A Side Effect of Debt Hardship — Mental Health Problems

| Jan 4, 2011 | Bankruptcy |

The goal of bankruptcy is to provide a fresh start to financially burdened Americans. The problem is that the struggles leading up to the decision to consult with a lawyer on bankruptcy options often cause significant stress, mental anguish and tension.

Some debtors are concerned about the stigma of filing for bankruptcy in times of financial trouble while other debtors have dealt with the significant stress of mounting credit card debt, increasing mortgage payments and overdue bills for years before deciding to file for bankruptcy. Add to that the stress caused by constant calls from debt collectors and the bank’s foreclosure notices, and it’s no surprise that bankruptcy can significantly affect a debtor’s mental health.

According to EmpowHer, many individuals experiencing financial problems suffer from serious mental health problems along the road to bankruptcy. A professor at the University of Mississippi stated that depression, suicide, anxiety, panic attacks and burnout are all side effects of financial problems.

While bankruptcy is a major life decision, it doesn’t have to be a devastating or depressing event. There is great opportunity in filing for bankruptcy. First, and most importantly, the debtor is able to begin again. The debtor should focus on the sense of relief at having debts discharged rather than on the mistakes of the past.

Second, filing for bankruptcy allows the debtor the opportunity to reflect on past financial mistakes and learn from them. Many Americans struggle with credit card management. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide a unique opportunity to actively evaluate past credit mistakes and prevent them from happening again after bankruptcy is complete.

Third, psychologists and financial experts make clear that anyone experiencing financial hardship should know that they are not alone. Many Americans are struggling today. Thousands have lost their jobs, their homes and their ability to pay down debt in this difficult economic time. In fact, by September 30, more than one million consumers filed for personal bankruptcy in 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Debt is not an enjoyable problem to deal with under any circumstances. Once it becomes overwhelming and begins to affect a debtor’s mental health, it is encouraged to consider filing for bankruptcy by consulting with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer.

Related Resource: EmpowHer’s “How Can Bankruptcy Affect Your Mental Health