AFS Awareness in USA
"Your are alone."
This is why nobody listens to you.
It's your fault - no mater what - it's YOUR fault!
It feels like suffocating. It feels like something is sitting on your chest, and at the same time pounding to get out from within it. It steals your attention. It robs your focus. It intrudes your peace with terror. It whispers fears from your childhood you long-thought had been buried.
You can't sleep. Your coping mechanisms not only fail to fix the issues, they make things worse. People don't talk with you anymore. You know it's because they see your 'signs' of being a failure.
Feeling Alone with AFS in USA
Why is it that you're surrounded by 'normal' USA people, but no one is there to listen? What would happen if you risked more pain by sharing what they wouldn't dare share in return? More rejection. more suffering. More darkness and fear.
You've tried fighting, denying, spending, running. All of that has left you more miserable, more cornered and more edgy than ever. Even so, 'they' want to take your home, or your car, or your job, or the business you've sacrificed for decades to build.
The lights get turned off. Once, twice. Each time there's a short-term fix.
Eventually, the burden, stress, distraction and financial arrears mount again. That's quickly followed with another round of robo-calls demanding your answer. It's not enough to block their intrusions to your meetings, now they wake you early and follow-up with your spouses phone to point cold fingers in your face with nothing less than your 'happy-place' ring-tone.
"What the flock is wrong with me?" you trigger loudly.
It's a game to some. Like hunting. A chase and capture charade. It's terror chasing you down a dark hallway.
It's called AFS - Acute Financial Stress.
What is Acute Financial Stress or AFS?
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or to some just PTS: "It’s experienced by people who’ve been through war, have had sexual trauma, have suffered near-death experiences, or other traumatic USA incidents. But what if I told you there’s a psychological disorder with symptoms closely related to PTSD that are set forth by financial problems in USA? Well, it’s true, and the term is acute financial stress (or AFS).
"This problem isn’t small, either. Research shows that 1 in 4 USA adults experience PTSD-like symptoms from financial stress. Needless to say, understanding acute financial stress is a crucial asset in improving workplace performance and employee financial health." (2)
Living With AFS - a Devastating Condition
“There was a sense on the part of some USA mental health professionals who were told about AFS that it must be ‘PTSD-lite’ and that study participants must be exaggerating their symptoms,” continued Dr. Buckwalter. “However, it was the universal experience of a variety of USA experts who observed participant interviews, either live or on video, that these people are living with a devastating condition and that their symptoms are profound and life-altering, leaving each of them feeling incapable of making even the smallest step toward positive change. This is clearly not ‘PTSD-lite.’” (2)
PTSD and Financial Stress: How Are They Related?
"A study by Payoff distributed a survey to 2,104 participants with a modified version of the checklist given to those being assessed for PTSD. This test has a “cut off score”—a number that determines if you are, in fact, diagnosed with PTSD or not.
"Even though the assessment was financial stressor-focused—unlike the generalized assessment used in the original PTSD checklist—the cutoff score was used just the same. The results showed that 23% of participants scored positive for PTSD-equivalent scores for financial stress, as did 36% of millennials. The takeaway? Financial stress affects cognitive processes, damages health, and compromises the capacity to cope emotionally much like PTSD does."
"This results in self-destructive characteristics: denial, avoidance, anger, extreme anxiety, feelings of isolation, and also a constant state of hyperarousal. Acute financial stress also creates a never-ending need to feel “alert”—one may never let their guard down if they’re always on the verge of losing their home, are drowning in insurmountable debt, and have to stay ready for the next financial emergency. This hyperarousal eventually causes a rise in blood pressure, increases their risk for heart disease, and in turn, skyrockets their healthcare bills. (Which then results in even more debt, financial stress, and PTSD-like symptoms.)" (3)
Back to The Feelings of PTSD
"One of those symptoms is a freeze response—you might feel physically frozen or mentally stuck. Exercise stimulates your nervous symptoms, boosts your endorphins, refocuses your thoughts, and makes you feel powerful."
"And it doesn’t have to be physically vigorous to make a difference. Rhythmic exercise—the kind that gets your arms and legs moving—is effective at all intensity levels. Try walking, running, dancing, swimming, or yoga."
"Dr. Galen Buckwalter discusses his research into Acute Financial Stress and the impact this stress has on people in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Tr7bd4rNM" (2)