Are you suffering from: Financial phobia

It took a Cambridge psychologist and a poll of 10,000 people for the online bank Egg to figure out what many of us already know - that those white envelopes from the bank are best left unopened. Financial Phobia is an acute sense of anxiety and discomfort in relating to one's personal financial affairs. Extreme victims do not open bills or credit-card statements even if, as it happens, they work as accountants by day. The condition is often caused by some financial mishap (the loss of money due to no fault of one's own); but just as frequently, the victim hates having anything to do with financial forms. As with most phobias, the cure is to do a little bit at a time (eg, opening the envelope at least, and then working up to reading it later) until the anxiety subsides. But perhaps the only reason that the nine million British sufferers want to get a grip on the condition is to be able to read other people's bank statements - which 50% of couples polled admit to doing. Helen Kirwan-Taylor -

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

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