Debt and Mental Health: Is an Over-Reliance on Plastic Wealth Having a Detrimental Impact on Society?

While some may consider the concepts of mental illness and debt to be far removed from one another, there is research to suggest that the two are inextricably linked. While an average of one in four adults will suffer with a mental health issue at some point in their lives, this ratio rises to one in two for citizens who are burdened with significant financial debt. This statistic alone suggests that debt can often serve as a trigger for stress and mental health disorders, especially in cases where a financial liability overwhelms an existing income source. With so many non-cash purchases happening every day (, this issue has the potential to become an epidemic in the coming decade.


How to Tackle Debt and Maintain a Healthy State of Mind

While there are a number of ways in which you may have incurred debt, the most important aspect in terms of maintaining a stable mental balance is how you look to tackle your liability. Allowing debt to accumulate over time can trigger bouts of anxiety and depression, which over time may develop into more serious mental conditions. Consider the following practical steps to tackling debt and protecting your mental well being: –

Face Up to the True Reality of Debt

If we assume that the gradual accumulation of unchallenged debt is key to triggering mental health disorders, then the first step is to face up to the true reality of your financial liability. This includes obtaining a full and comprehensive copy of your up to date credit history, which will provide you will a graphic overview of every debt that you possess. You can then calculate your exact level of debt, excluding any erroneous accounts that have been settled. While this may seem like a daunting prospect, obtaining an understanding of your overall debt may actually provide peace of mind and help you to formulate a proactive plan going forward.

Establish a Supportive and Helpful Network of Associates

With the threat of stress and anxiety prevalent among debtors, it is crucial that you seek out a strong and empathetic support network while you look to reduce your liability. While it is a given that this should include trusted friends and family members, you should also invite compassionate and knowledgeable professionals to lend their support and offer expert, independent advice. Through the support of loved ones and the wisdom of established financial advisors, the spectre of debt may not seem quite as overwhelming as it may have done previously. The subsequent reassurance can assist you in staying calm, and ultimately remaining free from stress and sudden bursts of anxiety.

Use Decision Making as a Form of Direct Therapy

Once you have tackled the uncertainty that surrounds your debt levels and sought out professional advice, the next step is to implement solutions. This can often be the most effective way to ease debt related stress, as decisive action and the process of decision making can serve as a purposeful form of direct therapy. It affords you a sense of control, which is initially absent as debt spirals out of control and collection agencies pressure into making inflated repayments. As you implement strategies and begin to reduce your debt, the potential for developing associated mental health disorders fades accordingly.

The Bottom Line

Debt can be a depressing and inescapable fact of life, especially in an ailing economy that does not allow you to achieve your financial worth. The levels of stress and anxiety that are associated with this must be avoided at all costs, as otherwise your financial issues will spiral out of control and exacerbate any symptoms of a decline in your mental health. By facing up to your financial responsibilities, seeking out support and taking direct action, you can ultimately reduce debt and maintain considerable peace of mind.

Lewis Humphries

I am independent contractor with more than 18 months experience operating as a web content writer, blogger and social media manager. I currently write for established outlets such as Investopedia, Financial Edge, Reve News, Chilli Sauce, Pre-Employ and many more. I have also represented Simply Hired and ExCiting Ads in my time as a freelancer, delivering every type of content including SEO web text, blogs, articles, Internet marketing posts and social media updates. In addition to this, I also provide guest blogging services on behalf of brands and participate in developing link building strategies for my clients, and my work has been featured across sites as Yahoo, MSN and the Business Insider.

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