Clare was addicted to the Home Shopping network. After she maxed out her remaining credit cards following her divorce, she then started ordering goods and charging them to her daughter's credit card. Her daughter Molly almost has a coronary when she saw her next bill. A frugal young woman, she was expecting only $42.97 for an online purchase she had made herself.
Instead, her card sat at $258.22 over its $5000 limit.
Thinking she was the victim of stolen identity, Molly went to call the police. At this point her mother, who had moved in with her after Molly's recent return to the province, confessed. There was a row, with tears on both sides, but the next day, Molly hugged her mother and said she knew Clare had been compensating for her husband's abandonment. Molly would pay off 70% of the monthly charges until the account was cleared, and her mother could chip in the other 30%, since there was no divorce settlement in Clare's favor.
That's when things took an ugly turn. Clare kept compulsively ordering from the shopping channel faster than Molly could pay her card down, until even her "back up" credit card was declined. More tears and rows followed, and a phone call with Molly's ex-stepfather revealed that bankruptcy caused by Clare's compulsive spending was the main issue in the divorce - not the stories Clare had told her daughter.
A Hard Step To Take
Mo finally had to ask her mother to leave and find a place of her own. She felt really wretched at this step, since she knew her mother's only option was to go on Social Assistance: But that was when things began to change for the better for both mother and daughter. An astute Social Assessment Worker noted much more about Clare than her financial problems, and convinced her to visit a doctor, who promptly referred her to a psychiatrist.
Clare was diagnosed with Bi Polar disorder. "The spending and the poor judgment was a big red flag, only we didn't see it," says Mo. "We didn't know what we were looking at. Brad and I just thought mom was dishonest and selfish, and had gone off the deep end over the divorce."
There are many misconceptions about Bi Polar disorder. Not everyone indulges in spending sprees like Clare. Instead, some show very poor judgment in sexual relationships instead; and what is dismissed with disgust as over-the-top, dangerous promiscuity can actually be an indicator of Bi Polar disorder.
Some exhibit neither symptom, and would be outraged at any suggestion that either may occur - but in the depressive phase, may be prone to self harm and suicidal thoughts.
The truth is, there are several types of Bi Polar disorder. There is even a type that exhibits no manic phase at all - just depressive. Auditory and visual hallucinations can be involved in Bi Polar disorder - particularly at times of stress. There is a seasonal type too, as well as a mild form where people truck along for years, with no more noticeable symptom than insomnia and rapid speech, punctuated by occasional depression.
Sometimes a severely traumatic event - like the bankruptcy Clare caused and her subsequent divorce - can flip someone with "mild" Bi Polar disorder into an out-of-control episode.
The important lesson to learn here is... no matter what you believe about natural remedies, even the best ones won't work, if you don't first proactively get a solid diagnosis. In fact, in some cases - especially a complex genetic psychological condition like Bi Polar disorder - playing guessing games with natural substances can do more harm than good.
If you suspect a loved one has Bi Polar disorder, see your medical professional for proper diagnosis.