Debt can take a toll on your health
Image Source: Flickr CC User Claus Rebler
Everyone has money worries now and then – but when it’s an everyday concern and not just an occasional woe, finances can affect your health. North Carolina consumers stuck in more debt than they can afford may see debilitating health issues. A recent study showed that medical problems can result directly from excess financial stress. Here’s a look at the study findings and what debt can do to you.
#1 Stress due to finances is on the rise
Debt-related stress is rising year over year, and a recent four-year interval reflected a more than 14% increase in tension due to finances.
#2 Financial stress affects health in many ways
Debt stress can cause migraine and tension headaches, stomach ulcers, back pain, anxiety, depression and, in some cases, heart attacks.
#3 Most Americans experience debt stress
The study from the American Psychological Association showed 73% of consumers consider financial concerns a “significant” source of stress.
#4 Stress leads to behaviors that cause medical problems
In addition to stress itself being a direct source of health issues, debt stress can encourage unhealthy behaviors like smoking, drinking and overeating that can lead to addtional problems.
#5 Debt-related stress can occur at any level of debt
Stress tolerance is different for every North Carolina consumer. Some people will stress over a couple of thousand dollars while others won’t panic until they are tens of thousands in debt.
#6 Mental health problems can spiral out of control
Debt issues can cause intense mental health issues. One study found that those in debt are more than twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety.
#7 Severe anxiety is common in those with high debt
The same study showed that 29% of those with high debt stress also suffer severe anxiety, including panic attacks.
How to Protect Yourself from the Effects of Debt Stress
According to the study, one of the issues with excess debt is the “shame factor." Shame can lead to a mental health spiral and bad behaviors that can worsen your health, from overeating to substance abuse.
A normal amount of stress is part of life, but if it becomes excessive or consumes you, it's toxic. Stress is essentially wear and tear on your body and can break you down every day that it continues. What makes this worse is that if your debt is so great and stress so significant that it causes medical problems, you can pile on more debt from treating the medical issues caused by the debt. This can be a vicious cycle.
In addition to working towards getting yourself out of debt, there are some steps you can take to minimize the stress:
- Get a full night’s sleep and try not to think about debt before bedtime.
- Make a get-out-of-debt plan and work towards it so you can feel better.
- Avoid indulgences like overeating, smoking or drinking to forget stress.
- Consider yoga, meditation or exercise to ease stress and improve health.
- Develop a budget and stick to it so you can focus on other aspects of life.
What if Budgeting Isn’t Enough to Deal with Debt?
In some cases, simply making and sticking to a budget won’t get you out of debt. If you cannot afford to pay off your debt while also covering the expenses of daily living, you may need a serious intervention.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help North Carolina consumers saddled with too much debt get into a better financial position, alleviate debt, and drastically improve their level of financial stress.
To find out more, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Call +1-919-646-2654 now for a free North Carolina bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington. Get out of debt today and get the financial peace of mind you deserve.