There are a few things more stressful than dealing with a large debt load. There are always more questions than answers, which results in anxiety. How will I make ends meet? How can I pay off my debt? Will my life always be like this?
Debt stress takes its toll in many different ways; it affects your physical health; it causes strain on your personal relationships and potentially impacts your workplace performance. Perhaps most significantly it affects your mental health, causing for many, clinical depression and anxiety.
One of the greatest challenges to managing your mental health is still the stigma attached. According to the Canadian Medical Association, one in five Canadians will develop a mental health condition every year, yet less than a third of those will ever seek treatment. And for those carrying the burden of debt, the link between debt, depression and anxiety is very real.
It’s time to stop the cycle by taking action – both against your debt and against the anxiety and/or depression that is plaguing you.
“There are some signs your debt is negatively impacting your mental health. If you are having trouble sleeping or are sleeping too much, not eating, not participating in activities you used to enjoy or are withdrawing from family and friends, it’s time to seek help,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, the Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“To get rid of your debt stress, you can seek medical support to treat the physical and mental symptoms and you can get support to reduce your debt, eliminating the source of the problem.”
Here are some ideas on how to handle your debt stress:
Help yourself first
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, you should seek medical attention as a first step. It also helps to talk to people about what you’re going through. Seek support from family and friends. You’ll be surprised how empowering it is to voice your worries out loud- and to recognize the support that you are surrounded with.
Tackle the debt
The one power worry has, it is vague. Take charge of your anxiety by devising a plan. Once you take control, your debt will not seem so overwhelming. Take things one step at a time.
No matter what path you choose to take, know that it will take time and perseverance to rid yourself of debt. But once you do, you are eliminating one of the major threats to your mental health at the same time.
Is the stress of debt weighing you down and you don’t know where to turn? The minute you take control of your situation, everything will improve. It’s about deciding to make a change. Call one of our trained credit counsellors or go to our free online debt analysis.