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Shopaholism, gambling, debt or hoarding: The many forms of money issues

As we near the end of another financial year, it is time to pause and see to it that money does not stress us out.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 14, 2017 19:49 IST
Susan Jose
Susan Jose
Hindustan Times
According to experts, people suffering from financial problems are three times more prone to mental issues.(IStock)

The Union Budget was recently announced, and while it has its pros and cons, there is one underlining factor that almost everyone would agree with — money is a big cause of stress for many.

“Worrying about money can take a toll on your mental health. People suffering from financial problems are three times more prone to mental issues. They are at greater risk of developing depression and psychotic illnesses. They may indulge in alcohol and substance abuse or become prone to committing suicide,” says Neeta V Shetty, psychotherapist and life coach, Blissful Mind Therapy Centre, Wadala (E).

Money-related issues do not arise only when you are sinking in debt. They may show up in several other forms too. For example, some people may work multiple jobs not because they need to, but out of the sheer thrill of getting paid more.

Namrata Dagia, clinical psychologist, The Illuminating Zone, Kandivali (W), explains, “Spending money recklessly, being miserly, and trying to get someone else to pay bills ­­— such behaviours indicate that a person may have financial issues.”

Even as one is focussed on making money, there should be a balance between working and spending quality time with loved ones, say experts. ( Istock )

People with financial disorders show self-destructive and self-limiting financial behaviours. A few of the broad categories are:

1. Money avoidance disorder: People suffering from this, tend to obsesses about money. They are excessively risk averse and live in financial denial.

2. Money worshipping disorder: They are prone to pathological gambling. People suffering from this disorder are workaholics, spendthrifts, and tend to hoard things, and buy compulsively.

3. Relational money disorder: This disorder is mostly seen in relationships, where people are financially dependent on each other.

An example of this is adults who are financially dependent on their parents. Financial cheating (lying about where or how the money was spent) is common in people suffering from this disorder. Excessive giving — buying whatever a loved one (spouse, kid) asks for in order to keep them happy in the relationship — is also an indicator of this disorder.

“In extreme cases, individuals could be bipolar, but their loved ones may not notice it. Because they do not act crazy in the typical sense. All they do in their hypomania or mania is gamble or make rash monetary decisions, which may include huge investments, buying lavish gifts or getting into unprofitable business deals,” says Shetty.

Who is prone?

People with low self-esteem and self-confidence may also seek comfort in money and are at risk of being perpetual debtors. For example, they may shop to feel better about themselves.

People who grow up lacking financial security, despite being successful adults, tend to be extremely careful with their money. They may even be overly careful to safeguard or invest their earnings.

How to deal with financial stress?

Money should be used for all your needs and some leisure. While spending money on leisure, it is important that you spend it wisely. Pampering yourself at a salon, going for movies, exploring new restaurants or anything that makes you happy, are things that you should spend on. The only time your alarms should go off is when you are spending more than you are saving.

It is also important to remember that in the race to earn money, you shouldn’t neglect the valuable things in life such as spending quality time alone as well as with family. Striking a balance between work, family and social life is very important. Each family should sit down together for one meal, no matter how busy a member is. Such small acts lead to cohesiveness and feelings of love and security for both the breadwinner and the other members of the family.

Follow @htlifeandstylefor more

The author tweets@iamsusanjose

First Published: Feb 14, 2017 19:48 IST