, because of the cognitive deficits it left me with, but no one gave me any indication it'd last years later.

Reading Wisconsin's Disability Determination guidelines, there's no doubt I easily meet it (under Affective Disorder, anyway), but I when I read that less than 35% of initial applications are approved, that's pretty scary. I don't know if I can handle the stress of this process.

I know I'm really ranting now. I think I'm stuck in a "mixed mood" where all I can do is feel bad for myself, but feel like I have a lot of energy to complain about it. If there was a points system here, I'd give anyone who reached this sentence as many as I could.

I'm worrying about everything. From my doctors thinking I'm "too healthy" (though with 2 hospitalizations, ~2 years worth of serious depression and more week-long manias than I can count in the last 5 years that seems unlikely) to a stalker to credit card bills, it's no wonder I'm froze.

It seems counter-intuitive that people with mental illness have to work so hard to SSI by proving that they're ill when all our lives we've worked so hard to prove the opposite.

Two weeks ago when I was seriously suicidal I couldn't even go into a hospital because there was no way I could have possibly afforded it. It makes me wonder how many people don't have a wife to make it impossible for them and end up going through with it.

I don't know if what I'm writing even makes sense but I *HAVE* to write something somewhere for someone to read. Lot of "some-s" there, huh? I do know that this sounds really scattered. I keep going through it and editing it and now I think I've spent 2 hours trying to write this. 3 if you include what I had written before Netscape crashed and I lost what I'd written.

On top of this, I'm prescribed Lunesta for sleep which does a decent job, but even with it it takes me more than an hour to actually fall asleep and leaves me with no memory from the moment I take it until I wake up. One night maybe a month ago I took my first dose and laid down for sleep. It kicks in after about 20 minutes. I don't remember doing anything but laying down that night, but my wife assures me I got up and kept taking another tablet every half hour or so. I would never, ever consider doing this ordinarily. If she hadn't been around I probably would have polished off a months supply in that night. Fortunately she hid it on me after 3 extra tablets and says I fell asleep about 45 minutes after that. I guess there's a phenomena associated with sleeping pills where after the effects of the first one kick in, the patient forgets having taken it and takes another... and again and again. I forget what it's called. So now I keep that bottle hidden. I've been prescribed other meds for sleep, like Diazepam and Lorazepam and never had anything like that happen before. Really weird. Apparently I also insisted on cooking that night and made a rice-salsa-garlic salt- bay leaf- cinnamon combination and a pudding from 6 packets of hot cocoa and milk. I don't know if I ever ate either of those, but the "pudding" is still in my fridge after almost 2 months for some reason.

Plus, I have a huge anxiety with other people's noise. Typing, music, eating, tapping, clicking, teeth-brushing, etc. My neighbors have recently been playing their music loadly and I get so ANGRY. I can't explain how angry I get. Annoyed wouldn't begin to cover it.

Lately I've started hearing the thump-thump-thumping when no one is home to make it. It comes and goes, but my wife knows it isn't there. I know it isn't really there, too, I guess. It just makes me so angry, though. I can't relax for a second because it might come back. It doesn't matter how impossible it is for me to hear it- turn the air conditioner on high, T.V. to 40 (usually I keep it at 10-15 on this T.V.), go into the room opposite the wall I share with this neighbor, close the door, turn on that T.V. and a fan. Even then I find myself searching for the sound and constantly finding it.

I suppose that's some sort of obsession or maybe a compulsion. I dunno. What it is is really, really annoying. Yesterday, when all that failed, I went and took a bath and used the shower to fill the tub (it's louder) and turned the bathroom fan on, plus my dryer.

I don't know what to do!!!!

I refuse to take antipsychotics 99% of the time, aside from very sporadic doses of Seroquel (usually 10-25mg). I guess because spending 16 and 17 on them, and high doses, I'm quite afraid.

I should probably quit writing this before I have included every single aspect of my life and problems. I hope someone can possibly get through this without dying of boredom.

does anyone know of a decent SSDI/SSI website geared towards lunatics like me?

edit: Actually I made a mistake. I spent 5 hours writing this, and 6 if I include the version I lost.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/26/2007 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm really sorry to hear how hard a time you're having right now. Don't talk yourself out of getting help because you're afraid it won't work. Ignore the numbers for the disability guidelines and apply for the benefits. It's kind of your mother to help you. How would she feel if she knew you didn't go to the hospital because you didn't have enough money?

Also, it really sounds like you're mood is completely out of control. Coming through the forum board, you definitely sound a little paranoid and if you're that close to suicidal, you'll find the money -- go to the hospital. You need your anti-psychs right now. I really don't like the image of you hiding in your closet with 4 loaded guns. That worries me.

take care,
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

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