I think I have financial PTSD

I think I have financial PTSD

I woke up the other day with a sinking feeling in my stomach.

There’s still this deep seated fear buried inside that things are going to fall apart.

Nothing specific, just the thought that this is too good to last – the house, two incomes, the dog. Somehow, I’m going to lose it all and it’s going to be taken away.

If there is such a thing as financial PTSD, I think I have it.

From money troubles to money worries

As I work to rebuild from the past couple years and improve my  financial wellness, I imagine my emotional well-being will too.

In How To Worry Less About Money, John Armstrong draws a distinction between money troubles (urgent, immediate, pressing) and money worries (emotional, complex).

Going from worrying about the day-to-day and the immediate future to worrying about the distant future is a nice change. I mean, it’s still a worry, but it’s a hell of a lot less stressful.

When you know you’re making ends meet you have the ability to actually be future-oriented – and that’s the only way to really get ahead financially. To figure out where to put your money to work the best for you.

All I can do is wait it out, I imagine. Acknowledge (or ignore) those fears as they rear their heads. Slay them with logic, or contempt. Only time, and money, will heal.

Have you ever felt this way after coming off the back of a financially stressful time?

Disease Called Debt

10 thoughts on “I think I have financial PTSD

  • Reply Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial July 1, 2016 at 04:30

    Yes, absolutely! I think my whole life is going to be financial ptsd in some form or anothet, but it has gone down over time as my financial position has improved.

    One thing I at least try to keep in mind (when I am my better self) is to separate my anxiety into two camps: actionable and nonactionable. If it is actionable stress, take action! If it is non-actionable, lingering on the stress does nothing but effect you negatively (stress strains relationships, health, etc). Stressing, by itself, is non-productive.

  • Reply Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life July 1, 2016 at 08:19

    My rule of thumb is you need the same amount of time that you were suffering plus a couple months to shed the worst of the toxicity of worry, anxiety, fear and flashbacks. Personally I have to battle the anxiety of inaction with action. If that’s you, I’d advise keep your focus on productive things as a distraction when it’s stuff that you can’t do anything about: play with Laila, clean the house, plan something neat.

    If you can do something about it, by all means, go to it!

  • Reply Michelle July 1, 2016 at 08:19

    Yes, I’m actually sharing a post on Monday about this. I can’t even begin to express how much my hard times have affected my mental state-NOW. I am always on the “look out” for red flags in my behavior, my mom’s situation, etc. I’m trying to really stay positive so that I don’t go down the rabbit hole when thinking about money.

  • Reply J July 1, 2016 at 09:26

    Absolutely. My financial anxiety started from family issues and although we are all financially better now, I still worry that one day, something will go wrong and the responsibility will be shifted back to me again. I’m learning to worry less these days, but I will tell you that the fear is still very real.

  • Reply Julie@ChooseBetterLife July 1, 2016 at 17:32

    Oh yes, this is real. After so many years of living on the brink of financial disaster, it’s nice to be able to take a deep breath and know that even if I got fired everything would be okay… But it still took a few years for this knowledge to make its way from my head to my heart.

  • Reply Our Next Life July 1, 2016 at 21:07

    We definitely feel scarred by the 2008 financial crisis (just wrote about that, in fact!), and are probably overly conservative with our money and decisions as a result, even eight years later. But I think we’d be dumb not to carry the lessons the recession taught us with us even through better economic times!

  • Reply SP July 2, 2016 at 08:57

    It makes sense, but I haven’t experienced this exact situation.

    I did have some career related PTSD though, which probably took me 2-3 months to recover from!

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank July 2, 2016 at 12:43

    Hold on! Pray that everything will out well. If your condition is kinda bad, please seek a doctor for professional advice.

  • Reply Bonnie July 4, 2016 at 15:05

    Yes. I was laid off last year & was unemployed for several months and then had to take a low-paying job. I’m in a different job now but still making much less than what I was making. I worry all the time and am lacking confidence right now, although I know what I need to do–start looking again in earnest.

  • Reply Dividendsdownunder July 6, 2016 at 14:38

    It’s hard not to be effected by things that have happened in the past. It’s extremely important we take on those lessons though, or else history will keep repeating itself.

    So far nothing too traumatic has happened to us financially. if IVF doesn’t work out it may.


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