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Coping Financially With Depression

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 26 Apr 2010 | comments*Discuss
Depression Financial Finances Struggles

Depression brings with it many challenges, the main ones being how to handle the intense sadness, anxiety or other feelings that are symptoms of depression. Some people also end up having to deal with financial problems that arise when their depression prevents them from working each day. For others, money issues can lead to depression. It is normal to feel depressed as your debt load increases but for some, these feelings persist, leading to clinical depression.

Why Do Finances Affect People Differently?

Experts still do not know exactly why some people are emotionally unable to cope with debt to the extent that they become clinically depressed. Previous episodes of depression are one risk factor as well as other life-changing events such as divorce or a home foreclosure that may be occurring at the same time.

Other people will experience depression so severely that they cannot work and generate an income necessary to live. Debts can start after the depression and the lack of resources and immense pressure add to the depressed person's troubles and anxiety.

Fortunately, there is help available. Those people who have financial problems either stemming from depression or underlying it will find that dealing with their financial woes is part of ensuring a successful recovery from the depression.

When Debts Precede Depression

Debts are actually a common thread underlying depression for many people. While depression is linked to genes and the environment, it is often complex and has a number of preceding factors. Debts are one of these factors. While debt is no foreign subject for many UK households, the pressure to 'make ends meet' and maintain debt payments can be overwhelming for some people.

How Depression Links to Finances

Depression can make working difficult for many people, affecting your finances and creating more anxiety. Others will experience depression as an end culmination of financial struggles and debts that becoming overwhelming to cope with each day.

Whatever the reason, when the two exist together it can make it that much more difficult to treat the depression. For this reason, any treatment has to focus on both medical recovery and financial recovery as well.

Divorce and Finances

Life brings challenges such as divorce as well, which can be financially draining. Some people will essentially be starting over during a divorce and may be returning to work after a number of years away from the workforce. The combination of emotional and financial upheaval that occurs from a divorce may become too much to handle and some people may experience clinical depression.

Helping a Depressed Person in Debt

If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with debts and is depressed, you should be on alert for signs of suicide. Examples are if that person gives away their prized belongings, speaks frequently about death or shows heavy substance abuse.

You can help by listening and showing support. Offering to take them to see a physician or counsellor is similarly helpful as is working with them to find out about options to help manage the debt load.

Changing Your Financial Path

For those who experience depression that stems from debt problems, it is important to see a professional. If you experience the symptoms of depression, treatment will not simply make your financial struggles go away. Medication may help your symptoms but counselling and professional debt advice will be important to try to find manageable ways to reduce your debt.

Those who have financial struggles that occur due to long-term depression may need government assistance and should speak with a local contact for information and advice. Depression is a debilitating illness but with the right medical treatment and debt counselling, you can hopefully get back to work and begin to feel more like yourself again.

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