Home General The Emotional and Physical Toll of Debt: How to Protect Yourself

The Emotional and Physical Toll of Debt: How to Protect Yourself

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Debt is a massive problem in the US. According to one study, about ⅔ of the population is in debt, with the average person owing $90,460. This includes mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit card debt, and medical debt.

Debt can have a significant impact on your physical and emotional well-being. It can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and even physical health problems. If you’re struggling with debt, it’s essential to seek help. Many resources help you get out of debt and protect your well-being.

Effects of debt on your physical and emotional well-being

When we hear the word ‘debt’, we often think of money owed to someone. However, debt can also refer to the emotional toll on a person. Debt can also cause one person to be mentally and emotionally drained from the stress of it all.

Physical health problems

High blood pressure is one of the most common physical health problems caused by debt. This is because when a person is stressed, their body releases hormones constricting their blood vessels. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Debt can also cause headaches, ulcers, and muscle tension.

People who constantly worry about their finances, especially if they are hitting their retirement years, also tend to sleep harder. This is because they are anxious about their future and whether or not they will be able to make ends meet.

Debts accumulated from studying can also lead to physical health problems. For instance, many students who take out student loans end up with back pain and neck pain due to all the stress that they are under. A quick visit or consultation from a Houston Credit Card Debt Lawyer may have been able to help with this. It may seem small, but it can add up over time and lead to serious health problems.

Common physical effects of financial stress can lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Ulcers
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach problems
  • Indigestion
  • Skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis
  • Heart disease or stroke

Emotional health problems

Anxiety and depression are also common among people who are in debt. This is because they feel they have no control over their finances and future. This can lead to losing interest in activities they used to enjoy, social withdrawal, and difficulty concentrating.

If you’re struggling with debt, it’s essential to seek help from a counsellor or therapist who can help you manage your anxiety and depression. There are also many support groups available for people who are struggling with debt.

Self-confidence and self-esteem are also often negatively affected by debt. This is because people in debt often feel like they are not good with money or that they are not worthy of being financially stable. This can lead to a feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness.

Sleep problems are also common among people in debt. This is because they are constantly worrying about their finances and often have difficulty relaxing. This can lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty functioning daily.

In a nutshell, the emotional and physical effects of debt can be very debilitating. If you’re struggling with debt, it’s essential to seek help from a counsellor or therapist who can help you manage your anxiety and depression.

How to protect yourself from debt and its derailing effects

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from the emotional and physical effects of debt:

  • Talk to a counsellor or therapist about your anxiety and depression.
  • Join a support group for people who are struggling with debt.
  • Create a budget and stick to it.
  • Save up an emergency fund in case you need it in the future.
  • Make a plan to pay off your debts.
  • Live below your means, so you don’t have to worry about money as much.
  • Educate yourself on financial planning and investing. This way, you can make smart decisions with your money.

Debt can affect your emotional and physical well-being if you’re not careful. Whether you’re a business owner, a start-up, or just an individual with a lot of debt, it’s essential to protect yourself from the adverse effects of debt.

Financial stability doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and planning. But it’s worth it to live a stress-free life where you don’t have to worry about money all the time.

What are the common causes of debt?

There are different causes of debt, but some of the most common include:

  • Credit card debt. This is one of the most common types of debt. Credit cards often have high-interest rates and fees, making it difficult to pay off the balance.
  • Student loan debt. Student loans usually have low-interest rates, but they can still be a burden if you cannot find a job after graduation.
  • Medical debt. Medical bills can be costly, especially if you don’t have insurance.
  • Mortgage debt. A mortgage is a large loan that you take out to buy a home. It can be challenging to keep up with the payments if your income changes or interest rates go up.

Final thoughts

There are warning signs that debt is starting to take a toll on your emotional and physical well-being. If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, sleep problems, or a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, it’s essential to seek help. Many resources are available to help you manage your debt and protect yourself from the harmful effects of debt.

With some planning and effort, you can achieve financial stability and live stress-free lives. Don’t let debt control your life. Seek help and take action so you can enjoy your life without the burden of debt.


Helen Baumeister did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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