Understanding the Link
We all get stressed about money sometimes (unless, of course, you’re a billionaire…maybe). Debt can take a toll on your mental health and having mental health issues can also make you more likely to go into debt.
If you are in debt and struggling with your mental health, you are not alone.
How Does Debt Impact Mental Health?
Debt can affect your mental health in a number of ways, often resulting in depression, anxiety, anger, or all three. In fact, being in debt can:
All of this can affect your physical health too, increasing your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, weight gain, and even catching whatever is going around.
“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
– Ogden Nash
What Should You Do ?
Mental health and debt often become entwined together. Regardless of which came first (a bout of depression causing cognitive issues which caused you to go into debt), you need to “treat” both of them. The combination of stress and debt can’t always be separated.
Some tips for coping with debt include:
This can be hard if you are anxious (can make it worse) or depressed (you may feel there’s no point). Having a good budget is the very first step to reducing debt.
Talk to and work with lenders. If you are in a debt resolution program you should already have this down, and remember that that’s an important step.
Your mental health is important. If you are struggling to afford therapy, you can talk to social services. Online therapy services are often cheaper than face-to-face, as are community clinics. Tell your therapist about your financial struggles and remember that it is confidential and they have heard it all. They will help you come up with specific coping strategies to get your stress under control, that work with your situation and personality.
Identify how you spend money to deal with mental health. This can be challenging and requires keeping a mood and spending diary. Then work out how you can satisfy the urge without spending as much money. A cupcake is cheaper than a shopping spree.
Take The First Step to Financial Recovery
One of the issues often faced by people with mental health issues in general is the stigma surrounding therapy. This is also combined with a stigma around debt. Many people in this situation are in denial because they are afraid to admit even to themselves that they are mentally ill and/or that they are in debt, let alone both at the same time.
This means that if you are acknowledging your problems, you are far ahead of most people in dealing with them!
If you are struggling with debt and mental health, you should contact a mental health professional and/or a debt resolution specialist with DebtBlue. We can help you come up with strategies to improve your financial (and thus mental) well-being, so contact us today.