Schizophrenia.com

I don't understand it. How does schizophrenia cause you to go on a spending spree?

A few months ago I met up with a student mental health doctor in hopes that I can come off medication. I don’t want to do it on my own. She said no but after consulting a psychiatrist they said that the 5mg Abilify is not much of a high dose so I can consider coming off

BUT… there is a catch…

I have to take it consistently for 6 months which I am ashamed to say I was not doing.

They said this because I have an issue with my spending which may be linked to the schiz. I don’t understand how that is related to schiz though. Three months in I still have the same problem however it is on and off.

If the meds don’t control my spending, then i can come off them. if they do i must stay on them.

I always thought spending was a bipolar symptom?

Hi - I’ve seen that this is a pretty common problem for people with schizophrenia. Its frequently a general issue of managing details (i.e. paying bills, etc.) and perhaps part of the cognitive impact of schizophrenia.

There are a number of discussions about this problem in our old forums - here is one example you might want to review.

http://www.schizophrenia.com:8080/jiveforums/message.jspa?messageID=132381

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I think the term may be low impulse control which can affect a lot of people with different disorders and even people without disorders.

With my son I call it: The want therefore I need now syndrome. Yes I made it up but it seems to fit. He is not looking at long term cause and affect only satisfying his immediate needs. Partially could be due to schizophrenia as his ability to see things long term is affected by it. With the right medications and being stable he is able to see further into the future and recognize the cause and affect a little better. If I spend this now then I won’t have money for ________ later on.

Maybe this article will help: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=476

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Basically I see someone have something I like I HAVE to have it. It gives me this buzz. But it doesn’t last long because new things become old and so the process starts again.

Yes I see that with my son a lot. He had to have NintendoDS, then PSP4… Now a laptop. He feels great about getting it but those feelings don’t last very long then it’s on to the next thing. Currently he doesn’t have a lot of money so the big items fall to me but if he had the money then he would spend it, very quickly. He has low impulse control. Even with other things he usually wants it now instead of later. He is getting better at having some patience and waiting for things. He is slowly trying to learn how to get enjoyment from the smaller things in life. I don’t know if he could learn these things without his medications helping to regulate things like his dopamine. I wish I could give you some solid advise on how to cope with this but other then practice and patience I don’t know what. Try to put off making a decision to buy something for 24-48 hours and see if the urge is still as strong later.

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I had a problem with my spending when I was psychotic. I had just gotten my back pay for disability and would go out and gamble or spend $300-$400 a night on liquor and strippers. It was fun and such a high but when my fiduciary came to visit me, he checked my spending. I was on a probationary term and when he saw what I was doing I got a representative payee. It’s not all bad but it makes me feel incompetent. Just about everyone I know that has a mental disorder and gets benefits has a payee. It’s not just Bipolar.

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i always had a problem spending but then on the old forum they were doing this thing where you could get amazon vouchers to spend for doing a questionaire or something, i never got the vouchers thoough but i did start looking for things i might like online and then i started to spend more,

i was always buying the cheapest clothes and stuff but after that i was buying better things and then college started and i wanted to look trendy, now i have got a red shirt with a bright blue jacket jeans and some cool shoes with yellow laces lol.

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I had a problem with spending even on meds. I’ve come to the conclusion that it was out of boredom. In response I developed a system of writing the name of the bill on envelopes and putting cash in them to keep from spending. Another way is I’ll go to stores and look, but I won’t spend. Though it is a bit like quitting smoking, and standing outside for a smoke break.

Now that I’m in school I make less money, so this pay period I’ve been good about staying on budget. Last pay period I wasn’t as responsible. I think the planning that I have to do with school helps me think ahead for other things. Like how I am planning on visiting family and prep work for it (changing the oil, and asking to stay over early enough in the week). For some reason I do best with a full schedule.

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I didn’t read every answer. but when you mention you get a ‘buzz’ from buying stuff it made me think of illegal drugs. Getting and using drugs is a fast, easy (but dangerous) instant way, to make someone feel pleasure. But addicts like me (I’m in recovery now) don’t think of the consequences or the price to pay with using hard drugs.Or at least they forget or put it out of their minds when drugs come into the picture. They want that feeling NOW. I wonder if you are spending because of ‘instant gratification’. DELAYING gratification is an adult trait. Kids want everything. And instantly. As adults we are supposed to work hard, save money, work on relationships etc, knowing it might take years for the good results to appear. But instant gratification could be the cause of spending too much money, or eating foods that are bad for you but taste good, or losing your temper or even stealing or other criminal acts. It is intertwined with what Barbie said also; poor impulse control.

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Mania can cause spending sprees - so can impulsive behavior

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My Sz. causes me to feel depressed and shopping for clothes takes my mind away from my problems if only momentarly. Your in the dressing room trying on a dress that looks very attactive on and not too, too expensive. Then you realize you’ve spent most of your income. Luckily my mom realizes i have what she calls a shopping addiction so she made me return everything i bought. This is painful for me. I’m wondering why can’t i keep the stuff I bought? Trying to learn better financial skills.

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I get the whole impulsive control problems doesn’t make me want to spend my money any wiser. My partner controls my money so I don’t decide what my money gets spent on. I try to plan out how it’s spent every month like 505 for rent, 170 for bills and the rest for my meds and stuff we need but it never works out that way.

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Well I have Bipolar as well as Schizophrenia. I try to save my money but I’m impulsively nice to people. So lately I’ve been trying to keep to myself more, and then more people invited me to hang out with them. I had a lot of expenses recently so it’s been difficult. I need to get a job but it won’t help with my spending, and I think that’s the problem. I’m terrible at managing money. It’s not that I spend a lot of money, it’s just that I have trouble keeping track.

Thank God that my mental illness never affected my memory. I think the insanity actually sped up my brain making me even smarter. Until I hit rock bottom, and then all my skills went straight out the window. I had so much potential and life just gave me all the roads without any signs or a road map.

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With schizoaffective I think the spending sprees come with the mania… Some drugs that treat schizophrenia also treat bipolar. I don’t know about abilify.

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After taking mirtazapine I spend slit lesser on or off

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I don’t know how to manage money very well. When I was in hospital and group homes it wasn’t something that was taught to me. When I was really in the deeps of negative symptom it didn’t register what to do with money. My sis took care of everything. I am trying to learn how to manage and budget.

I have spent far too much money when I’ve been in the throws of a delusion. I was sure a baby was on the way and I spent a far to much money on baby stuff. My sis returned it all and got the money back. But I’ve had what I call Delusional Spending.

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I spend money that we don’t have on stamps and coins. I find it exciting to find stuff on e-bay and other sites like it. I usually plan it out for a couple weeks or so ahead of time. I find the best bang for the buck. Then I overspend and feel terrible. Once I get the stuff I am much less excited about it!

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I had a childhood experience that gave me a spending problem later. I had bought an inexpensive toy at a dime store and decided I didn’t like it and wanted to return it. I didn’t have the courage to ask if they would take it back so I asked my mother if she would ask for me… She said she would very angrily. I wish, instead, my mother would have said, “No, you keep this toy and maybe next time you will shop more carefully.”

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We Schizophrenics spend lots of money because the brain related to judgement is a failure. Yes we have non working prefrontal cortex. Since prefrontal cortex malfunction is common to ADHD and Schizophrenia I recommend a book that is simply awesome, actually more than awesome.

More Attention Less Deficit — by Ari Tuckman.

This book tells you why Schziophrenia is ADHD+more than that.

Schizophrenia = ADHD + More than that.

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I don’t know about the rest of u but I always manage my money well. Utilities and food comes first, then my car, then my pet’s treats and kids treats and if there is anything leftover I will treat myself and save the rest, even if it’s only ten quid I save. I have to save something each month for when things go wrong with my car or house. I love saving and seeing that money grown each month. Right now I’m paying back two loans so that 220 quid gone out of my budget. One of them finishes in march, the other in may so I’ll b able to save that 220 a month come the end of May. Can’t wait as I’m saving up for something special aswell as my car tax and new furniture. I want to decorate my lounge so I have to save very hard this year. Makes me happy. And if I could quit smoking I’d save another 80 quid a month…I’ll get there, slowly but surely.

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