Debt has become more socially acceptable even though talking about debt still carries a stigma of shame since it assumes the inability to pay bills in a timely manner. This social factor adds strain and stress to those who are struggling to make payments on existing debt. Our body’s reaction causes both physical and emotional responses that should be taken seriously.
It is not so much the total debt balances that impact your health. It is more about your perceptions, income, and how you deal with the debt challenges that can create a health problem. For those who try to ignore the debt and collection calls, there is greater impact. While you may be outwardly avoiding the forming crisis, your mind does not rest nor forget about the situation at hand. This can result in adverse affects to your emotional and physical health, your relationships and your willingness to seek medical care.
Debts Impact on Emotional Health
Emotional health can be impacted by debt when you feel overwhelmed by the bills you have to pay. This feeling can also lead to denial, fear, panic, stress, anxiety, anger and depression, depending on how you face unpleasant situations. People in denial may continue to spend even though it makes the situation worse. If you find yourself with high levels of anxiety or panic it could impact your work and ability to focus. Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and other forms of escape including job loss which will just amplify the problem. Emotions can be strong forces that prevent you from making wise decisions that will improve your life.
Debts Impact on Physical Health
Our bodies respond to stress in ways that may reveal themselves through physical changes. Some of these commonly include higher blood pressure, migraine headaches, stomach issues, heartburn, ulcers, back pain, trouble sleeping and even heart attacks. (http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/the-debt-stress-connection)
Studies have shown that these responses can also lead to lower immunity and result in high rates of sickness and disease. A recent study in 2013 from Northwestern University concluded that even people between the ages of 24 and 32 are impacted by higher levels of stress and higher blood pressure when faced with high levels of debt. (http://news.health.com/2014/08/20/7-ways-debt-is-bad-for-your-health/).
Debt’s Impact on Relationships
Debt can also a major source of conflict in your relationships. This often comes from inadequate communication with your loved ones. These often involve anger and resentment toward one partner or the other. If one person blames the other for the financial challenges and sacrifices that must be made to get out of debt, then it can create barriers in the relationship that are difficult to overcome. One of the key predictors of divorce involves arguments over money, financial management and spending.
Debts Impact on Seeking Medical Care
Studies have also shown that those who struggle with credit card or medical debt are less likely to seek medical help. If you are already struggling financially the last thing you need are more bills.
At the point where debt struggles begin impacting your physical and emotional well-being, getting professional help might be the best solution. Financial Counseleors at Strategic Consulting can help you assess your financial situation and create a realistic picture of the debts you owe. They can also help you develop a strategy that will pay off the debts and give you more control over your finances. This one step can lead to improvements in your health and the long term elimination of the debt that is causing the problems in the first place.