Group offers therapy for people who compulsively under-earn - FOX Carolina 21

Group offers therapy for people who compulsively under-earn

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A list of the symptoms of under-earning, according to Underearners Anonymous. (File/FOX Carolina) A list of the symptoms of under-earning, according to Underearners Anonymous. (File/FOX Carolina)

Not making enough money? Frustrated with your salary? A worldwide group says they can help.

The group is called "Underearners Anonymous" and says "under-earning" is serious, and millions of compulsive under-earners in the workforce need help. UA says it is about underachieving, "or under-being, no matter how much money we make."

UA has created a 12-step program, similar to the one Alcoholics Anonymous uses, to treat addiction. They claim if compulsive under-earners continue down the path they're on, it could lead to being put into a mental institution, prison or even suicide.

They offer a quiz to help people know if they have a problem. An answer of "yes" to eight questions on their survey may mean the test taker is a compulsive under-earner or headed in that direction.

When asked about under-earning and the test, some people in Greenville said they were not surprised under-earning is being treated like an addiction.

"Once you start any cycle, often you just repeat it over and over," Christy McCoy said.  

UA is run by a fellowship of volunteers. FOX Carolina tried contacting them but didn't get a response. Local therapists said settling for less can be an addiction.

"People are addicted to safety, people settle to be safe and in the long run it can be very destructive," said Upstate therapist Roger Rhoades.

UA does make it clear - it's not how much you make that can drive one to compulsion, but feeling like you're not where you'd thought you be in terms of savings, career goals or success.

Local professionals said that is a root of many of their client's problems.

"With the shift in economy we are hearing it more and more, people are coming in with depression issues, anxiety issues," Rhoades said.

So what's the secret to those who say they couldn't answer "yes" to a single question on the quiz? Satisfied employee Brian McCants said to explore your options.

McCants said as a worker, you can't let the frustration get to you and you have to keep working hard.

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