Chrometophobia: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Chrometophobia: what it is, causes, symptoms and treatment

Money and its management is essential in our society. We work to earn money and we spend it on basic aspects such as buying food, paying rent or paying for electricity, on the one hand; or in more recreational aspects such as going out to dinner at a restaurant, going to the movies or booking a vacation. We all handle, to a greater or lesser extent, money every day.

Despite being something so everyday, there are very modest people who find it difficult to talk about money and/or their financial affairs or even people who feel insecure when others know their financial data. There are even people who, related to money, suffer from “chrometophobia.” Do you know what it is? Continue reading this PsychologyFor article in which we will see you What is chrometophobia, its causes, symptoms and treatment.

What is chrometophobia

Chrometophobia is the name it receives phobia and/or aversion to money. This is a phobia that has not received attention in the scientific literature and, therefore, about which we do not have enough information to offer scientifically supported data. Why hasn’t this problem received attention? Possibly because it is not a very common problem.

Another problem with chrometophobia lies in its definition. What exactly does this fear consist of? In searches on the web we can find chrometophobia referring to two aspects, fundamentally, which are:

  • The fear of losing money and being left without it, that is, fear of not having money.
  • The fear of having money especially physical money.

We can find other references to chrometophobia such as the fear of carrying out money transactions, but in any case it would refer to either obtaining or losing money, so it could fit into the previous meanings.

Is chrometophobia a disorder?

Although chrometophobia is also called the “disease of not wanting to spend money,” is it really a disorder? The diagnostic classifications of mental disorders DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association) and ICD-11 (World Health Organization) include a group of disorders called specific phobias. For chrometophobia, money phobia or “money disease” to be considered a disorder of this group, it must meet a series of criteria.

Probably, we can find people worried about their financial problems or worried about carrying money on them (thinking that they may be victims of a robbery). It is also probably more difficult to find people who meet the criteria to be diagnosed with a specific phobia.

However, in this article we are going to discuss chrometophobia from the definition and criteria for specific phobia of the DSM-5 classification of mental disorders. Keep in mind, as we have pointed out, that there is no specific literature for this type of problem.

Causes of chrometophobia or fear of money

To explain the development and maintenance of specific phobias, various theories have been proposed. Among them we find biological theories (focused on the genetic acquisition and/or evolutionary acquisition of phobias) and those presented below, of a more psychological nature.

First of all we can acquire fear through observation of said fear in close people, such as our parents, which is called vicarious conditioning.

It is also possible that there are irrational thoughts or beliefs that are influencing the acquisition and/or maintenance of our fear.

On the other hand, conditioning theories establish that fear is acquired as a consequence of the association between money and an aversive stimulus. For example, if we have previously been robbed and money has been taken from us, it has happened to someone close to us, or even the kidnappings that people with high purchasing power may have suffered can cause us to associate the possession of money with negative consequences.

Once fear is acquired, we will avoid situations that lead us to it (such as carrying money on us), which will relieve the anxious symptoms and will reinforce our avoidant behavior.

Finally, it should be noted that biopsychosocial theories have also been postulated that integrate knowledge from the biological, psychological and social areas.

Symptoms of chrometophobia

Continuing along the same lines and based on what was collected by Sosa, CD and Capafóns, JI (2014)(1)below we review the symptoms of specific phobias, collected in three groups of symptoms:

  • On a physiological level, the person experiences symptoms such as tachycardia, increased blood pressure, sweating or nausea due to anticipation (anticipating that we are going to run out of money) or the presentation of the phobic stimulus (carrying money on us).
  • At a cognitive level, we will find negative beliefs and/or irrational ideas regarding the presence of the feared stimulus or their own coping ability (for example: if I carry a lot of money, people will notice and they will surely rob me).
  • At a behavioral level, the person will avoid the phobic stimulus or they will resist it with discomfort (for example, they will avoid carrying money with them or they will delegate responsibility to another person).

Treatment of chrometophobia or fear of money

How to overcome the fear of not having money? Treatment for specific phobia is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacological therapy with anxiolytics as a complement.

Regarding cognitive-behavioral therapy, to treat money phobia, the following is used:

  • The exposure technique: the patient is exposed to the stimulus. If, for example, your fear is going out with cash on you, we must expose the patient to this situation for a long time so that their symptoms decrease. In the following article, we explain the exposure technique in detail.
  • Relaxation techniques. These are essential to implement the exposure technique. Below, you will find a video with a guided relaxation so you can start practicing.
  • Cognitive techniques that will deal with irrational beliefs and ideas that may appear in the case.

This article is merely informative, at PsychologyFor we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Chrometophobia: what it is, causes, symptoms and treatment we recommend that you enter our Clinical Psychology category.

  1. Sosa, CD and Capafóns, JI (2014) Specific phobia. En Caballo, VE, Salazar, IC and Carrobles, JA (2014) Manual of Psychopathology and Psychological Disorders. Madrid. Pyramid.


  • American Psychiatric Association (2014). DSM-5. Reference guide to the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-5-Breviary. Madrid: Panamericana Medical Editorial.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) (2018) International Classification of Diseases, 11th revision. Recovered from

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