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Debt, Depression and Real Answers To Reducing Stress

Discussion about the debilitating effects of depression has been high on the radar in the last week following the suicide of Robin Williams. It is with great trepidation that we venture into this subject matter, because we are well aware that there can be a tremendous difference between the kind of mental illness that would lead someone to suicide and stress that comes from something like being overworked or having too much in debt.

After all, depression can strike someone regardless of any social station. Money did not seem to be one of Robin Williams’ concerns. And some research that links financial stress and depression has trouble determining which causes which.

Nonetheless, there are a host of things that can trigger anxiety and stress. Debt can be one of those triggers. And some people are susceptible to having stress turn into major depression. So, someone who is stressed because he or she is overwhelmed by debt would do well to seek help from someone who can help provide ways to get out of that debt.

Even if what you are feeling cannot be classified as stress, if you are worried about the debt load you carry and whether you can overcome your situation, contact a debt counselor, like the ones at American Financial Solutions, or other non-profit organizations that offer help that is often free.

While credit counselors do not offer mental health counseling, they can help you look at your overall financial situation. They can also provide support for making financial changes. Obviously there is no mental health training offered by such a debt counselor, but there are potential psychological benefits of becoming debt free.

Credit counselors can also provide you options for dealing with your debts. It might be restructuring your budget so that you adopt effective ways to use the income you have. Or, a structured debt management program might be your best option. In that case you make one payment a month that goes toward paying off all your debts. Such a plan can eliminate phone calls from creditors, which is a tremendous burden lifted for many people.

In some cases, a credit counselor might provide you an overview of bankruptcy as an option. If you decide that it is your best option, you will go into that process having been educated on what steps you will still be required to take and how the bankruptcy will affect you.

Whichever option you choose, you will see the immediate benefit of having a better sense of wellbeing. You will have a plan for your bills rather than simply a burden.

Again, we cannot make any claim that your mental health will be positively affected by going through a financial counseling program. Mental health is a complicated issue that can impact someone regardless of what steps he or she takes to make life easier. However, stepping into a program that will assist you in eliminating debt might help you to have one less thing to worry or stress about.

If you are someone you know is feeling suicidal, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

Published Aug 18, 2014.