How Money Trauma Affects Other Areas Of Your Life


Being unable to afford health insurance or make mortgage payments, carrying debt, losing a job, experiencing financial loss as a child (loss of a home, main care provider or experiencing tight times), and/or entering the job market at a time when the economy is shifting are just some of the past circumstances that can affect how you show up with money now. Some people are more susceptible to the long-term repercussions of this type of stress, which can manifest as symptoms typical of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We usually save the term “trauma” for a particular set of circumstances, which are frequently the most severe and appalling ones we can think of at the time. On the other hand, this frequently results in people failing to recognize trauma when experiencing it due to situations they perhaps would not have anticipated.


  • Overthinking about money is pessimistic and frequently includes dwelling on past mistakes and setbacks.
  • The capacity to concentrate is hampered, and one’s attention is frequently diverted away from the task at hand by concerns of impending financial disaster even when you now make plenty of money.
  • Difficult time staying in appreciation of money, gifts and experiences but secretly believe that it is only a matter of time before something negative, or even something worse, occurs again.
  • Over saving or over spending out of nervous energy around money. This may look like pouring over spreadsheets or trying to invest every dollar expecting immediate returns.
  • The symptoms, which might include jitteriness, sleeplessness, and nightmares, persist over time.
  • Increases in coping techniques, such as avoiding situations or turning to substance misuse to cope or relax around financial concerns.
  • Unable to discuss money issues with spouse due to fear of rejection, judgement or mistrust around money.
  • Hard to maintain joy around having and holding money.

Financial Avoidance

According to Chapman, one of the most important indicators of past financial trauma is avoidance of financial matters. This could take the form of avoiding any conversations concerning money, not reading mail that contains bills, or not interacting with bookkeeping as the owner of a firm.


Another common reaction to a stressful financial situation is overspending or developing a spending addiction. This could take the form of anything from spending excessive money on eating out to making significant purchases with money you do not have. It is essential to self-reflect and investigates the reasons behind your tendency to spend more money than you have available. If you face a stressful day, and you find yourself overspending, you may be doing so because you’re trying to numb the pain or you’re seeking an increase in dopamine. Both things can be achieved through spending.


On the other side, one of the signs of financial distress can be a substantial reduction in expenditure even when there is sufficient funding available. This is referred to as “extreme risk aversion,” which might be linked to having a mentality of dread and scarcity in relation to money. This could be the result of a person’s previous life experiences, in which they were forced to make difficult financial decisions and were forced to face new challenges with apprehension and anxiety.

Working with a Money Trauma Specialist helps you feel safe with money. You learn your money patterns, reduce anxiety, create money rituals and money plan,  and heal old money patterns. Many clients who do this work experience having a healthy relationship with money and earning more money as a result of letting go of old money patterns. In addition, couples who do this work report getting on the same page with their money and legacy plan.

Ready to get to work on your money trauma? Contact us today to get started.

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