"Show Me the Money" Disorders

this is about having a money disorder

Seen and Heard

“Show Me the Money” Disorders

Wynonna Judd leads the women’s movement to money rehab

-Mary Beth Sammons

wynonna juddHow many of you have joked that you are addicted to shopping? I know I have. There’s nothing like the little mood pick-me-upper of heading to Ann Taylor for a new little work top, or pressing the send button on an online credit card purchase for a “little something” I suddenly NEED to buy.

But guess what? Now it turns out my codependency on my happiness level and how many new clothes are in my closet could be the sign of a serious relationship issue. Not with the man in my life (or current lack thereof) but of the cash not in my wallet. And evidently more psychologically dangerous is when my friends and I shared what we contrived to be a clever clothes conspiracy – buy outfits at night, sneak them directly into the closet, and when hubby asks “Is that new?” throw in the old “No, this has been in my closet, haven’t you seen it?” Worked like a charm. Except now it seems that it’s a red flag that I am either an addict or could be if I ‘don’t check my spending.

Seriously, it seems sales are soaring at a new kind of rehab – money disorder treatment centers. From famous stars like Wynonna Judd to just plain less-sparkly folk like you and me, it seems that little high from the mall can signal major money relationship issues.

It doesn’t help that there is a financial tornado blasting through Wall Street and we’re all finding ourselves stressed out over our bank accounts and whether our mortgage lenders will pop up in headlines tomorrow. But now more and more of us are examining our relationships with money. An online survey by the American Psychological Association in June found that 75 percent of the more than 2,500 adults surveyed said money was the No. 1 source of stress in their lives.

Take Wynonna, for example. Turns out, after amassing a megafortune, she squandered much of it throwing it at her kids to assuage her guilt at basically missing out on their childhoods in pursuit of her fame and fortune. Apparently, all of a sudden she found herself choking in mounds of debt with “nothing at all” moneywise.

So instead of rushing to the bookstore for missives on how to get rich, I now need to rack up my Barnes & Noble membership discount on books focusing on money and emotion. It seems there are many syndromes to this money disorder: overspending, underspending, serial borrowing, financial infidelity (lying to your spouse about spending – shoot, does the closet conspiracy mean this?) and financial enabling – throwing sums of money at our kids a la Wynonna and me and my teens. Okay, I don’t do large sums, but what about little bribes? Is that a sign?

I wish I could explore this issue more with all you Bettys here, but I’ve got to head to Nordstrom for their twice-yearly sale. I’m not sneaking in clothes on my ex-husband anymore, but my three teens are due home by midnight and I … well, you get where I’m going with this. It’s actually a cost-savings measure. If they see I am buying clothes for myself, then they want something too. Guess I can take this all up in rehab. See you there!

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