Debt Collection, Debt Relief

The Adverse Effects Debt Has on Mental Health

Carrying any amount of debt can be stressful, but when an individual is carrying a sizeable amount of debt, the effect that debt has on the individual’s well-being can be detrimental. According to a 2017 study published by the Journal of Consumer Research, the likelihood that an individual struggling to handle his or her debt will end up with a mental health issue is three times higher when compared to someone who does not have debt.

One major reason someone struggling with debt may suffer emotionally has a lot to do with the fact that most people keep their feelings regarding debt to themselves and internalize the problem. However, the problem is, keeping these emotional struggles to oneself will only lead to more stress on that person’s mental health, leading to even worse problems, including depression and anxiety.

Unfortunately, carrying a large amount of debt can result in a vicious cycle for someone suffering from depression, anxiety or even addiction. Someone with depression or anxiety already is more likely to go into debt given that spending and the immediate gratification someone receives from purchasing something new is often associated with these mental health issues. However, once the consumer purchases that item and adds to his or her debt load, his or her emotional condition will only get worse, thus continuing the cycle.

Many times, certain mental health conditions can also exacerbate financial stress. When someone is dealing with a mental illness, it can often be difficult for that person to hold down a job or be motivated to conduct normal financial tasks, such as paying bills on time. According to a study from the National Alliance of Mental Illness, mental illnesses cost the domestic economy an estimated $193 billion due to lost earnings annually.

Not only is it a struggle for the individual to earn an income, but it can be an even bigger struggle for that person to afford the cost of mental health treatment and medication. Many insurance policies only minimally cover these costs, and if someone has a high deductible insurance plan, it can be a struggle to pay for treatments until he or she reaches that deductible. If the individual is forced to use credit or other forms of debt to pay for these treatments, the vicious cycle of debt continues.

However, several organizations and resources do exist to help individuals who are struggling with mental health issues, as well as crippling debt. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America (MHA) both offer services throughout the country that assist people who have a mental illness and cannot afford high cost of treatment. Local universities will also offer clinics run by graduate students in psychology, psychiatry and counseling to provide low-cost counseling services. Many providers also work with patients with lower income on a sliding fee scale to help them afford their treatments. Contact your provider to see if these options are available to you.

It is not advisable to use credit card debt to finance any purchase that the person cannot immediately pay off, including high medical expenses. Work with your provider on better options to pay for these expenses instead.

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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

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