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Question
Posted by: Concerned Mom | 2012/05/17

HOW MUCH MORE

Hi CS

I don''t know how much more of this I can take. My daughter is BiPolar and tried to take her life last week, as I told you. She''s just been in pshyc ward again for 10 days. Besides all the massive debts that my husband and I are facing due to Medical Aid being exhausted, we have since discovered that she has blown over R100 000.00 and run up a about futher R100 00.00 in debt, and has absolutely nothing to show for it. All this in a period of about 11 months. My mind boggles as to how one can spend this type of money and have nothing to show for it. She is unemployed at present due to her illness, and has been for almost 2 years. This has left her Dad and I reeling, as we have to now try and service all this debt, but are not in a position to do so.

I''m lead to believe that with BiPolar, suicide and excessive spending are just some of the symptoms. That does however not help us in what we are currently facing. I am terrified of what she will continue to run up and leave us burdened with, but just don''t know which way to turn to curb this behaviour. I also have all consuming thoughts of going home and finding she has succedded at suicide. I''ve given serious though to debt review, however, Lisa makes some valid points in an earlier post.

Please help me see the wood from the trees, as I''m no longer able to cope with this. It is affecting my job, and all those around me and given that her father and I are trying to service all this debt, I cannot afford to lose my job over this.

I''ve tried desperately to source a BiPolar support group in my area, but there is nothing that is active.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Whose money was it she wasted so horribly ? It hardly sounds as though she could, being so ill and young, have earned enough of her own money to have so much to squander. But if it was your money, how on earth was she ever allowed to spend a cent of any of your money at all ? To the extent that you assist her, you must of course always remain utterly in charge of all money decisions and spending. How could you have allowed her to spend your money, and to place YOU in debt ? This absolutely has to stop, now and forever.
Bipolar Disorder includes depressions in which suicide is a possibility, and manic "High" phases where that is also a more unexpected possibility, and the making of really stupid decisions is common.
But without your specific consent, and signed documents allowing her to do so, she CAN'T spend any of your money - and if she has been faking your signatures and permissions, that's criminal fraud, and should be investigated by the police.
Her serious mental state could be taken into account and she would probably be required to get proper treatment at a state hospital, rather than a prison sentence ; and when the creiditors recognize that this was both fraud and due to a serious mental illness, they may be prepared to consider overlooking the debts, or at least being very lenient in expecting any repayment.
They should not expect you and her father to cover all her foolish debts - but ensure she has no ability whatever to spend from your accounts, or that could be considered contributory negligence on your sides.
I cant keep track of where there are support groups, but have you checked with the Depression / Anxiety Support Group which is national and has branches in many areas ? ( number on this page ).
And ensure that she is treated, preferably in state facilities, properly for her condition - it is utterly unacceptable to leave this untreated or only amateurishly or partially treated

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012/05/21

Stop repaying any debt that you or your husband didn''t sign for. Yes, her creditors might take legal action, but she has to face the consequences of her own actions or she''ll never learn how to manage her finances on her own.

Yes she will have a terrible credit record for 5 years, but as a fellow bipolar sufferer I can tell you my own terrible credit record was a blessing in disguise. Not having access to credit anywhere, has prevented me from making an even bigger mess of my finances. It''s also taught me how to survive every month on the money I have and to manage my finances a whole lot better. Today I''ve almost completely rehabilitated my credit record and hope to purchase property next year. And I did it WITHOUT any handouts from anybody. If I can do it, then so can your daughter!

All she needs is to hit the same absolute rock bottom that I did as well as emotional but NOT financial support from your side (except perhaps for giving her a roof over her head and food). She just needs to be told that it''s not the end of the world. People do not need credit to survive.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/19

Whose money was it she wasted so horribly ? It hardly sounds as though she could, being so ill and young, have earned enough of her own money to have so much to squander. But if it was your money, how on earth was she ever allowed to spend a cent of any of your money at all ? To the extent that you assist her, you must of course always remain utterly in charge of all money decisions and spending. How could you have allowed her to spend your money, and to place YOU in debt ? This absolutely has to stop, now and forever.
Bipolar Disorder includes depressions in which suicide is a possibility, and manic "High" phases where that is also a more unexpected possibility, and the making of really stupid decisions is common.
But without your specific consent, and signed documents allowing her to do so, she CAN'T spend any of your money - and if she has been faking your signatures and permissions, that's criminal fraud, and should be investigated by the police.
Her serious mental state could be taken into account and she would probably be required to get proper treatment at a state hospital, rather than a prison sentence ; and when the creiditors recognize that this was both fraud and due to a serious mental illness, they may be prepared to consider overlooking the debts, or at least being very lenient in expecting any repayment.
They should not expect you and her father to cover all her foolish debts - but ensure she has no ability whatever to spend from your accounts, or that could be considered contributory negligence on your sides.
I cant keep track of where there are support groups, but have you checked with the Depression / Anxiety Support Group which is national and has branches in many areas ? ( number on this page ).
And ensure that she is treated, preferably in state facilities, properly for her condition - it is utterly unacceptable to leave this untreated or only amateurishly or partially treated

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Maria | 2012/05/18

I can understand that you feel morally obliged to pay off the debts, but that money is much better spent on her medical care.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2012/05/18

The bank should not have given credit to someone who is unemployed. If you have a financial advisor I suggest you consult this person as to what the best way is to handle the issue. I''m not sure how it works if you want to be declared bankrupt, it''s something you should look into. Also consult her psychiatrist - spending vast sums of money and running up debts are frequently the result of manic episodes and the docs probably know how it is dealt with.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Concerned Mom | 2012/05/18

Maria/Kelly

Thanks for your responses. She is unemployed, so if we do not service the debt, who would, and what would happen to her if the debt repayments were not met?

I might just add that a bank extended her a R50 000 loan WHILE being unemployed. I would really like to hold the bank accountable for this, but don''t know how and if we can?

Reply to Concerned Mom
Posted by: Kelly | 2012/05/18

How are you guys being held responsible for her debt... She is an adult and should be held responsible for her actions not you.
I think you guys are getting too involved, yes you are her parents but you need to draw a fine line between what you are and are not responsible for.

This is not your debt and you cannot afford to pay it then why all the stress??? Help her yes, but to recover and then take responsibility.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Maria | 2012/05/17

Why are you responsible for her debt? Did she somehow get money using your name?

Reply to Maria

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