It’s hard to forget about overwhelming debt. You probably constantly worry about your budget shortfalls and obligations. Anything from a billboard to a markup on a brand you like might remind you of your financial circumstances.
Even if you don’t constantly berate yourself about the debt, it is almost a given that your creditors will. You can expect tersely-worded letters, a stream of phone calls and possibly even litigation that could garnish your wages if successful.
Facing aggressive collection activity can drastically increase your degree of stress. Can financial problems lead to actual physical health concerns?
Research connects financial stress to significant health issues
When you worry about your finances or your future, people might just tell you to relax. If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, stress is a biological response to external stimuli that you can only control with training, practice and possibly medication.
The higher the degree of stress that you experience due to collection activity or other problems, the greater the likelihood that the stress will cause health concerns. It won’t surprise many people to learn that financial stress can increase people’s reported anxiety and depression. Intense financial stress can also impact people’s sleep and even their memory or cognition. Given that these issues are mental ones, they align with most people’s expectations.
What might surprise people to learn is the association of physical illness with stress. Medical and psychological professionals associate increase levels of stress with weight gain. Stress can affect your digestion in several different ways, causing gas, pain or bloating. People can also develop headaches due to stress. High levels of stress for long amounts of time could even cause heart issues and affect people’s blood pressure.
Filing bankruptcy could actually protect your health
If you notice any concerning signs of stress-related medical conditions in yourself or your spouse, you have every reason to take swift action regarding your financial woes. Filing for personal bankruptcy could lead to an immediate reduction in your stress levels because it gives you an automatic stay.
When you file your paperwork with the court, all collection activity has to stop until the courts move forward with your filing. That means no more phone calls, no more letters and no more worries about a possible lawsuit.
Recognizing the signs of stress-induced health concerns in yourself might be the motivation you need to explore bankruptcy and regain control over your finances.