Debts vs. Mental Health

edited 8 February 2011 at 11:27AM in MoneySaving polls
38 replies 5.9K views
Former_MSE_LawrenceFormer_MSE_Lawrence ResearcherFormer MSE
975 Posts
edited 8 February 2011 at 11:27AM in MoneySaving polls
Poll 01-08 Feb 2011:

Debts vs. Mental Health

We're researching the alignment between mental health issues and debt problems (excluding mortgages). It's argued either one can cause the other. Please answer the question below.

I (or my partner) have never had mental health problems

Never been in debt - 1210 votes (34%)
Only ever had limited debts - 1475 votes (41%)
Bigger debts but not a problem - 575 votes (16%)
Severe or crisis debts - 304 votes (9%)

I (or my partner) have / had mental health problems

Never been in debt - 551 votes (17%)
Only ever had limited debts - 706 votes (22%)
Bigger debts but not a problem - 514 votes (16%)
Severe or crisis debts - 1208 votes (38%)
Severe or crisis debts but never alongside mental health problems - 187 votes (6%)
Voting has now closed, but you can still click 'post reply' to discuss below. Thanks :)



  • mdr86mdr86 Forumite
    102 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    You've excluded mortgages - what about student loans?
  • I'm a real worrier and often work myself into a stressed state over a lot of things. For this reason I keep right on top of my debts finances because if I didn't I'd end up very ill!
  • cat4772cat4772 Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    I managed to rack up £4K of credit card debt whislt suffering from post-natal depresssion - didn't buy anything useful or big - just lots of silly things that we didn't want or need. To me, the debt was a direct result of the depression:o

    Now I'm pregnant with baby 2 and we know that with increased childcare costs we'll go into debt but this time we've drawn up a plan and we'll work towards it (one way or another):D!
    DFW Nerd Club #545 Dealing With Our Debt
    :onever attribute anything to malice which can be adequately explained by stupidity, [paranoia or ignorance] - ZTD&[cat]
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  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving Expert MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K Posts
    mdr86 wrote: »
    You've excluded mortgages - what about student loans?

    added it to the exclusions
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • I was 30k in debt and suffered a major depression, first in my life although I have previously hit other difficult times such as divorce, moving house, abusive marriage etc with not even a mild episode although I was certainly stressed and distraught at times but worked full-time all the way through. I was in a clinic paid for by NHS as I was a member of staff, had ECT as an Out-Patient... and was unable to work for 6 years. I was never able to even contemplate going back to work for the NHS and now have paid off all debts with the help of CCS and the sale of my house 5 years later. I have a small business which I run from home which brings me around 30k a year so I am living proof you can get through eventually. I muddle thought somehow... don't think I'll ever be back to 100% capacity. And I am sure that had I not had the debt to worry about I would have carried on working and paid them off in time...
  • Debt is a key risk factor for poor mental health. Not only that it is a cause of poor mental health.
    1 in 4 people have a mental health problem, but in is not 1 in ANY 4 . Mental health illnesses are more common in people of a low income.
    More people are coming forward with 'primary' mental health problems, these are such as depression and anxiety. Debt is a common element of contributing factors.
    To add to this the current government and some local nhs trusts have put a freeze on mental health nurse jobs, at a time when more and more peolpe need help !!!!!
  • edited 1 February 2011 at 7:32PM
    CyberHelenCyberHelen Forumite
    7 Posts
    edited 1 February 2011 at 7:32PM
    I had been in debt from leaving university - but it was manageable debt, in that it was going down. I became debt free just before i encountered mental health issues - at which point my debt problems spiralled out of control and I am now working with C.A.P to get them back under control - but still might loose my house and have to go bankrupt.

    Most people who work in banks, just don't understand mental health illness and emotional vulnerability. Along with the destabilisation of your health, you suddenly find your income can reduce significantly. I went from earning 1500-2000 a month (depending on overtime and unsocial hours) to 630. It is practically impossible to live on that and pay your bills and feed yourself - especially as most people i know who also suffer with mental health problems - have extreme difficulty looking after themselves and cooking and eating a meal - that's if they can get out and shop for it in the first place!!!

    My mortgage is supposed to be 630 a month, luckily at the moment i am getting mortgage interest support, but the recent cuts in this benefit mean that i am supposed to be paying 386 to my mortgage out of the 625 - that's like 62% of my income! But it just can't happen, if i am to pay for gas and electric, water etc. yet when i asked for help from the benefits agency i am told that the benefit isn't to pay my mortgage it is to hep me live - well like - having a roof over your head is a necessity.

    It will also cost the government more to house me in council accommodation than to keep me in my own home. But if all else fails - i will have the best decorated cardboard box in the area!!
    Any tips on how to to live on £625 a month are gratefully received. Like to see David Cameron try it!! :rotfl::rotfl:
    Leisure budget now 33p a day - anyone know what i can do to relax on that :question:
    Current Debt repayment period - 545 years and 6 months:eek::eek::eek:
    Like they're gonna wait that long! :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
  • I really think my depression started when we started having money problems after my husband had been out of work for 6 months. He has been back in work for 9 months and we are still in debt, trying to pay bills from then and regular bills too.
  • edited 1 February 2011 at 11:39PM
    Natty68Natty68 Forumite
    3.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 1 February 2011 at 11:39PM
    Unfortunately I had already had a major breakdown before I got into debt.. Both my husband and I had very good jobs and brought in a decent monthly wage, so we certainly weren't in the "poor" category.. Due to my mental health issues, which are still ongoing, I managed to rack up £16,000 in debt from various places, and we now have a charge on the property which I am paying so much per month. I also have 2 CCJ's against me now, and am potentially a very high credit risk. Because I couldn't get credit as I was in debt, and struggling to pay it all off due to having to leave work and have just my husbands income to rely on, I managed to get credit in husbands name. Sadly this ended badly as I have also blown his chances of getting credit for 6 years, as we found out when he went to buy a car last year :( I hadn't told him how bad things were and had to come clean to him then.

    I am still not in control of the debts as I still spend without any regard, but it is being addressed, and is actually classed as part of my mental health condition.

    Sorry for waffling.. Hope I am making myself understood..
    Mortgage Free as of 20.9.17
    Declutter challenge 2023 🏅
  • I suffer from bi-polar disorder & before accepting that I was unwell I managed to get myself in a huge amount of debt (£28,000) buying mainly unnecessary things to cheer myself up!!!

    As a former mental health nurse I had seen many of my patients becoming deeper in debt & their health suffering as a result of the added pressures on them. However I was convinced that I would be able to eventually pay off my debts & didn't think I had a debt problem!!!! Then I became very unwell & was unable to continue working as a nurse & the realities of my debts really surfaced.

    Faced with living on state benefits I realised that I had no choice but to declare myself bankrupt. The thought of it terrified me but it was the wake up call I needed & enabled me to tackle many areas of my life that I'd been avoiding.

    That was 9 years ago, since then I have rebuilt my credit, have no debts & am far more cautious about my spending. Yes I still have days when I'm tempted to blow everything in one go but with 2 young daughters to look after I try to resist these urges!!!!!
This discussion has been closed.
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