Feeling isolated because of mounting debt has been a common issue for a very long time. In the past, should people desire a highly-priced item such as a new car or the latest mobile phone, they would put money away to save for these items. However, in recent years, with the accessibility of finance, overdrafts, credit cards, payday loans etc. people tend not to save and instead willingly purchase items that may not be within their budget.
These trends are causing a new generation of debt problems that are more complex and harder to resolve. In recent years there has been a much greater focus on mental health and matters that may impact it, and research has found that debt can significantly affect one’s mental health, leading to unhealthy habits.
The Psychology of Debt
Research into the ‘Psychology of Debt’ has investigated the correlation between being in debt and suffering from mental health issues and emotional distress. Studies have found that debt can impact people’s social experiences, which in turn affects their mental health.
Debt can cause people to become withdrawn, and people tend to isolate themselves from loved ones, placing great strain on these relationships. Becoming withdrawn and isolated from others can lead to feelings of loneliness and helplessness. Research has found that high levels of social isolation produce higher levels of loneliness.
All these feelings can harm one’s mental health. In support of this, a study from recent years found that one in two individuals reported that their debt problems lead to mental health issues.
If you add to this the COVID-19 global pandemic, local and national lockdowns and potentially adverse effects in income, it becomes a perfect storm for severe isolation. Being unable to spend time with family, friends and loved ones can harm people in all sorts of situations, but those living with debt problems and are unable to earn the money they need to pay back those debts are likely to suffer more.
Those with problem debt may feel that they have lost control. Whether it is control of their finances or their independence, this feeling of helplessness can often spiral and cause people to ignore debt or feel ashamed that it has gotten to that level,pushing them further into isolation.
Interestingly, a study by the Institute of Welfare also found that “People who do not feel in control, experience more intense regrets and more intrusive thoughts about those regrets than people who feel more in control […]. Providing debt advice that assists clients in overcoming how they feel about their situation and the effects of shame, guilt and regret, will help them to feel that they are taking control of their situation and finances.” One way we can relieve the harmful effects of debt on our mental health is to get professional debt help and guidance to take control of your financial situation.
Effects of debt problems and social isolation:
- Isolation can increase the risks of mental health issues such as depression, dementia, social anxiety, and low self-esteem.
- Dealing with debt alone causes higher levels of stress hormones.
- Heart disease, including high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, are linked to stress.
- Social isolation may even increase the risk of premature death.
The impact of financial struggles on a person’s health, both physical and mental, can be detrimental, and so it is important to remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
If you are a client at Debt Movement and feel that you are struggling with your payments, you can contact us, and a member of the team will be happy to listen and offer solutions to this.
How Can Debt Movement Help?
Debt Movement has a team of friendly and professional guides that are always available to talk to you about your financial situation and give you free debt information about the debt solution right for you. Talking about the issues you are facing whilst gaining an understanding of your debts and the help that is available may help you out of the debt spiral.
Once we have taken some initial details about your circumstances, we will consider all of the debt solutions before giving you the guidance you need to make the decision. We will help you understand how debt and debt solutions can affect your credit score, how payment plans work, and any other information you need. If you’d like to take a look at our FAQ page to read all of the questions that other people in your situation have asked, you can do so here.
Contact Debt Movement today to discuss your options and start your journey to financial freedom.
Where To Go For Mental Health & Debt Advice
If you feel that you are struggling with your mental health here a few numbers which you can contact;
Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 4 pm)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Money Advice Service
The money advice service provides free and impartial advice on money and financial decisions whilst giving debt advice and guidance to help improve your finances and manage your money better. The government set up the Money Advice Service to give free advice to those who need it most.
Phone: 0800 138 7777 (8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm Saturday)
Citizens Advice can help you to make decisions on the kind of debt help that would benefit you the most and give professional debt advice.
Online Money & Debt Advice Chat Service: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/chat-service-money-and-debt/