Financial stress is no joke. It can screw with your appetite, your sleeping habits, and it can even affect how well you perform on the job. But a new study by a financial wellness company shows a surprising and serious result of difficult money problems—posttraumatic stress disorder.
That’s right. According to the Payoff study, 23 percent of Americans—and 35 percent of millennials—experience a debilitating degree of stress over their finances, affecting their thoughts and feelings in ways that are most commonly associated with PTSD, a disorder most commonly associated with combat, sexual assault, and other serious traumas. Those who suffer from this debilitating stress act out in inexplicable ways without being able to adequately think through things, according to the study, and experience a diminished ability to plan, organize, and manage their finances.
Researchers surveyed 2,011 American adults, and found that 23 percent of them met criteria for three of the required dimensions of diagnosed PTSD: Intrusive thoughts, feelings of detachment and avoidance, and behavioral arousal. When the researchers isolated millennials, they found 35 percent met the criteria. And much of their reported stress, the researchers found, surrounded credit and financial difficulties, leading them to name the condition Acute Financial Stress.
“As I analyzed our initial research on financial personality, I began to realize people were reporting on a psychological and emotional level the same symptoms I was familiar with from separate research I’ve done with PTSD,” Galen Buckwalter, chief science officer at Payoff, said in a statement.
But, says Scott Saunders, founder and CEO of Payoff, the results should come as no surprise to a society swamped by financial woes. “When we consider today’s reality of stagnant incomes, limited savings, and high amounts of credit card and other debt, along with frequent financial traumas such as defaults, evictions, and aggressive debt collection, these findings should trigger alarm bells for our society to address the challenges with debt millions are facing.”
If you’re experiencing your own financial alarm bells, it could be time to seek help—whether from a financial adviser or mental health professional.
Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 12: REST API is deprecated for versions v2.1 and higher (12) thrown in /home/content/19/9807019/html/briandmahan/blog/wp-content/plugins/seo-facebook-comments/facebook/base_facebook.php on line 1273