Don’t let debt stress you out

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Most Americans are in debt. For some families, the weight of this debt is financially, physically and mentally heavy.

The combination of spiraling debt and anxious thoughts can break a person. It’s a vicious circle.

Many people have been hit hard financially over the past two years, battling a pandemic and now inflation. There are many people who worry about what they can and cannot afford.

Worrying about finances then causes stress, anxiety and more. This stress and anxiety can affect decision-making and mental health.

All of these emotions can then make managing your money even more difficult.

“In general, when you think about debt, it can be overwhelming,” said Dr. Regine Muradian, licensed clinical psychologist, mental health advocate and member of the National Debt Relief Financial Wellness Board.

National Debt Relief, a debt relief company, shared that the average American loses 200 hours of sleep a year due to debt and has three nightmares a week.

In a recent survey, the company found that three out of five people Americans have considered postponing marriage to avoid inheriting their partner’s debt. 54% of Americans think having a partner in debt is a major reason for divorce.

“It really makes people feel like they’ve lost control of their lives,” Muradian explained.

The company also found that as Americans grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, inflation, unemployment, early retirement and other circumstances beyond their control, it is having an effect harmful to the mental health of millions of people.

“National Debt Relief found that 69% of respondents said being in debt made them feel distant from the things they love,” Muradian explained. “70% feel like a dark cloud is watching them when they are in debt.”

While managing the money side of debt is very important, understanding how our finances can impact our mental health and our relationships with friends, family, and partners is also critical.

“That loss of control really triggers that fear of the unknown and the embarrassment that makes people feel trapped and isolated from other people,” Muradian said.

The news is not all bleak. The path to debt and distress relief can be simple once a plan is in place. People should talk to their creditors and stick to this plan.

“Shifting your mindset from ‘I’m in debt’ to ‘I have a plan to get out of debt,'” Muradian explained.

A person should set a goal that they can achieve, whether they follow a plan and budget that they have developed themselves or seek reputable professional help.

“You see your life kind of unfold and you see your debt go away,” Muradian explained. “No matter what challenge you’re facing, it’s really essential to maintaining good mental health.”

For more information on how to manage your debt, just click or tap here. Remember to stay focused and climb that mountain of debt one step at a time.

WAVE – Louisville and southern Indiana NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @wave3news.(VAGUE)

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