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Results: Has being in debt caused you stress and anxiety?


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646 votes in total.

    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 8th May 15, 11:26 AM
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    Former MSE Andrea
    Debt and Mental Health - How have your debts affected you?
    • #1
    • 8th May 15, 11:26 AM
    Debt and Mental Health - How have your debts affected you? 8th May 15 at 11:26 AM
    Hi everyone,

    As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 next week (11-17 May), we’re supporting Stepchange Debt Charity and the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in highlighting how debt can play a large part in mental health issues.

    We have a free Mental Health and Debt guide available for anyone to download so if you're struggling please do take a look!

    Has being in debt caused you stress and anxiety?

    We're launching a poll to see how many of you have had mental health issues. We've kept responses private so other forum users won't see who's voted in the poll. If you'd like to reply below and discuss that would be great but don't feel you have to.

    Join the forum to vote in the poll and join the conversation: join.

    Mental Health Awareness Week Twitter Chat Wed 13 May, 11am

    We're hosting a twitter chat with StepChange Debt Charity and the Mental Health Foundation this Wednesday: Twitter Chat
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 08-05-2015 at 12:08 PM.
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    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 17th Aug 15, 10:04 AM
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    Former MSE Andrea
    Wow, over 5,000 views on this thread!

    Thanks for your posts everyone.

    Those alone will be helping lots of people, even ones who don't feel comfortable enough to join the forum and post yet
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?

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    • Chrysanthemum5
    • By Chrysanthemum5 20th Sep 15, 3:35 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    It caused and still causes me panic attacks, diarrhea, feelings of despair and suicide
    • Rosylee
    • By Rosylee 20th Sep 15, 3:41 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 559 Thanks
    It caused and still causes me panic attacks, diarrhea, feelings of despair and suicide
    Originally posted by Chrysanthemum5
    I haven't read the thread, just saw your comment and wanted to say please seek out one of the debt charities as they have been able to help so many people. Don't suffer alone, get some support
    • Chrysanthemum5
    • By Chrysanthemum5 21st Sep 15, 7:33 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    Thanks rosylee I should stress the suicide is not now sorry but the anxiety is. Fortunately my debts are manageable and getting paid off soon well within the year but it still stresses me out x but it could be worse
    • Melanie Fleming
    • By Melanie Fleming 25th Sep 15, 2:59 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Melanie Fleming
    had a really damn good credit rating, paid everything on time and money in the bank. Then a nutcase neighbour decided to start moving fences, taking land whilst away on holiday and came back to carnage! The result was four years spent in the solicitors offices and Courts. The toll has been beyond words. My physical health has suffered, I lost my job and at times my sanity, but you know I will be okay.

    I had to turn to credit cards to pay the legal bills. Having invoices come in from the solicitors for £7,000.00 at a time - I kid you not - it get damn frightening especially when you are working flat out, having next to nothing just to pay legal fees. I won the case, got my land back, but I did not get my legal fees returned - rought justice eh!

    At some of my lowest points I stand in the kitchen and squeeze my fists tight into a ball look upwards and say "I am going to be alright" and I believe I will. I just have one crappy debt hanging over me now but it has cause me worry and anxiety. Yes I am sacred whats going to happen to me - but I do have some fab friends. I am staying with one at the moment who is a fellow MSE contributor and she is helping me. Sometimes its just having someone to look after your inner child is all thats needed - someone to talk it through with.

    Through the worst I have had little sleep, gone to bed at 10pm slept hard until 1am then been awake worrying and pacing until 4am. Just constant fear and worry that drove me to some pretty dark places.
    I have at times felt very, very alone.

    I also have my faith and despite what others think it has kept me on an even keel through some pretty dire times. I still have faith that somehow it will all work out in the end.
    • AmberMoon
    • By AmberMoon 11th Oct 15, 12:19 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    I am severely depressed and in around £6000 debt including rent arrears. Constant chasing by collections teams and agencies is pushing me to breaking point, I am on the verge of suicide. Nobody cares if it kills me or not as long as they get their money, they would take every last penny if they could.
    **Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind**
    Terry Pratchett
    • secrow
    • By secrow 12th Oct 15, 6:59 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    In short, my mental health has been eroded almost to the point of no return. I think daily about how much I am worth once dead. The things my family could do with the death in service benefits that come with my job.

    I used to worry about not having the latest phone or not being able to go out with friends. Worry about my children not having the right trainers or the latest game. On reflection, those frivolous worries were not stress inducers at all. Now I have real fear, real worry and very real dark thoughts. The days are dark, long and arduous. I am not the man I was three years ago, let alone the happy go lucky, sociable man that my wife married twenty years ago. The last three years have brought me to a position of hopelessness that I have never experienced and I have had a hard life, growing up in and out of care, brief flirtation with teenage crime and ill health to name but a few things. In the past there has always been light at the end of the tunnel, this time however, I fear there is not.

    When the cuts come into effect in April 2016, I will be £2472 worse off per year (according to the governmentís own prediction calculator), I am currently struggling with basic living costs, I have had Bailiffs at the door on numerous occasions and recently lost my little rust bucket of a car (150,000 miles and eleven years old) to said Bailiff. It didnít even cover a third of the debt but he took it anyway. Last year I owed the DVLA the princely sum of £25.78 (trying to limp through to payday to pay the road fund licence), they crushed the car. (If you are wondering how I kept getting cars, my friend owns a garage and has been very sympathetic in finding me cars that are safe and roadworthy for a pittance, no more than two hundred pounds in cost to buy and allowing me months to pay him back.)

    When these cuts come in, I have no idea what I will do. I am already on the verge of bankruptcy, struggling to buy even basic items, food, clothing, and school costs etc. Facing committal to prison for not paying council tax is having an impact on my mental health as is the constant knowledge that I can no longer provide my wonderful children with a decent level of childhood living. I have sold everything of value that I own, a lifetimes worth in fact, I have nothing left. All for a fraction of the true value.

    I work full time and in the past I have worked extra jobs (two full time jobs once) when money was tight. The last time I took a second job, there was an error in the PAYE tax system that resulted in a big tax bill for me which was collected in large amounts from my main wage. Crippling doesnít cover it. Unable to pay a speeding fine (34 in a 30mph zone with a diarrhea ridden child in the back) it escalated to over four hundred pounds and was eventually taken in one go direct from my wages, another visit to the loan shark ensued which in itself affected my mental health, the loan shark has no customer service skills whatsoever.

    I am diabetic and should eat accordingly, I consider myself lucky to eat some days. I cannot get an appointment to see anyone to discuss mental health as the NHS is currently ready to burst within its own barrel of financial stress. There is no light at the end of this tunnel for me, more likely the tunnel has already collapsed on my time as a normal member of society. I fear I will not make it too long past April 2016, I gave it my best, worked hard and still do but ultimately I failed. This all makes the comments from Cameron and Osbourne about Ďaspirationalí Britain harder to swallow. I aspire to live. To exist at least but come April, that will become impossible.

    I am a working, law abiding, family man who has raised and delivered two law abiding, taxpayers already and the rest of my wonderful children will go on to be exactly the same, I have no doubt.

    I feel like I am a disease and this government is trying to eradicate me.

    Judge for yourself if debt has affected my mental health.
    • flower24
    • By flower24 13th Oct 15, 4:23 PM
    • 1,692 Posts
    • 1,352 Thanks
    I really can't see a way out at the moment
    • Popstess
    • By Popstess 1st Dec 15, 6:20 PM
    • 351 Posts
    • 1,168 Thanks
    My mental health is deteriorating rapidly due to the huge debts hanging over me which are all my own fault. Trying to battle the debts but I really can't see a way out right now.
    DFW LBM 17-10-15 Total £30,436.00
    My Debt free goal date 10-04-19
    • digitalfingers
    • By digitalfingers 5th Dec 15, 12:36 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    I had a terrible road accident 10 years ago which left me with PTSD, as a result I was taking more and more time off work (after a years recovery) and in the end was made redundant. My marriage broke down too at around the same time I lost my job. I owed money to the bank for windows on the house my now ex wife is living in with my son. I was in terrible trouble with debt, and the possibility of homelessness. I contacted a debt management agency (payplan) and they were of huge help, although my debt repayments reduced I still had the amount to clear and the debt still hangs over my head. My mental health is bad enough with depression and anxiety, I rarely go out and hardly socialise. I am with a new partner and live in a 2 bed flat above a shop (reasonable rent) we have a 7 Yr old Son. I'm still not working! because on every application forms I have been honest with them about my illness, I never hear back. My partner is a Nurse and we get help from the govt to top up our rent as I'm the main carer for our son. I am trying to establish an income from photography which I have had an interest in since an early age. I bought myself a middle of the range camera with my redundancy money and also find that photography is very therapeutic for me. I'm still not comfortable with myself though and that's the problem. With these debts to clear, I'm not sure my future has any hope unless I can make some changes. I am hopeful though because once you give up hope, you give up life. and I'm not ready for that.
    • onlywayne
    • By onlywayne 6th Jan 16, 8:49 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mental health DESTROYED ME
    march 2015 i had everything own business proud and happy, suddenly felt strange low upset, moving forward 3 trips to hospital, 2 stone lighter, 6 weeks in bed and wanting to couldn't walk, constantly checking my BP and blood oxygen levels.diagnosed with anxiety and depression,they said it was because my first wife passed away 5 years ago, but i said i was happy now how can this be, its hard to explain but to try and be happy i would spend money, in fact all our savings and my wife never questioned it because she wanted me happy, now everything as gone, and to make matters worse i have been purchasing cars on pcp plans which again gave me a burst of happiness, i would do anything to feel my usually self and i didn't realise what i was doing. infact one of our current cars purchased brand new in September, i was too ill to leave our car and had to sign the documents in there car park.and again i had done it once more this time a 30k car 1 month ago, my mental health as cost me everything in money but i have not lost my wife or family they have stuck behind me, but what have i done , lost 1000s sometimes 5k at a time on taking cars back and part exchanging them when there only a few weeks old, i dont know why my mental health is making me do this but i can now only see serious debt if i dont get my health sorted now, i have been on AD and other meds since april and see mental health teams and doctors regular, i just wish i was not in control of my own finances, now its too late, no income and 2 cars on pcp why why why. take care everyone.
    • Penguin8410
    • By Penguin8410 6th Jan 16, 10:45 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 206 Thanks
    I suffer with severe anxiety and depression and am just recovering from my 3rd 'episode' and second period off work in just 2 years. I have had this since I was 6 and have been in debt since getting my first credit card at 18, 13 years ago. It is such a vicious circle as I spend when I'm depressed or anxious which makes me feel good for a nano second but then the guilt kicks in and I feel a million times worse. I have tried countless times to pay everything off but now I'm feeling a lot better I owe it to my boyfriend, 2 girls and myself to sort this out once and for all. I grew up in a family with no money and I don't want that for my girls. I have made plans on how to manage my mental health so that I can hopefully avoid another episode, now to make plans to sort out the debt. I'm gonna need a lot of luck and determination as its gonna be a rocky road!
    £14046.59 £14046.59


    • Maximum Saving
    • By Maximum Saving 17th Jan 16, 7:06 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 333 Thanks
    Maximum Saving
    I have had credit cards in the past and have now paid all of them off. I have found having three different credit cards to pay incrediby stressful especially in 2014. I went into the extreme measures of paying off my Fluid credit card weekly because I could do it on-line.

    I borrowed money off my mum and felt so happy paying that back to her. It wasn't the same stress of a credit card. I am trying to overpay my mortgage which I am desperate to get rid of. I must keep it until the autumn of 2017. I must concentate on the positives that I have a plan to get out of my debt.

    My worst debt was after a holiday and it took me two hard years to pay that off.
    • Lostinthenorth
    • By Lostinthenorth 22nd Jan 16, 1:23 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    I was very ill with stress and depression when I was in debt. Even now, when my debts are cleared and I have completely changed my attitude to money, I hate it when the phone rings or the doorbell goes, or when the post arrives because it reminds me of when I was being chased by debt collectors.

    I still take anti-depressants, and I'm very anxious compared to how I used to be. I hate it.
    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 23rd Jan 16, 10:59 AM
    • 6,422 Posts
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    Debt has severely affected my well being, not helped by certain people who have done things over the years that have cost me dearly not only in myself but to my bank balance. I came clean to my mum about my debt not long ago and that was a huge relief, I didn't go into detail but it felt a relief that someone close knew and cared. Fed up with lots of folk I know that are extremely judgemental when you decline something as you know you can't afford it. Had one woman at work who the boss thinks is wonderful talk in a very negative way about me to another colleague (I heard what she said, not sure if she knew I'd heard). There's no support in the workplace for stuff like this and it's compounded by a boss who thinks nothing of having a team get together in the pub on a Friday night. If you have kids and or money concerns you can't go. But she doesn't seem to get this and says to me (and others with kids) that we should make more of an effort to go!
    CC2 = £8687.86 (£10000 )CC1 = £0 (£9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =£5.80 vs spent £1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
    • midnitegremlin
    • By midnitegremlin 28th Jan 16, 5:27 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    There is no once answer, of course. I was a big fat person, and I thought losing weight would "cure" my depression. Lost 6 stones, but nope, didn't feel better. I'm paying off debts, and do see that though as a "light at the end of the tunnel." Hopefully.

    On another thing, when I was training to join a certain telephone based organisation which "helps" people in dispair, one of the trainees was looking at a case study, and he said "Oh, she says she has depression but she's been shopping at the weekend. She obviously can't have depression if she's going shopping!" And he meant it seriously. Make of that what you will.
    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 31st Jan 16, 8:49 PM
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    • 23,816 Thanks
    midnitegremlin, some people just don't understand. I used to go shopping (even though heavily in debt) for 'normal' interaction with people I didn't know and people that wouldn't judge.
    CC2 = £8687.86 (£10000 )CC1 = £0 (£9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =£5.80 vs spent £1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 31st Jan 16, 11:01 PM
    • 3,151 Posts
    • 34,302 Thanks
    I am finally debt free. I took a £36,000 loss on the sale of my house which was a blow as I had put most of my time and energy in the last three years into getting repairs done and making it saleable. I don't have a private pension or anything so my house 'was' my pension. However I have sold it, paid off all my debts and have a tiny amount of savings.

    I have a history of depression (very difficult childhood, two years of PTSD after an accident involving myself and DS3 when he was only six months old, marriage to a gambler who refused to pay a penny maintenance for our 3 sons after I divorced him).

    I've nearly always been 'poor' (a survey I did last year which showed where you come in the UK range of incomes put me in the bottom 10%, officially poor and liable to slip into extreme poverty or words to that effect) and the depression is something I 'manage'. I feel as though it is something that will always be with me, I have lots of little tricks for cheering myself up and 'manage' to be happy most of the time but can get dragged back into the overwhelming blackness some of the time.

    I have followed this column for sometime and wanted to contribute but not known quite what I should say.

    I am still seeing a counsellor atm as I have various (mainly family) issues to deal with. Being the 'sensible one' in my family (a designation given to me when I was 2 years old) I have spent most of the last week moving my mother (and her partner, although he missed the moved after collapsing on the bathroom floor and being in hospital being fitted with a pacemaker) into a bungalow.

    The timing was not of my choosing and it has been at times chaotic and exhausting (I had a hip replacement a year ago and have gone beyond my physical limits). I wanted to wait until the modifications and safety measures were in place. Just being with some members of mum's partner's family (mostly loud, some of them are routinely racist, sexist and homophobic - one worked hard but did the wrong things) has also been stressful.

    However what I really wanted to say was that, it is only since being debt free (only 3 weeks tomorrow and only this week have I got my savings pot) that I am starting to see what a pressure cooker I have been in.

    On Friday I went shopping with DS3 (done too much, could barely walk by Thursday and felt sick and dizzy when I moved). I bought 2 dresses, a twin pack of leggings and 2 tops. With the two pairs of jogging pants I have (bought to get through winter) I should be okay for the next 3 months. In the past two days I have gathered up the skirts that don't zip all the way up, the things I squeeze into if I need to, the once black but now faded grey - most of my wardrobe is over 8 years old. I have only bought things in the past year because if it rained for a few days consecutively I had to stay in (because I couldn't get clothes dry).

    We moved back to this 'old house' (my original property) 15 months ago (the week before my op). It has taken 13 months to sell the up for sale house and I have been paying utility and council tax bills on 2 houses for all that time on reduced earnings (went self-employed to cope with the bad days after my brother died - I alternated between being super efficient when dealing with the Inland Revenue and the 3 pension companies and days when I hid under the bedclothes) caused by mobility problems before and after my op.

    This house needs some work but I have had to live with it because until the other house was sold I had no money to pay for what needs doing and whereas when I was young I have (through necessity) tackled most of the repairs that needed doing, and even before the diagnosis which lead to my op I was still trying to do repairs even when I could only go up the step ladder for 5 minutes at a time, I am finding a lot of things beyond me atm. I am grateful every day that I am no longer in any pain but still hopeful that I will improve on my current state (kneeling down and anything at floor level were the last things to come back).

    This is not as coherent as I would like but it is just the realisation of how much I have gone without over the past eight years.

    Going forward I still need to be fairly frugal to get through the next 8 years to retirement. I am determined to get there and to live as happily as I can. My needs are fairly simple (the debts were as a result of supporting my 3 sons through university - the middle one had recurring health problems, including 2 rare conditions, which meant he had to repeat each year and was unable to work in some of the holidays). The other house was also a large commitment and probably I should have rented as was me original intention ( a series of minor disasters followed the purchase, starting with DS1 and his then gf being flooded out of their rented cottage and joining us the month after we moved in). I am very happy to be back in my original little house, now that it is just me and my youngest. Will be even happier when the repairs are done.
    Last edited by mothernerd; 31-01-2016 at 11:04 PM.
    My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
    NST Dec No 11 No Debt No mortgage
    • midnitegremlin
    • By midnitegremlin 2nd Feb 16, 2:39 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    midnitegremlin, some people just don't understand. I used to go shopping (even though heavily in debt) for 'normal' interaction with people I didn't know and people that wouldn't judge.
    Originally posted by Uniscots97
    Yeah, exactly. I've got depression and go shopping. Not excessivly, not irresponsibly, it's just something I do.
    • Windynorth
    • By Windynorth 10th Feb 16, 2:40 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    getting there
    I am now finished having been driven out of my job by bosses and a harasser. I have severe depression which has been made worse by Nationwide BS and their agents. They have ignored any of the stuff MSE suggests about MH and Contacting me after I told them about my health and taking me to court. So I whacked in a FOS complaint. They forget I have halved my debts and offered to pay off another 50% in early settlement. But no they want blood. Had advice from MAS and CAB. Payplan (DMP) only interested in making money out my misery with IVA or products. They used to be good about 6 yrs. ago so many financial institutions needs to learn lessons. Also I used have a AAA credit rating now lost and much of the debt came from their "churning". Speaking to others they've now got a reputation for being harsh and legalistic.
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