Everyone understands that debt isn’t good for your financial health. Planning, saving, and keeping debt low are the keys to keeping your financial health in good standing. What we don’t talk about enough is how debt impacts your mental and physical health. Debt and financial stress, aside from impacting your financial well-being, can have a serious adverse effect on your overall well-being.
Mental Health and Debt
Debt has a significant relationship with mental health. Depression and anxiety have a toxic connection with debt. Debt is overwhelming and carries a stigma of shame. Just as people don’t want to talk about mental health, people don’t want to talk about debt either. And this denial can make both issues – the mental health and the debt – worse. There’s a stigma that accompanies those in debt. Lazy, immature, irresponsible are just a few of the labels that get assigned to those who are struggling. Therefore, “I’m in debt” equals “I’m a failure” in many people’s minds.
Sometimes, the debt comes from mental health struggles. Those with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder often find that poor financial decisions are a symptom. Then the debt exacerbates the feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and stress. It’s a cycle that will continue to perpetuate without help.
Other Health Effects of Debt
High debt is definitely hazardous to your health. Stress, depression, and anxiety manifest in real, physical symptoms. Stress over debt can be connected to high blood pressure and a high resting heart rate. High blood pressure increases your risk of stroke and heart problems. Anxiety over outstanding debt can cause physical symptoms, such as panic attacks, nausea and stomach pains, and even ulcers. These physical symptoms, even when caused by emotional stress, are real and can cause bigger issues down the line. Once physical and mental health issues become too big to ignore, financial health may get worse due to the cost of treatment.
When it comes to physical, mental, or financial health, the worst thing you can do is ignore the problem. There are ways to get help. Many therapists are willing to operate on a sliding scale, making their help more affordable for those with financial stress.
Benefits of Paying off Debt
Obviously paying off your debt will have a huge impact on your financial health. But an added benefit of paying off your debt is improvement to your mental health, and by extension, your physical health. "Knowing that you are financially secure can take an enormous amount of stress off your shoulders, and there are many professionals that will help you get there, but you have to reach out," advises debt elimination strategist, Jeff Mohlman. We understand it’s hard to face your debt, but knowing your financial situation is half the battle. It’s time to face it head on, but not alone. We can help you find easy, manageable, and proven ways to get you out of debt for good. Contact us today to learn more ways to become financially healthy with your current budget.