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Finance and Mental Health - Signs and Symptoms of a Money Disorder


Many Americans have a complicated relationship with money, and in many cases, these relationships are not healthy. It is normal for a person to make poor money decisions every now and then, but when these mistakes tend to be persistent, predictable, and result in self-destructive financial behaviors, then they are no long normal money mistakes but money disorders. 

Money disorders can be described as certain self-destructive or self-limiting financial behaviors that are recurrent and predictable, and often result in conditions such as emotional distress, anxiety, and even impairment of certain areas of a person’s life such as marriage.

People suffering from money disorders often don’t realize that they are in that state or that they need help. And for those who know their state, they typically find it hard to change their behaviors. Some try to shift their behaviors but are unable to make the changes long-lasting. The end result is that most of these people feel ashamed of their behaviors and hide them from others, hence making it difficult for them to get help as needed.

Here are some of the behaviors that indicate signs and symptoms of money disorders. If you find that you yourself exhibit these behaviors, do not be afraid to seek help.

Financial Denial

If you are living in financial denial, then you have one of the most typical money disorders. When in financial denial, you find yourself trying as much as possible to forget all your money problems by not thinking about them rather than facing them head on. You simply burry your head in the sand as financial problems pile up.

Financial Rejection

With financial rejection, you find yourself experiencing a feeling of guilt whenever you owe some money to someone or some entity. People with a low self-esteem are more likely to suffer from this disorder and it can lead to certain psychological problems.

Extreme Under-Spending 

Extreme under-spending is as dangerous as over-spending. If you find yourself always looking forward to pile up your savings while at the same time denying yourself some liberty to use and enjoy your earnings, that’s a sign of a money disorder. Being too tight with your cash will most likely make you unhappy and anxious of what happens in case your savings decrease or go below a certain threshold.

Excessive Risk-Taking

If you find yourself always putting your financial well-being at risk in pursuit of large, non-guaranteed or unlikely gains, you may be suffering from a serious money disorder that can throw you into debt and bankruptcy. People suffering from this disorder often find themselves attracted to offers that promise quick riches but hardly ever come true.

Avoiding Taking Financial Risks Completely

The fear of taking any investment risks to build your wealth is also a sign of a money disorder. If you find yourself just piling up savings in an interest bearing account and often run away from investment options such as property and shares (growth investments), then you may be in this category.

Overworking Yourself for More Money

Individuals suffering from this money disorder often work excessively long hours to earn more money but fail to dedicate adequate time to spend with their families, for leisure time, or even rest. They often end up getting into a state of loneliness, anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions. This definitely does not apply to individuals working extra hours to make their ends meet, but those who do it intentionally for extra financial gains.

Compulsive Expenditure

If you are that person who feels an urge to spend your money in order to have a ‘good feeling’ , then you fall into this category.  This disorder gives you some irresistible impulses to spend your money shopping, traveling, or doing other things that make you lose control over your spending.

Addictive Gambling

When you find yourself wanting to gamble more and more of your money to make yourself feel better or to try and escape from your problems, you have a serious money disorder that needs urgent help.

Financial Infidelity

You may notice that sometimes you deliberately lie and keep secrets about your financial issues or expenditures from your partner. You may find yourself lying about the cost of certain big cost items, lying about your expenditure because you went over an agreed-upon budget, or even taking a loan behind your partner’s back. This problem is always catastrophic and often results in mistrust between partners, and may even lead to divorce.

Building Extra Hopes on Financial Luck

If you are that person who pegs all his future’s dreams on the hopes of winning the lottery, you may be having a money disorder. This disorder is a serious threat to your financial future because you build your hopes on luck, and that luck most likely will never hit you.

These are among the top behaviors that indicate signs of money disorder. If you can relate with any of the above behaviors, it’s imperative that you find long-lasting ways on how to change them. Remember, it is always advisable that you don’t shy away from seeking professional help.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as investment, tax, or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.