Financial Anxiety

According to a survey done by the American Psychological Association, 65% of Americans reported money as a significant source of stress. (American Psychological Association, 2022) With stress comes anxiety or even panic attacks and while it is common to have anxiety around our finances, it’s important to recognize when it has become more.

The DSM -5 describes normal anxiety as, “worries of everyday life are not excessive and are perceived as more manageable and may be put off when more pressing matters arise.” Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), where financial anxiety falls under, “the worries are excessive and typically interfere significantly with psychosocial functioning, are more pervasive, pronounced, and distressing.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)


Are you constantly worrying about your finances to the point that it’s interfering with daily tasks and it has lasted more than six months?

Do you find it difficult to control the worry?

Is the anxiety and worry accompanied by 3 or more of the following?

  • restless, irritable, or easily fatigued
  •  trouble concentrating
  •  muscle tension
  • trouble sleeping

Lastly, the symptoms are not as a result of substance use disorder or can be attributed to another disorder.

If you feel you may have GAD, seek help from a professional who can help diagnose and properly treat you.

Work Accommodations

If you discover you have financial anxiety, you are entitled to reasonable work accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Examine your work environment and what your specific needs are then seek accommodations to help you succeed in the workplace.

Per Job Accommodation Network (JAN), here are the most common:

  • Flexible Schedule
  • Modified Break Schedule
  • Rest Area/Private Space
  • Support Animal
  • Support Person
  • Identify and Reduce Triggers

For an extended explanation on these accommodations, see Work Accommodation Ideas for Anxiety.

Requesting Accommodations

If you feel uncomfortable asking for accommodations, please read How to Ask for Reasonable Accommodations at the Workplace for guidance on requesting accommodations from your employer.

Here’s a video on asking for reasonable accommodations.

Seeking Help

If you would like to speak to someone at JAN, here’s their contact page and below is their number:

Voice: 800-526-7234

TTY:   877-781-9403

If you are experience suicidal thoughts, please contact 988 for help. The calls are free, confidential, and they are open 24/7 to help you navigate difficult emotions.

Attend a Workshop

If you are interested in attending a live webinar on improving your relationship with your finances, please visit my events.

[expand title=”References“]

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

American Psychological Association. (2022). Stress in america: money, inflation, war pile on to nation stuck in COVID-19 survival mode Retrieved from:

Job Accommodation Network. (n.d.). Information by role. Retrieved from:

Swaim, Emily, Healthline. (n.d.). Money anxiety is common, but you don’t have to handle it alone. Retrieved from: