Dealing with Debt and Depression
Facing an insurmountable amount of debt can cause an incredible amount of stress and in some cases the stress can lead to depression. On the opposite end of the spectrum, stress and depression can cause individuals to stop paying their bills.
On EMedicineHealth.com, Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards <http://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=81544>cites (amongst the most common causes of depression) situations like difficult life events, loss, change, or persistent stress.
Martha Manning (therapist and author of “Undercurrents”) describes depression this way: “Depression is such cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, and no blood tests to send people scurrying with concern. Just the slow erosion of the self, as insidious as any cancer”.
Major financial problems result in individuals not honouring their obligations to creditors (most people want to pay their bills) and having difficulties maintaining their standard of living and providing support to their families. Many people who own homes find themselves in this very situation.
Those who struggle with depression and have more bills than they have money sometimes try to ignore the problem, hoping that it will just go away. Debt will not go away by itself.
When debt goes into default and creditors start trying to collect their money, phone calls and letters can cause personal anguish and embarrassment at work. Even high income earners who accumulate an unmanageable amount of debt may feel like the financial problem cannot be overcome.
If you are feeling depressed about your debt, you will feel much better if you come up with a plan to deal with it. This will empower you to begin working your way out of your financial situation. The first things to consider are:
1. How much in unsecured debts have you accumulated?
2. Have you badly damaged your credit?
3. Do you have the ability to make your minimum monthly payments?
If the answer to question number one is “more than $8,000”, the answer to question number two is “yes”, the answer to question number three is “no” and you know you have equity in assets, you may be relieved to hear that you could achieve immediate debt relief through a Federal Government program.
If you still have decent credit and some income, you may have other options to deal with your debt. Even when experiencing a financial crisis, it makes the most sense to speak with a Financial Advisor about your options.
You see, no matter how bad things may appear to be, there is almost always a solution. Many debt solutions enable individuals to get out of debt by creating a single and manageable monthly payment. This monthly payment is affordable and helps protect assets like your home and car.
Just as debt does not go away by itself, in many cases depression doesn’t either. Remember that your health and happiness come first so make it a priority to take care of it. There are more resources than ever for individuals who are battling depression. CAMH offers an abundance of resources and information. You can also speak with your family doctor and ask for a referral to a therapist.