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MSE Poll: Does mental health affect your debts?

edited 7 August 2017 at 11:55AM in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_KarlFormer_MSE_Karl Former MSE
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edited 7 August 2017 at 11:55AM in Money Saving Polls
Poll started 7 August 2017

Does mental health affect your debts?

We're updating our research on links between mental health issues & debt problems. It's argued either one can cause the other. If you’ve been affected, see our Mental Health and Debt guide.

NOTE: Please exclude mortgages and student loans from definition of "debt".


Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.

Thanks! :)


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Replies

  • edited 8 August 2017 at 5:57PM
    little8571little8571 Forumite
    13 Posts
    edited 8 August 2017 at 5:57PM
    I am living proof that mental health affects your debt.
    Back in 2012 i had a few debts but nothing too big, THEN a horrible family event happened which affected my mental health, i spent money as i always did on credit cards but obviously didn't keep track due to my mental health and the debts started to spiral out of control as i forgot to pay, paid late or spent too much, because of my altered state of mind i just wasn't keeping track of anything, i now realise i was having a breakdown, but too late as i was already too deep in debt.


    Present day i am now deeper in debt, being strangled by the daily struggle of working to pay the credit cards and then having no money to pay the bills so relying on the credit cards to pay the bills.


    Now my mental health is suffering badly as i cant cope with the situation i have got my family in, i am ashamed so ashamed i have even thought about suicide and still do, daily i struggle with that.


    I am afraid very afraid as i don't know how to get out of this even though i am trying as i realise i got myself into this and it is my responsibility to get out of it, but mentally i am dying (as having another breakdown)


    So mental health can and does cause debt, but debt does also cause mental health issues, the two go hand in hand and i know this from my experiences.


    Interestingly i noticed that a high proportion of people in my age group are suffering high debt too.
  • little8571 wrote: »
    I am living proof that mental health affects your debt.
    Back in 2012 i had a few debts but nothing too big, THEN a horrible family event happened which affected my mental health, i spent money as i always did on credit cards but obviously didn't keep track due to my mental health and the debts started to spiral out of control as i forgot to pay, paid late or spent too much, because of my altered state of mind i just wasn't keeping track of anything, i now realise i was having a breakdown, but too late as i was already too deep in debt.


    Present day i am now deeper in debt, being strangled by the daily struggle of working to pay the credit cards and then having no money to pay the bills so relying on the credit cards to pay the bills.


    Now my mental health is suffering badly as i cant cope with the situation i have got my family in, i am ashamed so ashamed i have even thought about suicide and still do, daily i struggle with that.


    I am afraid very afraid as i don't know how to get out of this even though i am trying as i realise i got myself into this and it is my responsibility to get out of it, but mentally i am dying (as having another breakdown)


    So mental health can and does cause debt, but debt does also cause mental health issues, the two go hand in hand and i know this from my experiences.


    Interestingly i noticed that a high proportion of people in my age group are suffering high debt too.

    In case you haven't seen Martin Lewis' help for mental health and debt problems - there is a charity that is online and you can get advice about your debts from them, it used to be called CCCS and now it's called StepChange - here's the link https://www.stepchange.org/

    They can offer you a free counselling session on the phone if you need it.

    Don't be frightened of seeking help, they won't force you to do anything you don't want to do, the advice is free and it's completely your decision what you do.

    I personally know people who've gone bankrupt and it gets the creditors off your back completely, so don't be frightened of doing that option if it's one of the options offered to you.

    Good luck
  • rufus86rufus86 Forumite
    61 Posts
    What's amazing about this poll is that the majority of respondees (either with debt/without) have had a mental health issue.

    That information in itself is vital.
  • I note there is only one "relationship status" option on all the voting options. That being "I or my partner".

    I think this could do with further breaking down of the "relationship status". In my agegroup (early 60s) I've had to vote for the category of having been in bigger debt (but not a problem) category and I put it down, purely and simply, to being single and I always ever have been. If I were partnered-up and had been for some time - then I would, almost certainly, have voted in the "never been in debt" category.

    Putting people who are single and people who are coupled-up in together in each category does make me look as if I'm worse with money than I am imo - rather than the debt having been totally down to = single people have to pay for everything on their own and will therefore look like worse money managers than we actually really are iyswim.
  • coffeehoundcoffeehound Forumite
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    ^ I suppose that effect should be same in all categories so will cancel out. It could be argued that those with MH issues are more likely to be single but perhaps not a major difference. With graphs it can muddy the waters if things are broken down into too many categories.
  • gwynfilgwynfil Forumite
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    Debts can be a problem for anyone of any age. Mental health problems can be an issue for anyone of any age. I'm not trying to make this an age competition. Every age is worthy of consideration or help. However, as a forty something, I would just like to highlight that my generation has faced some terrible financial problems. The poll seems to bear this out.

    I’m aged 35 to 49 and I (or my partner) HAVE / HAVE HAD mental health problems (1196 votes)

    Bigger debts, but not a problem 263 votes (22%)
    Severe or crisis debts 593 votes (50%)

    Quite an eye opener. The younger and older generations have lots of hurdles and problems with finances and mental health issues, my comment is not to take anything away from their plight. However, sometimes I feel the 35- 49 generation is sort of overlooked as being neither youth or older and therefore not given any age specific help. Yet so many of us are obviously not doing fine. Our pension age is going up, but we may have lots of problems with rents and housing, but no government age specific help to get on the housing ladder and we probably also had student loans if at uni.
  • edited 13 August 2017 at 9:46AM
    edited 13 August 2017 at 9:46AM
    ^ I suppose that effect should be same in all categories so will cancel out. It could be argued that those with MH issues are more likely to be single but perhaps not a major difference. With graphs it can muddy the waters if things are broken down into too many categories.

    That thought would never have occurred to me re "MH issues more likely to be single" and I would disagree. People of all levels of health get married/partnered-up.

    If anything - I would say that it takes a stronger person to be single. If you're perfectly "wantable" in all respects (no major health/looks/money problems) but are still single then, in some cases, it's because you're a particularly "strong/capable" person. You've decided to handle issues all on your own if you must, rather than taking the easy option that some do of marrying Mr/Miss "Someone/Anyone" - rather than waiting for the right person because you don't feel "strong" enough to handle life on your own iyswim.

    It takes "strength" to be self-sufficient not by choice (ie rather than settling for Mr/Miss Someone/Anyone - as some married people do) and that's a sign of pretty darn good mental health imo.
  • coffeehoundcoffeehound Forumite
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    ^ Well there are people who can't survive on their own so perhaps your argument is somewhat true. But as it applies to the poll, I'd be very surprised if incidence of MH issues doesn't correlate with higher likelihood of being single.
This discussion has been closed.
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