Many Americans are sick of being in debt, but what they may not know is that they may be getting sick because of it. The emotional, mental, and physical illnesses being created by debt are growing, as is the gap between it and household income. A 2017 report revealed that a vast majority of American households carry over $15,000 in credit card debt, with student loans and mortgages rounding out what most families owe. If you are deep in debt, you may be at risk for several health issues that could have a serious impact on your quality of life.
1. Increased Depression
When you carry heavy debt, it can weigh heavily on your shoulders. The stress of coming up with the money to meet minimum payments, trying to avoid late fees, and feeling trapped by your debt can trigger symptoms of depression, such as sleeping too much, losing interest in your hobbies, and feeling worthless. Since depression can worsen with time, it is important to get help with both your symptoms and your finances early on.
2. Increased Risk of Obesity
When your finances are out of control and you are deep in debt, you may be more likely to eat more. Eating can ease feelings of anxiety and offer a means of temporary escape from your problems; however, it can also cause considerable weight gain and lead to obesity. Because a substantial weight gain can lead to other health issues, such as diabetes, this may only lead to additional debt resulting from doctor visits and medication. Maintaining a good diet and exercising regularly can improve your mood and give you the motivation to face and work on lowering your debt.
3. Emotional Instability
Severe debt can lead to mood swings that range from depression to anxiety to anger. The inability to pay bills, handling constant phone calls from creditors, and working extra hours to try and keep up with bills can lead to mental exhaustion, which may affect your mood. This can be especially troublesome if it affects relationships with your family and friends. Working with a financial advisor or a debt consolidation company may help you feel more in control of your finances and give you a positive outlook for the future.
4. Poor Immunity
Being in debt can impact your body’s ability to fight illness. The constant stress of worrying over your bills can lower immunity and make you susceptible to colds and other viruses. Not only does being sick all the time take a toll on your body, it can make you feel hopeless as well. However, there are small steps you can take to manage your debt, such as asking local insurance agents if you qualify for any discounts on your policy. Even modest savings from these rewards could be applied elsewhere to help you meet your monthly credit card payments.
Debt can have many negative effects on your health, no matter your age or lifestyle. However, recognizing the signs and symptoms of these problems can be the first step in realizing the connection between them and your financial situation, which may lead you to find practical solutions for overcoming debt.
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