Dealing With the Emotional Aspects of Debt

When times are tough our bodies and minds try their best to deal with the difficult situation that we find ourselves in. Whether that is losing a job, losing a loved one, financial constraints or debt, it can leave us with long lasting emotional distress.


Debt is, for many, a way of life. Having taken out credit, people are struggling to repay it.

There are plenty of different solutions to dealing with the financial element of debt. You can choose to clear it by taking out an IVA, declaring yourself bankrupt or acquiring credit consolidation. Regardless of how successful paying the debt back has been for individuals, it can still leave mental and emotional scars.

So, what effects can debt and other financial problems have on your own mental wellbeing?

Your emotional rollercoaster will have started a long time before you realized you were in debt. If you got made redundant, and debt has been a consequence of that, you will already have been feeling low, and maybe even anxious. If losing your job played a part in you to become in-debt, then it can have a disastrous impact on your self-esteem levels.

Debt is a consequence of actions. Whether you have mismanaged money previously or your life has been turned upside down if you lost your job, debt can leave you emotionally distressed.

How Do You Know If You Are Emotionally Distressed?

Health practitioners can offer see the symptoms of those who are emotionally distressed. The question is, do you?

Being emotionally distressed can lead to a number of different things. These are the general symptoms that you should be looking out for. Ask yourself:

  • Are you experiencing any changes in the way you feel physically?
  • Are you not sleeping well?
  • Are you having trouble focusing on tasks or concentrating on jobs?
  • Are you suffering from a loss of appetite?
  • Do you feel like crying at times?
  • Has your daily routine changed?
  • Do you stay in bed longer?
  • Do you feel that you are suffering from no motivation or ‘get up and go’?
  • Do you find that you are less social than before?
  • Do you avoid meeting friends and family?
  • Do you make excuses if you do not want to socialize?
  • Do you put yourself down?
  • Do you find yourself worrying more over the stuff that didn’t matter before?

If you have answered yes to a number of these questions, it may be that you are suffering from emotional distress.

In order for you to move on and start to help yourself, you need to admit that you have an emotional and mental condition that needs to be addressed. This first step in admitting that you need help is by far the biggest. If you can make this step, you can find a way to minimize any future emotional distress, as well as being able to handle emotional situations.

How Can You Help Yourself?

The best advice here is to not to bury your head in the sand.

If you are suffering from emotional distress, as part of becoming in-debt, you need to be as active as possible. Facing your fears is the best way to overcome any signs of emotional distress.

It is recommended that you keep seeing your friends and family. Try and engage with other people on a regular basis, whether that is a friendly “hello” to a neighbor or a night in with friends or family.

Keeping on top of your existing finances is a must. Do not let debt rule your world. You still need to be able to keep a roof over your head, heating on during cold nights and food in your stomach.

Taking regular exercise is good for both the mind and the body. Make yourself a training schedule where you could go for a run for 30 minutes every day.

All the above helps with your life today. However, there are a number of things you can do today that will vastly improve your life going forwards. You must prioritize clearing what debt you have. This means that you must face your biggest fear, and speak to the lenders to whom you are in-debt with. Making that first phone call may not be entirely comfortable for you, but, when you put that phone down; you will feel a whole lot better.

There are a number of ways in which you may be able to clear the existing debt that you have. You could contact an IVA company that can help organize payments with your existing creditors. Alternatively you can look into credit consolidation where you can access additional funds to repay your original debt. The advantage of this is that instead of paying lots of lenders, you repay what you owe to them, leaving you with just one creditor to repay.

The Importance of a Routine

This is especially significant if you are currently out of work. When you were employed you would have had a routine; a time to wake up, a time to leave for work, what time you sat down for dinner and what time you went to bed. Routines are a vital part in helping you deal with any emotional distress that debt has brought to you.

Getting into a routine is essential. Make sure that you set the alarm every morning. Make time for breakfast and fill your day with healthy eating. Most importantly, ensure that you getting enough sleep to function effectively the following day. Sleep is one of the best natural healing remedies for your mind and body.

Seeking Medical Assistance

The advice that has gone before has been around self-help. However, you may need to seek further assistance to help you deal effectively with emotional distress.

If you find yourself, after a few weeks, of feeling exactly the same as how you felt before, the time is now to seek medical advice. Do not be afraid to speak with you doctor or consultant. This specialist help will ensure that you are given further advice, together with medication (if appropriate) to ensure that you get back on your feet as quickly and as safely as possible.

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