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The stranglehold of debt
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The stranglehold of debt

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The inability to pay mounting bills and keeping up with loan repayments has a severe effect on a person’s psychological wellbeing- but what help is available, asks Mark Singleton


Debt, whether considered good or bad, is an issue that affects everybody at some point. In December 2014, The Money Charity recorded that the total credit card debt for the UK had stacked up to an estimated £61.1bn. This figure speaks for itself, and due to the state of the economy it has inspired a climate of financial fear for those affected across the UK. The inability to pay mounting bills and keep up with loan repayments not only affects a person’s livelihood, but it also has a severe effect on a person’s psychological wellbeing.

According to debt charity Step Change42% of those seeking debt help are prescribed medication to cope with the mental implications brought about by their financial struggle.

Despite the traumas of debt on both the physical and mental frameworks of a person’s life, there are solutions and help available for those in the direst of financial and psychological situations. There are a reputable array of charities and debt advisors across the UK dedicated to putting the mental needs of their clients at the forefront of operations to improve their monetary situations.

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Victoria Ball, a debt advisor who is also trained in mental health awareness for the debt management     firmTotemic said: “Situations of debt in which a client’s mental health has deteriorated to a situation where they seek medical help means that their case becomes our main priority” She continued: “The psychological health and physical wellbeing of our clients is a top indicator of how well they are coping with the financial plans we have set out for them.”

The process of getting out of debt can be a daunting and overwhelming task that has implications on a person’s mood, ability to sleep, levels of anxiety and cause in some cases deep depression. In the more serious incidents of debt, a person may worry about the possibility of losing their home as well as the deterioration of key relationships, this in turn can add more chaos to their psychological state.

[blockquote text=”It is not uncommon for those in situations of both moderate and severe debt to suffer from periods of anxiety and stress” show_quote_icon=”yes”]

Victoria explained: “It is not uncommon for those in situations of both moderate and severe debt to suffer from periods of anxiety and stress related sleep problems. In the clients mind, situations of debt often become worse through overthinking combined with lack of action – in a lot of cases there is a situation of denial that if they ignore their financial problems they will go away.

“It is important for our clients to know and understand how their debt problems and mental health are interlinked, and by improving one, the other will also improve and this is often a motivator for them to continue with the help we offer.

“There is always a solution, no matter how large the debt, as long as the client is not complacent and understands the reasoning for different actions, such a selling shares, private number plates … all good companies will be able to work with the client to help them out of debt.”

The awareness that financial health greatly affects a person’s psychological state is a situation that needs to be addressed on a greater level by government officials.

The tactics of corporations in collecting debt from the public needs to be revised as these tie in greatly with a person’s mental state, however, it is important for a person in a situation of debt to take control and become empowered to resolve their money issues and in turn improve their psychological wellbeing.