Inflation: What is financial stress and how can I overcome it?

Much uncertainty is causing among the population of the United States inflation we live in right now, which has led to speculation that there could be an economic recession soon, which could trigger different financial problems that would affect the majority of the population.

It is unknown to no one that one of the things that do not cause a certain fear or conflict are all those related to money, understand work, mortgage, debts, personal finances, family finances, among others.

Financial problems can impact our mental health and even our partner or our family could be affected by this situation.

Unfortunately, there are many who live with what is known as financial stress, a disorder where you can feel overwhelmed, anxious and even go through moments of depression for much of the day, caused precisely by your economy.

Dr. Darren Moore, who is a psychologist and therapist, an expert in marriage and family issues, spoke in an interview for El Diario about how in recent years, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, there are more people experiencing financial stress, What consequences can this have and above all, how can this problem be overcome.

1 in 7 Americans experience financial stress

According to Dr. Moore, at least one in 4 people worldwide may experience depression at least once in their life.

However, taking into account these moments in which there is a lot of speculation regarding economic issues, in general terms, the specialist calculates that one in 7 people in the United States are currently dealing with stress and anxiety related to financial concerns.

One of the things that causes the most financial stress is the issue of mortgage payments. (Photo: Shutterstock)

“Right now, following the coronavirus pandemic, people have seen their ability to earn an income affected. Some lost their jobs or had to change jobs. Also, not everyone had the opportunity to work from home or remotely; some people were forced to go to the office, which could also generate anxiety, stress, depression and fear. In addition to that, inflation has worsened the situation, which is why many are experiencing stress related to their financial worries”, indicated the therapist.

Not being able to meet one’s own and family’s basic needs, such as being able to pay the mortgage and medical issues, are the main triggers of financial stress.

Characteristics of financial stress

Dr. Moore emphasized that while we all deal with stress throughout our lives, financial stress has certain characteristics that make it different from what we may experience on a daily basis.

“When we talk about financial stress, people come to experience a more significant severe pressure, to the point that there may be difficulties getting out of bed. In addition, most of the day is spent solving their economic circumstances, such as how to pay their debts, how to feed the family”, explains the psychologist.

The specialist points out that It is precisely people between 30 and 50 years of age who experience the most financial stress, since they have other responsibilities such as being married, having children, being the ones who also take care of their parents.

“They are known as ‘the sandwich generation.’ So, we have people who are taking care of their children, their parents and trying to support themselves,” emphasizes Darren.

But the little ones are not spared from experiencing this evil either. Young people between 17 and 25 years old may experience anguish, depression or sadness because they are living this period of transition to “emerging adults”, that is, they are no longer seen as dependent children and individual people, who should or are working to be independent, preparing to move from the house to enter the university.

And unfortunately, older adults are not spared from this evil either. The mental health specialist has also treated retirees who, due to certain circumstances, cannot be completely financially independent.

How to know if you have financial stress

Like any mental disorder, the first thing that Dr. Moore recommends is to put yourself in the hands of a specialist in the subject, who has the tools to evaluate the situation; nevertheless, The most recurrent signs of those who suffer from it are:

* Inability to sleep
* Inability to do daily activities
* Being constantly worried about financial matters, in particular about being able to meet basic needs (food, shelter, etc.)
* Isolate yourself from others
* Inability to care for oneself
* Headache
* constant fatigue

Moore emphasizes that a person with financial stress can develop depression and this, in turn, could lead to suicidal thoughts in those who suffer from it.

Financial stress could lead you into a deep depression. (Photo: Shutterstock)

How to overcome financial stress

Dr. Moore recommends 6 things that can be done in order to get out of this problem:

1) Establish communication with the family. The first thing is to raise the economic problems that you are experiencing in order to be able to make changes to lifestyles, prioritize the things that are needed, which helps to release some of that stress and anxiety.

“Within marriages, if there is no direct, open and honest communication, what can happen is that the couple can start arguing, they can start to have a higher level of conflict, they can have problems related to emotional attachment, That can make the situation worse.”

2) Modify habits and lifestyles. “A family that is used to going out to eat at a restaurant once a week may not be able to do so due to inflation and other economic problems. Perhaps, the ideal is that now they do it once a month, ”says Moore.

“Another example is in people who have to move. They may need to move to a smaller house or apartment. And also people who care for their parents, it may be necessary to take them to live in their homes to cut costs.

3) Educate children financially. It is important to talk with children about money issues, budgets, in order to create financial culture in them and prevent them from experiencing stress.

4) Get away from consumerism. “There are certain things that a person likes to buy, so ideas about what it means to buy something from specific brands can also create unhealthy relationships with spending and money that can cause a person not to stick to a budget and can also create more financial problems.”

5) Have a financial advisor. The doctor explains that there are companies that offer this service to their employees and even those who have had to fire them to make the process easier. There are also financial institutions that offer this service for free or at low cost.

6) Approach a specialist couples or family therapist. “One of the things that I think is really helpful for people who are dealing with these kinds of issues is that sometimes it’s important to talk about these issues with your partner.”

“In a relationship, there may be one person who likes to spend money, who likes to buy things, who maybe overspends, and the other is just the opposite. Therefore, they may have conflicts and argue, which can lead to more serious problems such as lack of emotional attachment, lack of sexual intimacy, and even breakup or divorce. Part of my job is to help them communicate, help them find opportunities to connect, build a bridge, and help them effectively communicate their needs, their wants, and come up with a plan that helps them address their financial stress and work together.” .

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* 14 US states where you need to earn more than $70k to make ends meet
* US inflation eased slightly in July but continues to weigh on consumer finances, economic analyst says