Link Between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Money Problems

November 18, 2019

obsessive compulsive disorder and debt

They say actions speak louder than words. Yet, actions can always be misinterpreted. I used to obsess over my personal finances in a way that wasn’t healthy. For example, I would wait until the last minute to pay bills.

I mean, I literally couldn’t manage to even approach the idea of recognizing I was in financial trouble until I was in financial trouble. The thought was overwhelming.

I have since learned that I was not the only one who felt this way about debt. The average household possessed about $51,000 in debt in the year 2000. By 2017, that estimate has increased to $61,000.

What could cause a debt increase like that for so many people? Could it solely be attributed to financial illiteracy, irresponsibility, or immaturity.

Stress and Debt

I know that I suffered from anxiety problems for a long time. Although, that fact can’t excuse my former problems with financial illiteracy.

Before the financial crisis of 2008, it was a lot easier to get a credit card. They were practically being given away in that era.

I used an obscene amount of credit cards to pay my bills without considering how I would pay my credit card bills.

The point is that I allowed anxiety, financial illiteracy, and basically procrastination to drag me down into a quagmire of debt.

However, this explanation is not that simple for many people who fall into debt or develop habitual money problems.

For many people, procrastination or financial illiteracy isn’t any the reasons for their habitual money problems.

It could be an undiagnosed or untreated obsessive compulsive disorder and debt problems that are interconnected.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder And Money Problems

There is no one defining characteristic when it comes to OCD, or, obsessive compulsive disorder.

It is broadly defined as an extreme personality disorder defined by a person’s uncontrollable thoughts and actions relative to excessive perfectionism, orderliness, attention to detail, repetitious actions relative to perceived notions superstition or luck, a need to control others, and so on. About 2.3% of Americans are estimated to have OCD.

However, a new U.K. study suggests that OCD affects more people than previously. Additionally, this study suggests that people with severe debt problems may be afflicted with OCD.

A March 2019 study by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute revealed that over 1.5 million people in England struggle with debt and OCD.

Over 46% of people with severe debt problems are also struggling with mental health issues. People with OCD are almost 6 times more likely to be in debt than those not suffering with OCD.

Discernable aspects of OCD such as uncontrollable impulsiveness, repetition, and making important financial decisions while suffering from depression or mania, could be a factor in worsening debt problems.

Such a study can’t trivialize the fact that many people are just financially illiterate and irresponsible when it comes to their own personal finances.

Still, this study reveals that the impact of mental health issues can’t be trivialized either when it comes to debt problems.

Getting Help

So, what does this all mean? Does it mean that your own debt problems can be blamed on OCD? No, that is not the issue.

The sad reality is that most people with OCD or other mental health issues don’t even realize, or won’t admit, they are afflicted with such.

Be aware of your moods when you are paying bills, making purchases, or balancing your personal finances.

If you think that you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues, endeavor to get help. This may be difficult, since help is only beneficial when someone wants it.

I can’t say that I have OCD, I was just used to be financially irresponsible. Yet, there are many people with severe OCD whose debt is worsening by the moment. That is a shame.

Read More

How Your Debt Affects Your Credit Score

Spreading Risks & Getting Out Of Debt

Debt Reduction Perils and Pitfalls



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