In all the technical discussion you hear about credit card debt, the best ways to manage it and pay it off and all the rest, one thing goes largely ignored. Credit card debt is extremely stressful, and can have a very negative effect on your life, if you let it. It's as bad as an addiction, always hanging over you, bringing you down, making it hard to life your life the way you want to. In this article, we'll take a look at how you can recognise debt stress, and what you can do about it.
The Symptoms of Debt Stress.
There are an awful lot of symptoms that can be caused by stress. Some of the most common ones are: headaches, not being able to sleep, feeling depressed and irritable, and being forgetful and unable to concentrate on what you're doing. If you're not sure whether your symptoms are related to stress or something else, you should go and see a doctor.
Who Gets It?
Almost everyone who has debts is stressed about them. Debt is blamed for millions of days off work every year, and is one of the leading causes of suicide - it seems like most times you read about someone who has committed suicide, their name is followed by "who owed [a very large amount] in debts". Students and graduates are especially vulnerable, as debt is growing amongst them faster than in any other group.
The average adult owes many thousands in debts - and since that's the average, it means that many people must owe much more. Never forget that you're not alone, and there's always someone worse off than you.
How to Deal With It.
Stress caused by debts is often considered to be embarrassing, or shameful. People with lots of debts don't want to talk about it, even with their family, for fear of upsetting people or looking like a failure. It is very important, though, that you do talk about your problems, as keeping it all inside yourself will make you much, much more stressed. It is especially important that you talk to your partner - they are the number one person who can support you.
The best thing to do then is to find two people: one who can advise you, and one who can be a counsellor. That means a professional who knows what they're doing in financial matters, as well as a psychologist or psychiatrist, or some other kind of counsellor. Don't let stigmas put you off - this is about your health.
The next thing to do is to have a good think about how you got that debt to begin with. See if you can find old credit card statements. What did you spend the money on? You need to sit down, work out a budget, cut unnecessary expenses and try to free up as much money as you can to pay back debts. Even if it'll be a long time before you get everything paid off, knowing that your debt is gradually going downwards can be an excellent cure for debt stress
Ken Austin is the webmaster at Debt Consolidation Solutions and Credit Relief Solutions