The Emotional Strain That Debt Has On Your Wellbeing

debt
  • Save

From personal loans, student debt, credit card debt, short-term loans, and the list go on. Being in the red is not good for your mental health. According to The South African Depression and Anxiety Group suicide rates, particularly among retrenched South African men, are rising because of despair over spiraling debt, say financial and telephone, helpline counsellors. 

In fact, according to Money and Mental Health, 50% of people who are in debt suffer from poor mental health, making them vulnerable to further money-related stress. In addition, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group report that 46% of South Africans are experiencing some form of financial stress and pressure since lockdown.

One of the reasons why debt and money play such an important role in our mental health is because of the way we use and view money in our society. We use money as a tool to provide for our families, when that becomes difficult our self-esteem takes a huge hit. 

Seeing your debt pile up can make you feel stuck and alone like there’s no way out. 

How do you deal with mental health caused by over-indebtedness?

Debt stress and your mental health

One of the primary reasons for stress in our modern society is caused by debt. Whether you have car loans, student debt, credit card debt, or medical bills, having unpaid debt can cause negative health consequences. 

A study found that consumers who were struggling to pay their debt obligations were more than twice as likely to experience negative health problems. 

Simply thinking about debt and financial obligations when struggling financially can trigger stress and other negative effects including decreased self-control and impaired decision-making. 

One of the biggest concerns of constant stress from being over-indebted and feeling poor is an increased risk of getting sick. 

Here are negative effects caused by chronic stress:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Diabetes 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Elevated blood pressure 
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Altered appetites (overeating and undereating)
  • Gastrointestinal problems 
  • Weakened immune system 
How debt relief can help 

Being over-indebted can cause a lot of stress, luckily there’s hope. You can reduce your stress by meditating or finding social support. But if debt is your main stressor, you need to deal with that by reducing your debt. 

However, reducing your debt is easier said than done. Reaching out to a professional can be your saving grace. 

Reduce your stress through debt relief. 

A study found that consumers made better financial decisions three months after they’ve signed up for a debt relief program. The study also found that consumers who signed up for debt relief improved their cognitive functioning and experienced less anxiety. 

Debt review was introduced in 2007 by the National Credit Act (NCA) to help over-indebted consumers cope with their debt. 

The benefits of debt review
  • An affordable monthly budget 
  • Only pay a single reduced monthly debt repayments 
  • Your debt counsellor will negotiate lower terms on all your debt accounts
  • Legally protect all your assets from creditors

For more information about the debt review process click here