Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Out of control spending has led to debt

My sister has schizophrenia. She spends money recklessly and we have to pick up slack for her. It’s taking its toll. If anyone says anything about it to her, she screams and goes mad and says she can’t work because she’s skizto. Anyone any ideas about how to deal with her spending and her lack of concern about other people’s finances?

Compulsive/reckless spending is more associated with Bipolar disorder than Schizophrenia. It’s theorized that Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia are related and that it’s more of a spectrum. There’s a related disorder Schizoaffective Disorder which is somewhere in-between the two. I’d first see if you can get her diagnosis confirmed and whether she’s getting appropriate treatment.

Compulsive behavior like gambling and spending has been associated with certain anti-psychotic medications like Risperdol/Risperidone. If she is taking medication, the spending may be a side-effect and she may need to be put on something different.

Beyond that, basics like cancelling credit and bank cards and taking away checkbooks and doling out an allowance may be possible. You may need to get a lawyer involved to get the power to do this or set up a trust. I gather that you may be in the UK or mainland EU, so I can’t comment on the legal details involved. Good Luck,.

Only way to fix is allocate funds to a checking account with debit card and move far away lol… sorry, ben there

Well, you can throw all the money in the world into a bottomless pit, but it will never fill up.
There are a lot of possible underlying causes for reckless spending. From mania, to a form of patchwork “therapy”, to simply soothing an instinct to need to aquire things.
You can’t treat the money problems until after the lifestyle problems are resolved.

I second this.

I keep throwing money at my homeless husband. He uses the money as an excuse to not look for work and find a place for us to live. He won’t go for treatment and keeps trying to make me feel guilty.

I had a talk with my boss today after work. My husband keeps coming in to work and disrupting my day. My boss said he will be given orders to stop coming in to work and bothering me, that it puts my job in jeopardy.

My husband’s money problems won’t be solved until he gets help for his schizoaffective disorder and substance abuse. Until then, I can keep him alive with a little money every day but it is not helping him or me.

I wish I could open a checking account and allocate funds for him, but I don’t make enough money and am barely getting by, myself.

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There is a distinct pattern in almost every story you read on this forum. In reality there are only two answers in my opinion…

Move as far away as possible, purge your mind and start over or live this repoticious cycle of insanity. Money is by far the greatest worry by most here, if you have insufficient funds to support yourself and your SZ is not receiving any benefits, the answer is clear… Given, there are no medical techniques to alter the genetic abnormalities of the SZ, there will never be a so called normal life, ever…

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How can i do this? I am moving State and have no connections to anyone where my husband and me are going…
it is not possible for us to leave our Mother in her 80’s needing help like anyone but so damaged and unable to cope back in our home State living with my brother .

my hubby and me will be at least a couple of hours away… I am throwing them both to the wolves it seems
we are moving with my husband’s work in 6 months

neither my Mom or me have been able to keep well with all this
it is so damaging
my Mom won’t leave my brother like she never dropped me when I was in long term psychosis

I here you, there are no correct answers, best of luck to you. It aint easy for anyone.

Would it be possible to bring them where you are moving?

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Consider that you will handle the necessities of life ( housing, health care, food). Get the SZ on medicaid (for health benefits) and SSI/SSDI for monthly living expense. If they want to work - that is their free money to spend as they please. If you are the SSI/SSDI Representative ( they need to agree) you get to manage the SSI/SSDI money and if they want their other money too.

Good luck with this. I did this for a while and when my son, walked away from treatment and began to drug again, I told SS that I did not want to be the representative. I may again in the future, let’s see how that goes.

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Thank you for your advice Mbrane :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, I know GSSP. Thanks:slightly_smiling_face:

Mmm, how to you cure extreme selfishness?

Hi life is hard, I’m exactly like you, only replace sister with husband. I don’t know how to copy anymore and am constantly in fear of homelessness, insanity for myself and debt.

Ah well. As long as the szhizophrenics are cared for, who cares about the carers? Isn’t that the general consensus nowadays. UNderlying isssues, care for them, they’re ill. Na, sometimes they’re just plain bastards hiding behind a diagnosis.

Good luck lifeis hard. I hope you win the lottery and then your useless husband can go and spend himself into oblivion. HAve you ever considered divorce? Why are you still with him? Is it because you’ve no one else? I’m with my sister because we were both abused by our parents and we’ve no one else. My father was also part of a religious cult and still is that separated us from the outside world. We’ve no friends. Just ourselves. BUt she doesn’t help the situation with her constant reckless spending. We have the chance to be free now but she is ruining it. I hate her.

Why should I bring someone with me who hates me and spends all my money?

I think you should leave and be happy. You’ve done enough. LEave your miserable brother and mother and go and live. Maybe something will change in them once you’re gone and they realise how bad they were treating you.
Don’t let them ruin your life. At least you have a husband. I have no one to help me, just helplines and internet forums, but I have God and He helps keep me sane.
Peace xx


I have asked myself this question for years and I still don’t have a good answer. Part of it is vows. Part of it is that I might not have given my first marriage enough of a chance (I do realize I have given this one plenty of chances!) and to keep trying. I am fine with being alone, so that’s not it. Could be pity or my being overly compassionate.

My husband did go back to CA last week, so now I have the chance to be tough about it and not send him money when he asks.

I hope things work out for you, too. We all deserve to be happy.

I couldn’t guess at what causes your husband to spend so much. It is a symptom of mania (and other internal issues).
I don’t have any direct answers, but I can tell you my brother has had issues with poor spending habits. They certainly aren’t cured, but he is doing much better with therapy and medication. Money is a complicated issue in general for the Wreklus family in regard to my brother’s housing, treatment and lifestyle.
We want him to have what he needs and some of the things he wants, but it often seems like there will never be enough money for everything all the time.
It is a constant source of stress for him as well as for us all.

thanks hermana80

i hope that you will find your wishes