Money Anxiety Disorder: Warning Signs and Coping Techniques

Money Anxiety DisorderDon’t let money worries ruin your health and your life.

A huge number of Americans are afflicted with a new ailment called money anxiety disorder (MAD). Based on the results of a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association in 2008, about 80% of the population is experiencing a significant amount of stress as a result of the financial crisis, with women carrying the burden of the worry. So, how do you know if you have this condition and what can you do overcome it? Here are some things you absolutely need to know.

How to tell if you are afflicted with MAD
How can you tell if you are simply worrying about money or are already afflicted with the condition? Here are some of the most common warning signs that you should watch out for.

  • Feeling an overall sense of dread, panic or confusion when you think about money, income and job security
  • Constant fear about losing your financial safety net including your retirement savings and emergency fund
  • Confusion and anxiety about lack of awareness and knowledge on financial matters
  • Resentment over the lack of communication between you and your partner regarding personal finances
  • Ordinary financial discussions immediately escalate and usually end up in heated arguments

How to cope up with the condition

Constant worrying can have devastating effects. It can lead to sleep problems, addictions, eating disorders and digestive problems. It can also increase your risk of allergies, migraines, respiratory problems, depression, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, it eats up your time and energy, and keeps you from enjoying life.

Nothing good can come out from worrying about money so you need to take the necessary steps to cope up and overcome the condition. How do you do this? Here are some helpful tips that can help you accomplish this goal.

  • Focus on today. Instead of worrying about things that are yet to happen, focus on what you can do today to improve your finances. Ditch all those “what ifs”, make a plan on how to address problems when they come and don’t hold on to your money worries.
  • Keep the communication lines open. Make a date with your partner and go over the numbers to know where you stand. Create a monthly budget and a financial plan to set everything in order and eliminate all your fears.
  • Get professional help. If you owe a lot of debt and do not have enough income to make monthly payments, consider consulting a non-profit credit counseling agency to know your options.
  • De-stress. You may be tempted to sit and stew but don’t give in to the temptation. Try taking a walk and be more physically active. Spend time with your friends and do things that you actually enjoy to improve your mood.