Money worries and financial insecurity are another often hidden issue. There can be links to self-esteem and the need to be very careful about how money is spent.
While this is a different situation to someone who may have heavy debts or spend too much, it is still an issue. I see in clients that often anxiety can stretch to include worrying about security or even begin there. Constant checking, planning and looking to the future.
The fear of losing a job.
Many people see money as security but it can also be many other things.
Money can be a reward, a replacement for love, a punishment, a tool to inflict pain, the list goes on….
It’s also important to realise that how we feel in relation to money can have nothing to do with how much we have in the bank. Some very wealthy people can concern themselves with money, money, money.
Decisions about money can also cause anxiety, and therefore add to it. It can be a battleground in the mind that is constant, which is the right way to go? Can I spend on this treat?
Sometimes the opposite, ‘I deserve it’ and then regret buying it afterwards.
Viktor Frankl saw the will to money as a basic form of the will to power, caused by an existential vacuum.
We live in a society that sees shopping as a form of therapy, but is it…?
Often money worries as a source of anxiety and depression go unspoken. Sufferers don’t tell partners, parents, GPs and the worry is turned inward which increases the sense of isolation and stress.
All I suggest is that we don’t discount money from the discussion about anxious thinking and suffering.
The ‘if I win the lottery’ fantasy keeps clients deeply rooted in the future, ignoring the mindfulness of today.
In therapy, we can look at what money means to you, and then start to look at what the threat is that is driving the anxiety. Re-framing is very important, challenging the rigid black and white thinking.
Most importantly, let’s not let money worries become money anxiety…