The double whammy of debt and depression

The double whammy of debt and depression

Living under debt can be stressful. And, Americans are no exception to living under the burden of liabilities – unpaid debts. Besides, the piling debt, in the form of unpaid bills, can have disastrous effects on one’s health, leading to depression and anxiety disorders. While it is evident that the twin devils of debt and depression go hand in hand, it is necessary to be careful of the symptoms associated with depression due to debt.

According to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts published in, eight out of 10 Americans are in debt, mostly because of a mortgage. Moreover, the debt is not limited to young people alone; increasingly, people are carrying debt into retirement. The report also states that credit card debt is still incredibly common among Americans with 39 percent of the consumers reporting unpaid credit card balances. Diana Elliott, research manager for financial security and mobility at Pew Charitable Trusts, revealed to CNBC, “Americans have a love-hate relationship with debt.”

While the burden of debt can weigh one down like a millstone around the neck of a corpse, the depression that follows causes resentment in family and friends. The struggle to get rid of the debt not only causes stress, but also affects the way we go about our day-to-day activities.

Recognizing the symptoms

The problems of money and that of mind caused by it haunt the lives of those affected. A report published by BioMed Central Public Health said, “Debt is an increasingly common stressor that can trigger depression. Indeed, people who live with debt are more likely than their peers to be depressed and even contemplate suicide.”

The authors of BMC Public Health opined that credit card debt, mortgage foreclosure, student loan debt, medical debt and job loss can all contribute to depression. Furthering the link between debt and mental health problems, researchers from the University of Southampton found that psychological conditions like depression and neurosis were far more prevalent among people with debt, compared with people not in debt.

Though the symptoms of anxiety disorder in relation to debt can vary from person to person, the most common psychological and behavioral symptoms among those are:

  • Intense fear;
  • Restlessness;
  • Impatience;
  • Irritability;
  • Insomnia;
  • Social withdrawal and
  • Sense of impending danger.

Realizing the effect of debt on depression

The quantum of debt along with the inability to repay can encroach upon important relationships in life. Brittany M. Powell, a San Francisco-based professional photographer, told The Washington Post: “Debt is something that we have the privilege of having the opportunity to use, but then we’re kind of enslaved by it afterwards.”

Though the concept of debt is an unavoidable and unwelcome topic in the American households, results of a new survey from CardHub published in revealed that in 2014. Credit card debt is ballooning, leaving the American households with a net increase of $57.1 billion in new credit card debt. This type of overwhelming debt can lead to destructive and addictive behaviors often associated with depression.

Seeking recovery

We understand the implications of debt. We know how it feels to be bogged down by a burden that disables us to be our normal self. We realize that the insurmountable debt may lead to depression. Sovereign Mental Health Services prides itself on using cutting-edge, evidence-based techniques to treat a wide assortment of mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders. For more information, please contact 866-954-0529.

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