Money Anxiety Disorder or MAD is a condition where a person has constant worries surrounding money. (NB: Not officially recognised by Psychology UK).
There are 7 main areas that most therapists recognise:
For those who overspend, they often find themselves stuck in a cycle. Overspenders tend to be nervous around the subject of money. The freedom of sporadic shopping binges offers temporary escapism but all too often they lead to dramatic crashes in both mood and, of course, finances, ultimately leading a person deeper into despair.
You may think of a hoarder as a person who over-spends on frivolous items which accumulate in their homes (and/or storage units) but some hoarders do not collect items. Money hoarders, as the name suggests, collect only money bringing us onto the next issue…
Some are so anxious about how much the future will cost them (financially) that they do not even spend the bare minimum to get by. The “Depression-era mentality” might sound thrifty but there is often a dark side. Not only are the under-spenders missing out on life’s pleasures they often do not spend on basic repairs to their surroundings (homes and appearance).
Overworking fits into this money-hoarding category too. When people work without taking appropriate breaks, time off and holidays, and feel the need to earn as much as possible. Underspending can be a big issue when it comes to couples particularly when one feels the need to hoard money whilst the other spends.
An extreme form of financial conflict within a family is often known as ‘financial incest’. This is when one or several family members control others by removing the individuals’ access to their money. It is easy to see this between couples when one is responsible for paying the household bills and ensuring the money is controlled. Another form involves ‘teams’ or ‘taking sides’ when it comes to the delegation of inheritance.
Another financial power play involving the family is where a person simply denies/lies about the true extent of their financial situation. One or both partners may hide income/expenditures from the other-in extreme cases, take out credit/loans to cover the deceit.
Typically, we see this when parents are funding their child/ren beyond the years expected. This can be in the form of paying off their debts, paying their bills, expenses and for luxuries such as holidays. Sadly, many parents feel it is their responsibility to care for their child regardless of risking their own retirement fund(s).
Money troubles can cause anxiety and vice versa. When a person feels anxious and/or depressed they are far less likely to be thinking of their future let alone financially planning for it. Many may question why they should bother saving and planning for a future when the present appears so bleak. This can cause overspending and spending on making things better temporarily.