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Overcoming Depression From Being In Debt

Overcoming Depression From Being In Debt
Reviewed by Nima Vahdat
Updated December 20, 2023

If you are considering harming yourself or are experiencing a mental health crisis, please seek help immediately. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit the nearest emergency center immediately.

Americans across the country struggle with debilitating debt, causing a depression epidemic in young and old alike. 

While challenging, it is possible to overcome debt-related depression and discover the peace financial freedom provides. 


  • Debt can have a direct impact on mental health.
  • Understanding the symptoms of depression is crucial to identifying struggles in yourself and your loved ones.
  • While challenging, taking positive steps to reduce debt can help reduce depression and anxiety.

America is a country in debt. Currently, the consumer debt balance is a staggering $17.06 trillion, up 4.12% since 2022. 

On average, the household debt is $103,358, causing Americans to live paycheck to paycheck every month. 

The aftermath of the pandemic continues to have devastating effects on our jobs, finances, health, and well-being. Continuing economic struggles have made matters worse. 

Rising inflation, soaring gas prices, and depleted savings create a perfect storm for debt-related depression.

Debts Effect on Mental Health

For many who have never experienced mental health struggles, battling debt-related depression is hard to accept. Older generations grew up with a “grin and bear it” mentality, which stigmatized mental struggles as “not real” or “made up.” 

Fortunately for younger adults, the country has come a long way in accepting and normalizing mental health, shedding light on the struggles it can produce. 

Depression is indiscriminate, affecting the young and old, men and women alike. 

It can be caused by genetics or, in many cases, an unexpected traumatic life experience like losing your job or accruing large amounts of debt. Worry over debt triggers a stress response, which lowers the body’s ability to combat mental health problems. 

The severity of these mental health issues varies by person, ranging from mild to severe. In the worst cases, it can cause overpowering and life-altering thoughts that devastate lives. 

Depression Symptoms 

Understanding the symptoms of depression is crucial to identifying struggles in yourself and your loved ones and receiving the help needed to heal and thrive.

Increased Anxiety

When the reality of debt kicks in, the first response is often anxiety. This happens when you realize you can’t pay the mortgage, bills begin piling up, and your income doesn’t cover your expenses. 

Symptoms of anxiety include a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, upset stomach, shakes, headache, and shortness of breath.


Similar to anxiety, financial stress can cause many adverse reactions, including trouble sleeping, constant worry, poor focus, and turning to legal or illegal substances for relief. 

One major contributing factor to American’s stress levels is credit card debt. 

40% of American households report that credit card debt negatively impacts the standard of living, with 1 in 5 saying it impacts their health. 

The average credit card debt is $6,569 and rising, making it one of the most prevalent issues in the country.


Reactions to debt often manifest as anger, as the feeling of helplessness sets in. 

Anger can devastate relationships and cause many physical ailments like decreased immunity, headaches, and heart disease. 

In fact, the struggling economy has created a phenomenon called Debt-Anger Syndrome, where victims become angry at their financial situations, taking their emotions out on creditors, bosses, spouses, and children.

Debt and Physical Health

Not only can debt negatively affect your mental health, it can also impact you physically. Debt and stress can materialize physically in multiple ways, including:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Memory issues
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Decreased immune function
  • Mood swings

For those experiencing debt-related depression, there are steps you can take to reclaim your finances and set out on the path to financial freedom. 

Tips for Developing Positive Financial Habits

While it won’t happen overnight, these tips will help you develop positive financial habits that are the first step to overcoming debt and debt-related depression.

Identify debt 

While it can feel overwhelming, identifying your debt is the first step to financial freedom. Write down all credit card balances, car loans, mortgages, and more. 

Once you have everything listed out, you can move on to the next tip.

Prioritize debt payments

Now that you know your total debt, you can prioritize your payments. 

For example, paying your mortgage is more important than a credit card. 

While you will eventually focus on all outstanding balances, knowing which ones are a priority will ensure you pay the most important first.

Determine a budget

Having a budget and sticking to it is essential to paying off debt. 

It takes discipline and patience, but budgeting will ensure you meet all monthly obligations. 

Recognize your spending habits

Changing your spending habits isn’t easy, but it will help you stop overspending and prioritize debt reduction. 

Expenditures like music and TV streaming, eating out, and unused subscriptions quickly add up, leaving less for debt repayment. 

Consolidate your debt

Consolidating your highest interest rate debt can save you thousands of dollars or more. 

Debt consolidation can be a useful tool for reducing monthly payments and making your debt repayment plan more manageable. 

Pay bills on time

Paying your bills on time will help you avoid late fees, which can quickly add up. 

The more fees you incur, the higher your debt, so even if you can only make the minimum payment, paying your bills on time is an important way to get control over your debt.

Speak to a mental health professional

Even once you’ve taken all the necessary steps toward reclaiming your finances, it’s important to speak with a mental health professional regarding your depression symptoms. 

They can suggest tools to help you manage stress and identify any underlying issues that may cause worsening symptoms. 

Seek financial help from debt specialists

Companies like Americor can offer financial management assistance to help guide you on the path to becoming debt-free. 

Having support as you work toward your goal makes the journey easier and increases your chances of success. 

As America’s trusted source for debt relief solutions, we aim to empower you with financial knowledge that can lead to informed decisions, whether it’s about savings, investments, or managing debt.

If your debt has become unmanageable and you have difficulty making your debt payments each month, then you should consider a free consultation call with one of our certified Debt Consultants, who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.

By taking proactive steps today, you can put an end to your financial stress and work towards a brighter financial future. 

Remember, there is always hope for debt relief, and our team of experienced professionals are ready to guide you on your journey to regaining control of your finances.

For more information on Americor’s debt relief services, contact us today to see how we can help you eliminate your debts, and get on the fast-track to becoming completely debt-free!