Emotional Spending: The Link Between Money and Mental Health

Emotional Spending: The Link Between Money and Mental Health

By: Kyle James - Posted in:
Girls on a shopping spree to ease their emotional state

An Emotional Spending Overview

Money is a source of joy and stress. Most people feel better with money and worse without it. Whether rich or poor, emotion-filled financial choices typically go against better judgement.  So how do we end emotional spending and make wise financial choices?

Spending money can be stressful when you have a limited supply. Millions of people experience anxiety when money becomes the topic of discussion. It’s not uncommon to fear running out of money as they are spending it. This is not only limited to the poor. Many wealthy individuals with sky-high expenses have the same fears- their spending anxiety is just typically attached to a higher dollar amount.

Unconscious spending temporarily reduces financial anxiety. Manic episodes and intoxication temporarily replace financial anxiety with serotonin and dopamine. However, when conscious again, the stress is compounded more than it was prior to the unconscious spending episode. This perpetuates a cycle of seeking mental release from poverty’s stresses by reverting to the unconscious behavior known as emotional spending.

During bouts of emotional spending, many people view and portray themselves as wealthy. The stress that typically exists when spending the little money available is temporarily non-existent. Thus, for the non-wealthy, a “mental break” or “vacation” typically is enabled through mental illness or intoxicants. As mind-altering substances and mental illness take hold, emotional spending occurs.

The Intersection of Money and Mental Health

Woman With Emotional Spending Problems

Money enables vacations and “mental breaks”. For the wealthy, vacations give people a break from the places and situations that cause mental stress. Vacations refresh the mind, reduce stress, and provide clarity of purpose. Most people return from vacation with renewed ambition.

The connection between money and mental health is extremely strong- even for those without mental conditions. For the poor, it’s nearly impossible to escape from stress sources- job, bad neighborhoods, and even a night away from children. The described situation is what leads people to feel “trapped” when they are physically free.

Furthermore, the poor typically stress over how money is made. Low-paying, undesirable jobs cause stress even though they pay the bills. Many people work manual labor jobs and are forced to work long hours to pay the bills.

Clearly, money is often a pain point for those financially struggling- but why? Money is a self-evaluation metric. Society ingrains the connection between money and self-worth from a young age. Money allows rich kids access to joy and opportunity. Furthermore, money can alleviate boredom by providing access to new experiences.

Extreme discipline is required to raise your consciousness without money. Spending money exposes one to new life experiences- expanding consciousness and providing new perspectives. Money is like a passport for life experiences. Accordingly, expanding consciousness while being poor requires intensive budgeting and increasing the presence of mind without a lot of new experiences.

Money is simply stored energy. The poor’s inability to release energy through spending money may cause for energy to be released in unhealthy ways- which worsens mental health. Even wealthy individuals have wound up poor by spending money irresponsibly during a time of mental instability. Clinically speaking, spending money frivolously during a state of manic depression is known as bipolar spending.

Bipolar Spending: A Disconnect Between Money and Mental Health

I wrote about bipolar spending from personal experience. In fact, I struggled with bipolar disorder, and bipolar spending, until I discovered the power of meditation. Here is a short story about my struggle with bipolar spending, money, and mental health.

Bipolar disorder is simply a label for a special brain chemistry that creates immense energy and creativity, along with the tremendous risk of self-sabotage. In my case, I was only delusional and reckless while under the influence of massive amounts of alcohol. While sober, I am creative and able to focus on a singular task for a long period of time.

When I was younger, I frequently made personal and financial progress only to demolish my hard work in a singular weekend. There were many times in my life where it felt unavoidable to not get drunk and spend money. Everything I loved doing involved late nights and intoxicants.

After studying bipolar disorder, I learned that financial recklessness is a common symptom of bipolar spending. I also learned alcohol and other drugs often fuel mania. Mania is a period of time where energy levels elevate to unhealthy levels, for a week or longer, and lead to irrational thoughts, actions, and behaviors. Simply put, irrational financial decisions result when you combine money and mania. There we go- bipolar spending is mania and money combined.

Need Help With Bipolar Spending or Emotional Spending?

Bipolar disorder is becoming more widely talked about publically. Many celebrities have publically spoke up regarding bipolar disorder and mental health in general. For me, I had to subside self-imposed stigma and doubt in order to conquer the brain label called bipolar disorder.

Don’t wreck your financial progress with bipolar spending! Developing healthy habits like meditation can be a natural remedy for emotional spending. Get more information about how to conquer bipolar spending and bipolar disorder by filling out the form below.

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