As the entire world struggles to adjust to a new normal in light of the coronavirus, there has been renewed attention to mental health. It’s understandable; we are facing an unprecedented pandemic. In times of crisis, it’s our loved ones who get us through. So it’s a particularly cruel irony that isolation is now important for our physical health.
I’ve written before about the link between debt and mental health. It’s easy to see the correlation between the two. Debt bleeds into all aspects of life and affects the whole family. It can obviously trigger stress, anger, and countless other unpleasant emotions. But the inverse applies, too. Poor mental health can precipitate financial struggles.
Psychology experts report that even a slight decline in mental health can lead to increased financial stress. According to one study, individuals who struggle with depression and anxiety were three times more likely to be in debt. One of the biggest reasons is complacency; hopelessness often accompanies poor mental health.
Out of Control
“When you feel as though you’re losing control over your mood and your thoughts,” Amy Morin writes for Psychology Today, “you’ll likely begin to feel as though life is out of control too, especially your financial life.”
Many of us feel more powerless than ever right now. It’s easy to lose hope for better days, which is often what motivates people to take the steps toward financial repair. Long-term motivators—the reasons you might consider filing for bankruptcy—are hard to see right now.
The decision to tackle your debt requires strength and focus. Avoidance is one of the most common strategies for dealing with debt—and one of the least successful. For many of us, times of crisis trigger any avoidance tendencies we may have. Now, more than ever, we are looking for escape. But that mindset rarely serves our financial well-being.
The decrease in energy levels that accompany depression or anxiety can also deepen financial struggles. “A decline in mental health often means poorer quality of sleep, increased feelings of fatigue, and more trouble staying on task,” Morin writes. “All of those things make it much more difficult to think about paying off debt. And it’s hard to create a plan for the bigger overall picture when you aren’t in the right state of mind.”
Speak With a Memphis Bankruptcy Lawyer
I know these are scary, troubling times. Many of us are grappling with some of life’s biggest questions at the moment. We may find ourselves wondering if it’s even worth trying to fix our debt.
It is. It always is. There is a light at the end of every tunnel. Please do not let whatever stress or anxiety you’re feeling about the news keep you from working towards the bright future you deserve.
Give us a call at (901) 327-2100. In the meantime, get lots of rest, catch up with your loved ones (over the phone), and just try to take this a day at a time.