There is no doubt that your finances can have a hefty toll on your mental health and vice versa. I have been talking to more people about their money for the blog and just to make talking about finance a norm with friends and family. While discussing personal finance with them, I’ve noticed something many people aren’t talking about: the correlation between shopping addiction and bankruptcy.
On an even broader note, many people don’t seem to notice the correlation between mental health and finance either. But don’t be fooled. Both addiction and mental health can have a profound impact on your financial situation and leave you stuck.
A Correlation Between Shopping Addiction and Bankruptcy?
I know a few individuals who have filed for bankruptcy. That is absolutely terrifying to me, but for many people who have filed, it doesn’t seem to phase them a bit. In fact, almost all of them have open, recurring debts for things they don’t really need. Programs like Afterpay and Klarna have only exacerbated this issue.
Even though they have filed for bankruptcy, which means they are holding much more debt than they could ever pay off for the foreseeable future. This has to be proven with documentation and, even then, you still may have to forfeit assets and pay off debts for another five years before they are erased.
However, filing for bankruptcy is doing nothing for the impulse control disorder that leads to compulsive shopping. For individuals with these control problems, bankruptcy offers them a clean slate to shop even more with new credit.
Are You a Shopping Addict?
While it is not formally recognized as a mental condition, shopping addiction is a real problem for many people. Luckily, it is manageable with therapy and direction from professionals. You may have a shopping addiction if any of the following applies to you…
- You spend a lot of time thinking about shopping and planning purchases. We aren’t talking about meal planning and budgeting here.
- It becomes evident that shopping interferes with other parts of your life (i.e. your financial future).
- Whoops! You go over your budget fairly often and rely on credit regularly.
- Your debt and finances as a whole are just entirely too complicated.
- There are secrets you keep about shopping.
- You have found that shopping gives you an almost euphoric high.
If you find yourself agreeing with more of these than not, you may want to seek help in getting your spending habits under control. You can also attend anonymous groups for addiction that allow you to connect with others who have gone through similar situations. Once you have a handle on how to change your habits, create a plan to move forward with paying off your debts.
This will ensure you break the cycle of shopping addiction and bankruptcy.
Mental Health and Personal Finance
Shopping addiction isn’t the only mental health issue impacting personal finance either. Addiction in general can have a wicked effect on a person’s finances. Additionally, mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive disorders can also have a serious impact on the way you spend, save, and accrue debt.
In general, poor mental health can make it extremely difficult to manage and even earn money. Then, once you realize your finances are not in order, your anxiety about your money will just increase. Things can quickly start to seem overwhelming, even impossible.
All of these things can be helped, can be treated, and need to be talked about. The problem is, many people want to skate around the issues with bandaids or temporary fixes. That is why this week I’m asking why is no one talking about shopping addiction and bankruptcy?
Talk about money, debt, mental health, and hard issues with your close friends and family. Removing the stigma around these topics can help everyone heal and do better.
As always, if you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, addiction, or mental health issues, call the National Mental Health Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). They can help direct you to professionals that can better assist in dealing with the problem at hand.
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.