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


96.25% • 564 votes


3.75% • 22 votes

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586 votes in total.

    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 8th May 15, 11:26 AM
    • 9,419Posts
    • 22,327Thanks
    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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Page 8
    • BlueJay81
    • By BlueJay81 25th Jun 18, 1:26 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Needing some help.
    Me and my wife are currently in a pretty tough situation.

    We are both currently coming up to the end of our 4th year of our Trust Deeds.

    My wife has been out of work since February. Due to her Mother falling ill and needing extra care needs while she was in the process of being diagnosed it was her only option as dealing with the pressure of her job, our 3 kids and looking after her mother was too much.

    Since then we have been living on 1 wage which isn't enough to cover our outgoings. Including our Trust Deeds.

    Our mortgage is in arrears also and most months direct debits fail as well as having to rely on family and sometimes friends to loan us money for food.

    The upshot is that my wife's mental health has reached a point where she is so unwell that she is longer able to cope with life in general and can't see past the worst case scenario in every problem.

    She knows she is unwell but can't seem to get the help she needs, and I need to go to work so can't be there for her to give her time to recover and get better.

    It has had a knock on effect on me too as it just seems like everything is spiralling out of control.

    I just need some advice on how the hell to get through this.

    Anything at all would be appreciated.

    Last edited by BlueJay81; 25-06-2018 at 1:39 PM.
    • Dot.007
    • By Dot.007 26th Jul 18, 10:27 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    What your wife needs is something small that can make her feel she still has some power in her hands. If there is a little job available, evening job, where she could earn a little...
    • Teasedale
    • By Teasedale 7th Aug 18, 7:08 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    If your income exceeds your outgoings, you just have to change one or the other. Tough decisions have to be made to get you back to a place where the sums add up. The danger lies in delaying the decisions.

    That's what I found anyway.
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 17th Aug 18, 8:23 PM
    • 2,556 Posts
    • 2,103 Thanks
    ...we have been living on 1 wage which isn't enough to cover our outgoings. Including our Trust Deeds.

    Our mortgage is in arrears also and most months direct debits fail as well as having to rely on family and sometimes friends to loan us money for food.

    The upshot is that my wife's mental health has reached a point where she is so unwell that she is longer able to cope with life in general and can't see past the worst case scenario in every problem.

    She knows she is unwell but can't seem to get the help she needs, and I need to go to work so can't be there for her to give her time to recover and get better.
    Originally posted by BlueJay81
    Hi BlueJay81 and welcome to the forum

    Has your wife seen her GP about her mental health? It sounds like she may be in need of some support. Medication can often be a part of the solution as can talking therapies. Your wife could ask her GP to refer her to IAPT for talking therapy.

    As far as your debt is concerned, I would suggest contacting StepChange or any of the other free debt counselling services for advice and support. In the meantime, you may want to open up a new thread, posting up your SOA (Statement of Affairs) so that we can see the exact nature of your situation, advising you accordingly. If you do decide to post up your SOA, please can you remember to click on the 'format for MSE' button at the bottom of the form. Thanks.
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • PreventSelfService
    • By PreventSelfService 19th Aug 18, 10:02 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    To KirstyO
    Hello, I am very sorry to hear that. I am going through the exact same situation you described and I'm very scared of that future looks like for me.. I'm 18 and got many invoices I can't keep track of because someone bought services and products in my name. I'm studying to be an engineer someday, but the debt, fear and stress that these invoices gives me, is more than I can bear. I also ask myself "what-if"-questions.. what if they never find the thief? what if I'm the one holding accountable for all the purchases made by a stranger? what if I can't pay my college fees because of this? My parents aren't very rich, and the law will always need proof in order to prove that I'm not the one making these purchases, which I don't have. I'm worrying myself to the brink of my last energy. I'm usually a very cheerful person, but lately I have been getting suicidal thoughts…. I want to cope with this somehow.. thank you for taking your time to read.
    • PreventSelfService
    • By PreventSelfService 20th Aug 18, 1:10 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I 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.
    Originally posted by Vermillion
    thank you for sharing, I'm feeling the same kind of hopelesness as you, but I will try to move on too. I got so many unsettled debts because someone used my ID and personal information to buy things off the internet, I have no way to prove that i'm not responsible for these charges and this thing alone take so much energy from me, If i'm being held responsible for these charges, then I don't know what will happen to me... I can't use and mistreat my parents love and hard work to pay off these debts for me... I just can't
    • PreventSelfService
    • By PreventSelfService 20th Aug 18, 4:42 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 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 government’s 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 didn’t 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 doesn’t 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 ‘aspirational’ 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.
    Originally posted by secrow
    I'm truly sorry to hear that, I wonder how you are doing now? Is everything fine?
    • PreventSelfService
    • By PreventSelfService 20th Aug 18, 9:20 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    I'm new today and this post is very close to home for me. I have a large amount of cc debt, around £25,000 and my debts have affected my mental health and my mental health has affected my debts.

    I joined here as I struggle to talk about my debts with most people for fear of being judged. I've built the debt up through various things, one of the toughest ones to admit though is I spend on others because I want them to think of me in a positive way, to be liked. It's the way I briefly have self esteem, if others praise me then I feel good for awhile.

    So I'm tackling both head on now, my debt and my mental health and I think it's great for mse to highlight this area too.

    Good luck to everyone on here and remember you aren't alone

    Originally posted by sunshine&showers
    I wish I had someone to talk to, too. It's really a tough situation for both of us i guess.
    • Need_Help_Now
    • By Need_Help_Now 22nd Aug 18, 7:14 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    Hello everyone,

    Not sure if this is right place to post this but I will be starting my DMP shortly with StepChange but I am really concerned about having to deal with my creditors over the phone. I don't mind emails or letters but I am very emotional right now and very deeply depressed.

    I have been to my GP who did not hesitate to diagnose me with depression. I have started taking anti-depressants and will be getting therapy soon too to help but I am physically sick with worry about having to contact my creditors.

    I don't want to play the sympathy card by any means but can I advise my creditors if I am finding it difficult to speak to them? Can I offer to call back? I am really dreading this part of my DMP.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    • NowInspired
    • By NowInspired 22nd Aug 18, 8:26 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    You don't need to call them. I wont call or speak to mine on the phone either. Do everything in writing. That's what I've done.

    Tell them when you write to them that you will not deal with them by phone so they cannot phone you or text you, it must all be in writing

    And if you do think they may be calling (it has happened to me once or twice), ignore the phone and then block the number afterwards. You don't have to ever speak to them.
    Last edited by NowInspired; 22-08-2018 at 9:14 PM.
    • ImGettingThere
    • By ImGettingThere 24th Aug 18, 6:59 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    I really do feel for everyone on this forum. I'd give you all a hug if I could. You're not alone.

    My debts are self inflicted and came from a desperation to break out of the rat race and start my own business. It sounds so dramatic but life was just a dead loop of sitting at a desk wasting away for someone and I couldn't take it.

    I have, by my nature always been a very anxious person. No idea where it stems from but it's part of me and that's that... it does, regretfully cause me to bury my head in the sand and just ignore things. Worse thing is 'retail therapy' seems to be my default if I have money and debt makes me feel low. It's the worst possible thing and despite being fairly educated and understanding - I just can't articulate why I do this.

    I wish people would just email me so I can tackle it - opening a letter feels like a death sentence sometimes.

    I am getting out of all of this - hence the username thanks to my business becoming both profitable and reliable.

    It feels so good to just type this out and share a bit of where I'm at. Debt is such a taboo and money is a sign of success to most so I don't want to ever admit to friends and family that I have too much of the wrong one and not enough of the other one sometimes.
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 24th Aug 18, 7:21 PM
    • 2,556 Posts
    • 2,103 Thanks
    ...Debt is such a taboo and money is a sign of success to most so I don't want to ever admit to friends and family that I have too much of the wrong one and not enough of the other one sometimes.
    Originally posted by ImGettingThere
    I don't agree...Money is not a sign of success as there are plenty of wealthy people around the world who are fundamentally unhappy with life...Happiness, a sense of well-being is a sign of success... a sign that someone is successfully navigating their way through life...
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • Simmo71
    • By Simmo71 7th Oct 18, 12:01 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    I've only just found this thread, I wish I'd found it years ago. The pain and suffering inflicted by creditors on some people is barbaric. Until I started struggling with debt & falling income some 10 years ago, I'd hear stories about people ending up 10/20/50k in debt and I'd wonder how on Earth could they be so stupid, and how it must've been their own fault. But a drop in income, coupled with ill health for my wife, then compounded by redundancy, and I learnt the hard way just how easy it was to become 'one of those people'. I can't tell you what a low ebb I found myself in. I'd always been a confident, resilient person but the constant letters & phonecalls from creditors, then solicitors letters from debt collections firms threatening allsorts had me feeling rock bottom. I was trying my best to keep a roof over the family's head, and not let the kids or family find out what a mess we were in, and spent lord knows how many nights wide awake wondering how the hell I could drag us out of the abyss. I was trying so hard to keep it all on my own shoulders and not let anybody else get affected. Every day it was the first thing on my mind when I woke up, and the last thing on my mind at bedtime. It was torture. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I've since been able to earn a decent wage and get us heading in the right direction via an IVA, but I can only imagine the distress suffered by people who have the bailiffs knocking on the door and taking their stuff in full view of the kids. Having seen the cynical practices of firms like MBNA up close, it disgusts me the power they have over vulnerable people. It's just good to see the support from like-minded people on here, knowing you're not alone can see you through some very dark times.
    • simonineaston
    • By simonineaston 8th Oct 18, 5:32 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    Hi all,
    I wouldn't say that I suffer from depression or anxiety as such, but I've had a fairly unsatisfactory relationship with money over the years! On the whole, I find it very difficult to face up to dealing with stuff like this, (by which I suppose I mean, acting in time to meet deadlines and paying up what I owe...). I got to about my late thirties before I realized that the only way I was going to get through life without ending up in court would be to get a low paid but dependable job, sort out a bank account and get everything I owed onto direct debits. I suppose I have to congratulate myself, looking back, that I managed to achieve this ambition!
    Even so, it was another decade or so before I managed to acquire the will to pay off all my credit card bills and get debt free ( it can be done folks, it can be done!!). However, I'm still as bad at facing up to things in a timely manner as I ever was - the more important something is, the less I seem to be able to make the crucial decision about what to do next. Its depressing to find yourself acting like this, but I honestly don't think I'll ever change - people who can take decisions look at me as if I'm mad, when they find that weeks - months - have passed since they last spoke to me on the subject of my latest dilema and that I still haven't bitten the bullet. My default position when faced with this sort of stress is to simply forget about it... a trick that I'm apparently rather good at! I don't think I'm alone though...
    • armouredbeast
    • By armouredbeast 20th Oct 18, 4:24 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Has being in debt caused you stress and anxiety?

    Without a shadow of a doubt.

    Although I have not had sleepless nights about it, but it definitely did affect all aspects of my life, especially my professional life. I have been lumped with this debt since 2011, but luckily for me it is not a huge debt.
    I am now on the mend and slowly paying off my debt (£3600 down from £7900) and hoping to start my master's next year so i could kick start the career that I am most passionate about.
    Last edited by armouredbeast; 20-10-2018 at 4:28 PM.
    • NowInspired
    • By NowInspired 21st Oct 18, 1:04 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Sometimes I feel I'm coping out and in control but other times when certain organisations do not communicate or treat us unfairly, I do still have days when I am very stressed/frustrated. It's an emotional roller coaster.
    • lulabelle01
    • By lulabelle01 24th Oct 18, 7:35 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    I’m just beginning to face up to my debts and have sent holding letters to my creditors. I’m not sleeping well and feeling really anxious about everything. I know a DMP is the best route for me sorting everything out but I’m worried. Im worrying about being kicked out of my house and not having anywhere to live because my credit rating will be shot to pieces. I’m worrying about my bills going up and not being able to save anything for emergencies. I’m worried about not having access to credit which is ironic as that’s what’s got me into this mess. It’s got to the point where I’m worried to get out of bed because I don’t know what the world is going to throw at me.
    • By CAPTAIN PLANET 25th Oct 18, 11:51 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    I just want to say well done to everyone on here trying! I know it's not easy.
    Last edited by CAPTAIN PLANET; 25-10-2018 at 11:54 AM.
    • Rocker8742
    • By Rocker8742 26th Oct 18, 2:01 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    It's unreal the effect that debt appears to have on people.

    Personally i know by myself and my wife really suffer with it and constantly being chased by creditors just makes it even worse. Let alone the constant not wanting to answer the door for not knowing if its someone coming to collect money that we don't have.

    It just seems to wear you down the longer it goes on the worse it gets for me and every time I think we're getting closer to the end and things are looking more positive because there's a credit card nearing being cleared suddenly we get a stark reminder that we can't afford to pay our utility bills and our supplier has passed it on to a debt collector despite being told over and over that we cannot afford to pay any more than we are.

    All the while struggling with the anxiety of not being able to speak to anyone on the phone or answer unknown numbers as it will just set me off, which given most of the time they call while I'm at work is not going to do anyone any favours.

    Just wish there was a sensible way out where they would actually understand and help rather than just chase for money.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 26th Oct 18, 2:38 PM
    • 3,919 Posts
    • 2,499 Thanks
    Rocker - I see you have also posted on the Energy board re your electricity bills.

    Do follow up the advice you have been given there.

    One step at a time.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
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