Is Your Financial Situation Influencing Your Health?

Money & Health

Dr Northrup |

Dr Northrup

Dozens of studies have documented the link between our state of health, our level of education, and our socioeconomic status. In short, those with the most education and the highest socioeconomic status are those who, statistically speaking, are the most likely to enjoy healthy lives. If you currently lack formal education or high socioeconomic status, however, don’t despair. We all know individuals with plenty of money and education who are neither healthy nor happy. Although many people don’t see it this way, there really is no reason why you can’t improve your current situation.

Here’s a story I recall from my practice about a woman whose health was negatively affected by her misconceptions around money:

For years, Mary, age 46, was convinced that her husband was better at finances than she was. He paid all the bills and spent hours each week at his computer doing so. Unfortunately, this process seemed to fill him with a mixture of satisfaction, dread, and worry. His mantra became, “There’s never enough. We are overspending.” Increasingly, she felt influenced by his fear and also equally paralyzed by it because she began to feel worse and worse asking her husband for money for anything but the barest of essentials.

Mary felt the only way she could help solve the problem was to spend less. But that never seemed to make much of a difference, and her husband continued to complain, “There’s never enough.” Finally, after many moments of soul searching, Mary got a job in sales with a good salary and decent benefits. She felt good to be adding money to the family coffers, and even though she hated her job, she felt it was worth it because of the security it provided. Now she and her husband were making more money than ever, yet Mary’s husband kept repeating his mantra.

Even though Mary was bringing home a paycheck, and had become a much more empowered woman in the world, her health began to suffer. She felt more and more tired. Her joints ached. One Monday morning, when she got out of bed, her “back went out.” Soon Mary was going to the chiropractor weekly. Luckily her job’s health insurance paid the bills and her manager changed her job from the sales force to computer work. But soon thereafter, Mary began to get numbness and tingling in her hands and was diagnosed as having carpal tunnel syndrome.

After asking Mary what was going on her life, it became clear that her key issues were money and health. It is fairly well documented that worry about money is associated with lower back pain and a whole host of other health problems. In Mary’s situation, however, the real issue was that she was participating in an unhealthy pattern of behavior in which she handed over her money (and power) to others. Mary was READ MORE:

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