If you are deep in debt and struggling to make your monthly payments for your housing, living expenses and your credit card and other bills, you may be stressed out or depressed. When our clients come in for their initial free consultation, we often find they are frustrated and at the end of their emotional rope. It's no secret that money woes impact your emotions but what you may not know is that financial stress can impact your mental health and this can cause your physical health to deteriorate, as well.
Here are five ways debt stress can affect your mental health:
It doesn't make sense, but often when people are dealing with stressful situations, they indulge in retail therapy. For women, it may be shoes, purses or a new outfit. For men, it's often electronics and other gadgets. Often the thrill of buying can offset your debt depression for a few hours or days, but once the credit card bill arrives or you can't pay a bill because of what you spent, the stress comes back multiplied. Many people deep in debt repeat this behavior compulsively and it makes everything worse.
Many people that are struggling financially find themselves having bouts of stress that can be intermittent or constant. Stress can keep you up at night and interrupt your sleep, and this tiredness can aggravate other mental health conditions. Stress makes it hard to focus at work. If it impacts you on the job, it can make your work life worse, as well. All of this can culminate in a serious impact on both your mental and physical health.
Debt collectors are known for harassing their targets and many make threats that are illegal, but scary nonetheless. Inability to make mortgage or car payments can lead to fear over losing your car or home. Delinquent debts can lead to threats of garnishment and lawsuits, all of which can be frightening. You may come to dread the ringing of your phone and don't want to look at your mail because of all of the collections activity on your overdue bills.
Some people respond to debt dilemmas with anger in combination with these other mental health issues. You may be angry with yourself for getting in over your head. You may be envious of friends or family that are succeeding financially. You may be angry with your boss for cutting back your hours or not giving you a large enough raise. You may be angry at your family and blame them for your circumstances. Anger is a dangerous emotion that is not conducive to mental well-being.
The most common emotion we see among our bankruptcy clients is depression. Being in unmanageable debt over an extended period of time wears away at your self-confidence and self-esteem and makes you question yourself. If your family members hassle you about your debts, this can intensify and aggravate feelings of depression. Untreated and unrelieved, depression can lead to thoughts of self-harm and other devastating consequences.
Yes, all of this sounds terrible and, truly, debt can be overwhelming and awful if you can't get your head above water financially. If your debt is driving you to a state of negative mental health, this can also impact your physical health and can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, ulcers and other negative impacts. Don't let debt rule your life. Bankruptcy can literally save your life by getting you out of the doldrums that are dragging your mental and physical health down.
Contact the law offices of John T Orcutt for a free consultation on how bankruptcy can eradicate most of your debts and give you a financial fresh start with all the health benefits this brings.