Money: keep it simple - Would you be hostage to the money?

Redação Vya Estelar 01/01/2016 PSICOLOGIA

by Valéria Meirelles

Before talking about the financial pathologies, for better understanding of the subject, I prefer to start by *defining what a disease is: the study of a disease in order to understand both the cause and apply this knowledge to treat patients.

The word "pathology" is derived from Greek, where pathos means suffering, disease, and logia, meaning science study. Therefore, the study of diseases in general in certain respects. In our case, on the financial aspects.

It is not easy to write about financial pathology, because there are still significant samples of research, although studies on them in various areas beyond the Psychology, Anthropology and Social Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Philosophy beyond course of psychoanalysis, with Freud's great contributions. So let them:

The pathologies that we see most often in our day to day is the compulsion to buy, when the individual buys a lot or always, and the famous "tightwad", who "live and die poor as rich," for it is a life of deprivation for the pleasure of having a lot of money in the account. For those who did not realize, yes, both cases are financial conditions!

There are also those who gamble compulsively, those who collect objects, dealing with love (Love Dealers), obsessed with making money, among many others.

To identify these diseases we need to be clear for some basic information: where, when, how often the behavior occurs and its repercussions and consequences. So we will be able to contextualize it and understand its meaning, to finally leave for treatment.

Let's start with "Need for Security". Before you immediately recognize - was the same with me - and they are deemed sick, we key questions, as mentioned above: where and when the need for security becomes pathological? Under what circumstances?

Whereas the capitalist society we live in, money acts as an important tool to give us material things we need to live with dignity, and also to realize our dreams and often give us the social status we desire.

In a very linear we reason: "more money, more security," as if it were our belt against all the storms of life. And there may even be, but of course not always.

The question becomes pathological when people become hostages of security, afraid of losing money and threatened by any situation that it would not feel the emotion brought about by money, either for compulsive shopping, those who punish themselves by hunters promotions by collectors or fanatics who accumulate a lifelong series of objects that give the illusory sense of superiority and power. Gradually we will talk about each one.

To Goldberg and Lewis, the authors will follow this matter, there are people who need money fervently as security, as other power, love and freedom. Today we talk about the first: safety.

1 - Compulsive Savers

For them, the main reward is the money saved. No matter how sacrificial is the economy that have to do, it's worth the satisfaction of seeing that the money is in accounts, savings accounts, real estate and other investments. Nothing is more important and pleasurable.
In popular is the "tightwad" or "cow hand".

Their attitudes toward saving reach extremes cause discomfort and aversion to those who are nearby, including the family as the need to save extend equally to all its members, often forcing them to economies of concern such as not having health insurance. Create a stigma for people mean, but do not care, they feel so happy.

Sometimes create conflicts in interpersonal relationships, it is known who have money, but choose not to spend it regardless of the situation.

In marriage, when one spouse has this feature, it is important that couples talk a lot about the way in which administer the money in order to avoid future problems.

2 - The self - denied (Self-denier)

For the self-denied saving is also key, but will require a dose of sacrifice that will be trumpeted from the rooftops, because the economy will be only more about their own stuff and a little less with others.

For example: are the people who spend little on themselves and when they spend with others (children, husbands, fathers, mothers, relatives, friends) say they are buying or doing something else because they are simple with little money, etc., etc.. In the popular, "spun a litany of laments," to explain that despite not having enough money, they are giving something to the other and are keen to make this quite explicit.

In contrast, bank account or investment grow. The issue here is the need for security associated with self-chosen (unlike the previous condition) and search for the legitimation of the sense of hearing: "gee, really, you sacrificed for me, thank you."

Spend almost nothing himself, a little money with the other and make clear that the sacrifice is to have an appreciation of others is the standard that most pleases the self-denied.

3 - Hunters compulsive promotions

In this pathology, the money is saved hard and as long as possible to be used in that promotion of annual mega stores X, Y, Z. So, worth the amount of products purchased, regardless of quality.

In the end, even buying many things not worth as much punishment, but they were priced great, the feeling that money earned in the promotion worth every penny day and spared.

Uncovering irrational behavior, the emotion comes from the fact people feel smarter than the others by buying only those promotions. The point is that exchange quantity for quality in the quest to show the other "firepower", which is almost never true.

4 - Collectors fanatics

The fanatical collectors tend to collect any thing that is value for them, regardless of whatever. They need to focus on quantity and material accumulation of objects, the larger font to have affection and security.

They are always buying more a part of the collection of elephants, seals, maps, bottle caps, frogs, comic books, in short, anything they consider important and of course, flatly refuse to give such pieces.

They can give their lives to get that object "X" and find this behavior to collect, a meaning for their lives, avoiding, unknowingly, feelings of loneliness and isolation.

And an "easy way", so let's say, because objects do not require anything in return and to give to collectors, a sense of status and power by having objects in quantity and mostly differentiated.

Some emotional gap makes them feel winning the accumulation of objects and this is what matters, after all, security is not for losers.


As we say in clinical practice, is not exactly what you do - provided you have an ethical - but what makes sense and what in your life that give a different meaning to experiences.

Of course we all already collect or collect something, we've helped someone close and took a leveraged the value "attitude, since we ran a promotion maddening and maybe we've already saved and madly in a time of life when it made sense.

However, problems arise when we become stuck exclusively to these standards and fail to look around and experience other possibilities.

As aptly stated by Kets de Vries: "In matters of money, everything is a question of balance."

See you in the next time!


DE VRIES, M. K (2007) Money, Money, Money. In: Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 231–243
FERREIRA, V.R.M (2008) Psicologia Econômica: Estudo do comportamento econômico e da tomada de decisão. Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier.
FURNHAM, A; ARGYLE, M (2007) The Psychology of Money. 3rd Reprinted. New York: Routledge.
GOLDBERG, H; LEWIS, R.T (1978) Money Madness: The Psychology of saving, spending, loving and hating money. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

*Definition withdrawing Network portal Psi-psychology

Redação Vya Estelar


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