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Staying emotionally healthy when dealing with debt

Debt can cause serious emotional distress to the person dealing with it, and it can trigger serious health problems if they are not addressed. In order to understand how the human mind works when under this type of distress it is important to look at the basic human needs each of us require. We need food, water, and shelter to meet our physical needs and the ability to have control, security, autonomy, intimacy, status, meaning, purpose, and social networks in order to meet our emotional needs. Whenever we deprive ourselves of these basic needs for extended periods of time, we open ourselves up to stress that can lead to depression.

  • Financial debt can easily take away many of these basic needs. It can ultimately cause us to lose our homes if there is no money to pay the rent or the mortgage. We therefore immediately begin to worry about how we are going to come up with the money to keep a roof over our heads. This can then lead to feelings of failure when it comes to a sense of accomplishment and status. We lose the feeling of being in control over our own lives and it takes away our choices, leaving us dependent on borrowing from friends, family, or even the banks, and we watch as our home life suffers because we are working so much in an attempt to reduce our debts.

    It is human nature for people to buckle under the pressures of debt when our basic needs are not met. Because everyone is different, stress will affect them differently. Some people may experience low self esteem, anger issues, anxiety problems, despondency, depression, and in very extreme cases, suicide. When stress like this takes hold a cycle forms, and people begin to believe that there is no reason to even try to resolve the situation. People will borrow more money thinking that it will solve the problem, but it usually only compounds it. This fuels the depressive state we are already in.
The cycle can be broken however, and sometimes it takes an outside source to help us break free of the cycle and begin working on a way to decrease the debt we are under. You have to be able to look over your debt to see yourself in order to start rebuilding your emotional wellbeing and getting into a positive cycle of working on your debt. Does having a large amount of debt mean that we are bad people? Absolutely not, and this is something that most people have to understand in order to be able to fix their debt. It helps to look at all of the positive things in your life, such as your achievements no matter how big or small they could be. By changing your outlook on life, you are giving yourself a place to start in taking the reins of debt control.

You’re not done, however, once you get your debt under control. You need to sit down and determine what other aspects in your life are lacking. What other basic human needs are not being met in your life? Once you have determined that, you can start to work on getting those needs fulfilled and turning your life around. Getting your debt under control is usually the catalyst to having a more fulfilling life.
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