A great many of those with property debt suffer from directly related mental health problems.
Property debt, mortgage debt, a now-unaffordable way of life leading to a shortfall each month and, ultimately, the fear of bankruptcy. All of these grind contributory factors grind us down and make our lives miserable. Any wonder that consumers are clambering for advice to help them relieve the pressures and stress.
Figuratively speaking, debt disables us by robbing us of the freedom to live. Instead, we exist, persistently gripped by a deep sense of hopelessness and helplessness alongside feelings of incompetence and inadequacy. These indicators of mental anguish are joined by physical problems, too.
Companies working in the financial sector are becoming more aware of this growing issue and understand their responsibilities extend beyond providing simply financial advice and into providing additional advice on how their customers can spot early indicators of, as well as methods to cope with, mental health issues.
uSwitch.com, a site offering advice to those thinking of changing their energy supplier or bank, for example, provides tips on coping with depression, anxiety and stress caused by financial worries.
University College Berkeley graduate Laura Choi is a research associate in the Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Warning of the link between health problems occasioned by debt she has written of the real physical pain that individuals and families are experiencing as a result of their precarious financial situations.
Listing some of the effects she cited headaches, backaches, ulcers, increased blood pressure, depression and anxiety, adding: ‘Extended periods of stress can take their toll on physical, mental and emotional health, compounding the difficulties that many low-and moderate-income communities face during troubled economic times’.
Paul J. Lavrakas is a research psychologist at the Ohio State University who has studied the effect of financial debt on health and well-being.
He found that among the people reporting high debt stress, 27% had ulcers or digestive-tract problems. This compares with 8% of those with low levels of debt stress.
Some 29% suffered severe anxiety, compared with just 4% of those with low debt stress.
Lavrakas stated: We can’t conclude from these findings that financial stress is the lone culprit in poor health outcomes, but medical research suggests that these types of symptoms are representative of chronic stress.
The body reacts to stress with a fight-or-flight response, releasing adrenaline and cortisol, major hormones associated with stress. In situations of persistent stress, the body adapts to adverse conditions by establishing a new state of equilibrium, and the elevated levels of these chemicals can cause significant physical harm to vital bodily systems such as blood pressure, heart rate, memory, mood, and immune functioning.
Those physical manifestations, in step with stress, produce a very damaging cocktail at a time when you need a healthy body and a clear mind in order to get back on track financially.
To ensure you’re in the appropriate mental and physical condition to overcome debt issues it’s vital that you seek proper assistance. For a start, you are going to require debt advice from people who knows what they are doing. Whatever the type of debt issue you have, be it credit card debt, mortgage debt, negative equity or a consistent shortfall in your incomings and outgoings, you must obtain good, experienced advice. With that foundation you can begin to stop and reverse the downward spiral that might lead to bankruptcy.
Embrace the positives; property debt need not be such a huge problem provided you do not need to move or re-mortgage. Need rather than want, note. Need is a necessity, want is merely a desire. Necessity arises as a result of having outgrown your home or being unable to pay the mortgage.
When your monthly mortgage repayments are in arrears, lenders start applying pressure. The threat is that you may lose your home and that’s when the stress starts to escalate.
You can try budgeting. You can opt for an austerity budget. But if you are in deep trouble, budgeting and budgets can only take you so far, especially if the debt sums involved are large.
This is where reliable debt advice and the help of an expert who knows the law, is conversant with what banks can and cannot do, and so is fully equipped to advise you as to your best options in getting started afresh, really pays dividend.
The key take-away is – get proper debt advice now rather than delaying in the hope that things somehow will be okay.
What is my next step?
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If you are worried about the cost and affordability of repaying all of your debts then call to arrange a no-obligation chat with one of our experienced advisors today on 0289 538096.