Debt stress can feel overwhelming and even crippling at times. Six out of ten adults say money is a “significant form of stress” for them. According to research:
- 56% of Americans with debt said it has negatively impacted their lives
- 28% percent said their debt had caused stress about everyday financial decisions
- 21% said it had been a source of tension with their partner.
- Nearly a third (31%) of Americans in debt say they worry about in general
- 25% stress at bedtime about debt
- 18% worry about debt at work
As debt levels mount, you may start to feel overwhelmed, but you should know you are not alone. A recent study showed that 80% of Americans are caught up in the chains of debt. And, there are solutions to get out even the most massive levels of debt.
How does debt stress affect mental health?
One of the most harmful things about debt stress is that it’s pervasive and can be all-consuming, which can lead to some serious negative effects on our mental health. Research has shown that people with debt are significantly more likely to experience mental health problems.
- Half (46%) of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem
- 86% of respondents to a survey of nearly 5,500 people with experience of mental health problems said that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse
Research also shows that people with mental health problems are also more likely to be in debt.
- Almost one in five (18%) people with mental health problems are in problem debt. People experiencing mental health problems are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems (5%).
- 72% of respondents said that their mental health problems had made their financial situation worse.
Signs of debt stress include:
- Constant anxiety: Most people will feel slightly anxious when dealing with their money and finances; there’s even a correlation between high credit card debt and anxiety. But anxiety that won’t go away due to constant debt stress is a top sign of debt stress.
- Social withdrawal: Whether it is intentional or not, being in debt leaves people with less free time and definitely less free dollars. Whether it’s due to overtime at work, no extra spending money, or simply because you’re feeling too ashamed to leave the house, social withdrawal is another common symptom.
- Anger and resentment: Debt is harsh on anyone, but especially for families and married couples. Sometimes, it even becomes the root of many arguments. In fact, a recent study from Utah State University reveals that money problems often lead to divorce.
How to Not Let Debt Stress You Out
Debt stress syndrome is the name of a condition where long-term concerns over debt lead to mental, emotional, and even physical health problems. When you face major debt problems, they can start to consume your thoughts and distract you from everything else, including your family, work, and everything else in your life.
The good news is that there are some proven coping skills and techniques that can be used to help people deal with debt stress and improve their lives.
Best Ways How to Deal with Debt Stress
Here’s how to cope with debt stress when it starts to feel as if it’s too much:
1. Accept, don’t deny your debt.
You must admit the situation to yourself. Talk to your partner or others you trust about your situation. It’s important not to feel ashamed nor deny the problem. When you talk about your problems, it will help you get some of the weight off of your shoulders and will help put your issues in perspective. Your spouse, a family member, or close friends may even offer up great advice and insights into how to deal with your problems.
2. Be proactive
It’s easy to spiral out of control thinking about all of your debts and turning the situation into a catastrophe. Acting like this will only make your stress that much worse. Instead, if you’re feeling anxious about debt, try to be proactive and make moves to pay your bills and get ahead of some of your debt.
If the credit card companies are calling, pick up the phone, and start arranging smaller payment plans. Look into bankruptcy. Look into debt management programs or settling your debt. Don’t disconnect yourself from reality and let credit card debt stress or other bills consume you. Start making positive moves today. And remember, being debt free can be worth damaging your credit score in the short term if it means achieving long-term wealth.
3. Seek professional help
Remember, you don’t have to go through debt stress alone. Call a financial advisor, read self-help books on debt, seek out debt support groups, consider debt settlement, or taking other action towards it with the help of experienced professionals.
How to Get Out of Debt and Put Debt Related Stress Behind You
You are not alone through your debt struggles. Get connected to the industry’s best debt programs through financial experts who can offer debt consulting services with the necessary tools and expertise to help you take back control of your finances. With effective strategies and solutions to alleviate debt, know that it is possible to get back to a place where you can save money and live a debt free stress-free life. Take the first step today and find options on how to handle debt and work toward building a path to wealth.