Having significant debt is a challenging situation, but can it actually affect mental health?
In 2021, researchers conducted a study on the effects of financial difficulty on mental health. The National Library of Medicine published the results.
How do financial difficulty and debt affect mental health?
The study likened financial difficulties to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and human-made disasters, such as terrorism as well. As with disasters, people experiencing financial difficulty can experience high levels of stress for extended periods of time. They can also lose their homes and face uncertainty about the future. Loss of resources can decrease their sense of security.
What specific mental health problems can people in financial difficulty face?
The study identified and tracked 14 mental health conditions that people in financial difficulty experienced. These three occurred most often:
- Depression: According to the Mayo Clinic, depression causes powerful, persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
- Suicide mortality: The suicide mortality figure refers to people who successfully attempted to take their own lives.
- Anxiety: Anxiety disorders cause fear and worry about mundane issues on a daily basis.
Everyone experiences feelings of sadness and worry from time to time, but mental health disorders can cause these feelings to be excessive and to interfere with other aspects of life.
What can a person in financial difficulty do about the situation?
A person who is experiencing symptoms of mental illness should see a doctor or mental health professional. There may be free or low-cost options for people with limited resources.
There are also many options available for resolving debt, such as filing for bankruptcy.