Plenty of Americans are in the financial trenches
In 2016, 25% of Americans (and 36% of millennials) were already suffering PTSD related symptoms from financial stress. With tens of millions of people being pushed over a financial cliff due to the pandemic, the problem has been exacerbated for a wide swath of Americans.
What is financial PTSD?
According to Forbes, Americans are experiencing staggering rates of psychological distress from money trauma. This means that folks are being diagnosed with mental issues caused by their financial situation. This includes worrying about homelessness, late payments, lack of health insurance and can include irrational behavior stemming from the stress and fear of insufficient funds. Nightmares, hypervigilance, avoidance and denial are common for people suffering from financial PTSD.
An expert on financial trauma warned how constant money stress erodes mental and physical well being, which (ironically) leaves people less able to cope with managing their finances. Check out this recent John Oliver Last Week Tonight on unemployment to get a broader sense of how folks are teetering on the brink these days.
What causes financial trauma?
A consistent inability to pay for expenses triggers stress reactivity systems hardwired in our bodies from thousands of years of evolution. Back in the day, that stress reaction would be triggered by a lion in the wild, but it would dissipate once you had reached safety.
Nowadays, money stress triggers this same biological response in us, but it’s relentless, since the financial issues never truly disappear for many people. Being behind in payments one month can easily spiral into being three months behind. Our biological stress reactors were not meant to constantly fire on all cylinders like they are today, hence the PTSD symptoms so many people are facing.
Addressing financial PTSD
Combating financial PTSD can be tricky, considering it’s a mix of behavior and fear, but one tangible way to feel in financial control is through knowledge. Financial literacy is empowering, and learning about money is a way to feel in control against the unknown. There’s no need to learn everything at once, incremental knowledge will suffice.
DigitalAMN’s PAI Ecosystem will soon offer a financial bootcamp for everyday people and currently provides funding opportunities for entrepreneurs who can’t secure sweet, sweet cash from venture capitalists. In addition to providing startup financial opportunities, DigitalAMN’s PAI Ecosystem provides business development support to microcap companies trading on the OTC markets in an effort to give everyday people an opportunity to participate in the public markets, but with better curated businesses. This opportunity is a stepping stone for generational wealth that unaccredited investors can’t expect on Wall Street.
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