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Dealing With Problem Debt and Mental Health

Dealing With Problem Debt and Mental Health

Covid-19 has brought about a number of challenges, especially for those who are living with mental health conditions and those who were struggling to manage their finances before the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, mental health and debt are often closely related. Whilst mental health conditions do not automatically mean you are unable to manage your finances or deal with your debt, they can make it more difficult. That being said, debt stress also has the potential to make mental health conditions worse.

How can your mental health condition affect your finances?

There are a number of ways that mental health conditions can make it more difficult to manage your finances, here is a list of some of the most common ways:

  • Depression can often make people lack the motivation to manage their finances and spending may give you a short-lived high, so you may feel better when you overspend.
  • A manic episode may cause you to make impulsive financial decisions.
  • Your mental health may affect your ability to concentrate at work, which may lead to you taking unpaid leave, causing a sudden reduction of income.
  • You may avoid doing things like opening bills or checking your bank account as thinking about money causes your anxiety to spike.

In some cases, people don’t have the mental capacity, due to a mental health condition, to make financial decisions. If this happens, then someone else may need to make these decisions on your behalf. If you feel that this could be you, or you simply want to plan ahead in case you become unable to make your own decisions, then have a read through this informative article on mental capacity.

​​If you are experiencing mental health problems, there are dedicated services that you can turn to for help and guidance in your time of need. If you’re struggling with mental health, our Help and Support Services Page is an excellent place to start.

How can your debt affect your mental health?

Debt and mental health often go hand-in-hand, so it’s no surprise that people with mental health conditions are more likely to be in debt. Debt stress can have detrimental effects on a person, especially if they are not receiving the correct support. The following are ways that debt can affect a person’s mental health:

  • Debt can create additional stress, which could cause or worsen an existing mental health condition
  • Having debt significantly increases the likelihood of depression
  • Worrying about money can lead to sleep problems
  • You may not be able to afford the things you need to stay healthy. This could include things like housing, food, therapy and medication
  • Debt also has the potential to affect your social life and relationships

Consider telling your creditors about your mental health condition

If you are finding it difficult to manage your debts due to a mental health condition, then you may want to chat to your creditors and explain your situation. Of course, this is entirely up to you and is not legally required, but it may help you with your negotiations. In some cases, people with mental health conditions are offered protection by the Equality Act 2010. If a creditor is aware of your circumstances, then they may:

  • Agree not to pass your debt to a debt collection agency
  • Put debt collection activity on hold for a short period
  • Allow you some extra time to make payments
  • Agree to contact you at set times and in certain ways (by letter rather than phone)

How can Debt Movement help you manage the effects of debt?

At Debt Movement, we understand the problems that mental health issues can cause. Especially when it comes to managing debt and planning budgets. Things can get out of control very quickly, making you feel helpless. We are here to give you the friendly and impartial guidance to take your control back — and we will help you every step of the way.

 

If you are struggling with the effects of debt and mental health issues, contact Debt Movement for free today. Our team has helped over 35,000 people begin their journey to financial freedom and they could help you too.

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