In this day and age, money is one of the greatest affecting factors of our lives, meaning that money can have a significant impact on our mental health and vice versa. As a result, it’s important that everyone makes an effort to understand their own mental health and their personal connection with money. At times, sorting things out money-wise may seem like an overwhelming task, and not everything will be in your control. Despite this, taking everything one step at a time is the best way that you can feel more in control about your finances.
Mental Health Can Affect How You Handle Money
Although your mental health can impact the way in which you spend, you need to ensure that you look after your essentials first. From bills to food to religious commitments (such as when you need to calculate your Zakat in Islam), this should always come first. With this being said, feeling depressed or low might mean that you might lack motivation to manage your money. Similarly, spending money can result in a brief high, leading you to overspend, whilst moments of excitement can cause you to spend impulsively.
More indirectly, if your mental health impacts your ability to study or work, this might result in a reduced income. On top of this, you might also avoid actions that aid you in staying on top of your money, including opening bills or checking your bank account. Finally, a mental health problem could impact your health insurance, causing you to pay more.
Money Can Affect Your Mental Health
On the contrary, money can also directly affect your mental health by triggering feelings of panic and anxiety. Consequently, this can result in sleep problems and any financial trouble may inhibit you from affording the things that you need to stay well. This can include heating, water, food, and vital medication. On top of this, if you can’t afford to partake in activities, this can impact your social life and relationships, causing you to feel isolated.
Feelings Associated with Money
Money can trigger certain emotional responses in different people. For example, some people feel immense guilt after making a purchase, even when they can afford it and it’s something that they need. On the other hand, some individuals feel afraid about looking at their bank balance and feel ashamed about the state of their finances. Similarly, the need for money can inflict a lot of pressure, resulting in stress and causing you to feel worn down or tired. Finally, those who have experienced financial abuse in the past may have trauma associated with money, which needs to be delicately handled.
Money and Mood Patterns
You might not be able to control every aspect of your finances, but one thing you can do is consider your feelings towards money and where these feelings stem from. You should ask yourself whether there are specific occasions when you’re more likely to spend money, if there are specific occasions when you’re more likely to save money, how you feel about spending, how you feel about saving, and what aspects of money cause your mental health to worsen.
Overspending When You’re Unwell
There are many instances in which individuals spend more money than they’d like to and more than they can afford. Sometimes, people may feel out of control with their spendings, and this only becomes more of a struggle on specific occasions. As previously mentioned, one may spend to make themselves feel better or their spending may become impulsive during times of excitement. Finally, a dependency or addiction can cause you to spend more, such as an addiction to gambling.