How Debt can Impact Your Mental Health

Debt impacts almost everyone to some degree. A mortgage, a car loan, student loans, credit card debt, medical expenses—once everything is added up, debt can be overwhelming for some people. Unmanageable debt has obvious financial impacts, but owing money can have a major negative effect on your mental health.

In a 2017 survey by the American Psychological Association, 62% of Americans indicated money as a “significant stressor” in their lives. Financial uncertainty, overwhelming debt, or a major economic event can increase stress and cause many mental and emotional side effects, like: guilt, shame, denial, resentment, anxiety, anger, fear, insomnia, panic attacks, substance abuse, high blood pressure, and even suicide. There are many different circumstances that can lead to debt-relate stress. Divorce, illness, and a change in employment status are all factors that compound mental health issues related to debt. The bottom line is that not having enough money to pay bills can significantly impact mental and emotional wellbeing.

Whatever the cause for your debt-related stress, here are 6 ways to manage your stress and work on creating a healthier financial life:

1. Admit the Problem

Sometimes, just admitting to yourself that you have a debt problem can be powerful. It can be easy for people struggling with anxiety and depression to ignore the root cause of their mental and emotional turmoil. Ignoring the underlying issue will only make it harder for you to get the help you need to tackle your debt and, in turn, improve your mental health.

2. Get Professional Support

If your mental health symptoms are impacting your ability to function as you want to, it may be time to seek the help of a qualified professional. Especially if you are experiencing anxiety or depression, it is important to talk to someone about your debt-related stress. Be open and honest with a therapist about your financial situation.

3. Get Your Finances in Order

Face your debt head on. Gather all your financial information together in one place so you can get a clear picture of your debt situation. This can seem overwhelming at first, but once you know how much you owe, you can come up with a plan to work on paying off the debt. Knowing that you have a clear understanding of what you need to do, your stress level will start to diminish.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Every debt situation will be completely different from the next. Your goals for getting out of debt should be based on how much debt you owe and your capacity to reasonably make payments. Achieving a small but realistic goal will encourage you to continue towards bigger goals. Paying down debt can be a long process, so establishing realistic expectations for yourself can improve your outlook as you pay down your debt.

5. Find an Accountability Buddy

People facing a lot of debt can feel isolated from everyone around them. The shame and embarrassment many people associate with debt can cause them to closet their debt issues. Find someone you can trust—a friend, family member, or a debt support group—and be open with them about your debt issues. Ask them to help hold you accountable for reaching your debt repayment goals. Talking about your debt issues can be a huge stress reliever.

6. Work with a Debt Relief Professional

Seeking help from an experienced and trusted NJ debt relief attorney is an excellent step towards financial health and peace of mind. The right experts can help you assess problem areas in your finances and look for solutions fit to your needs. A debt relief attorney can even look into your terms with lenders and utility companies to negotiate for more affordable terms.

Not all debt is bad debt. The decision to take on debt can allow us to get an education, provide a home for our families, or get life-changing medical care. When debt becomes unmanageable, it is not the end of the road. Veitengruber Law provides full-service debt relief solutions that are tailored to each client’s unique situation. Our team has years of experience restoring financial health through debt negotiation. We know how heavily debt can weigh on the hearts and minds of our clients, which is just one of the myriad of reasons why we do what we do!

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