Your health is something that should always be at the top of your priority list, but when you’re worrying about money it can often get pushed to the back of your mind. And in some cases, it’s your health that can cause you money worries, leaving you to struggle through no fault of your own.

Debt is well known for causing people health problems. According to expert research, it can lead to high blood pressure, migraines and low immune systems caused by stress.

But it’s not just your physical health debt can affect, it’s your mental health as well. Money worries can be one of the main causes of stress, anxiety and depression, leaving people feeling very alone with no idea where to turn.

Regardless of your situation, it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling. Getting your money worries off your chest can be a great way to ease some of the stress you may have about your debts.

As such we’ve created this guide to show you the different ways debt can affect your health and offer you some steps to take to help.

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Debt and physical health

If you’re dealing with money worries, the stress can easily make you ill. As mentioned above, it can cause high blood pressure and with your brain working overtime, it can lead to migraines.

Then there’s the times where your health is actually the cause of your money worries. Being injured or sick can mean you’re off work – whether that be for a few days, weeks or even forever – which means your wages will be less when it comes to payday.

For some, this can make it difficult to cover all their outgoings for the month, and if you end up not being able to work at all anymore, it can be even harder. In other cases, you may have to reduce your hours or give up your work to take care of a family member, again leaving you with little money to get by on.

Terminal/long term illness

Living with a terminal or long-term illness can make dealing with money worries the last thing on your mind. With hospital appointments, prescriptions and treatment (if needed), your finances can get lost in translation.

This is made especially worse if you are then unable to work and can often cause people’s debts to get out of hand or force them to fall into further debt to help them get by.

In times like this, the first thing to do is to make sure you’re bringing in as much income as possible. This means checking what benefits you can get, making sure you apply for them as well as checking what you can get from your employer.

It’s important that you do this as soon as possible to help yourself be prepared. If you’re dealing with a terminal illness, there is the possibility of being able to get grants or support from certain charities.

Debt and mental health

Industry figures show over half of UK adults dealing with problem debt are also living with mental health issues. The most common reason for this is the feeling that there’s no one there to help you.

Debt can be a big factor in poor mental health. It’s known to cause high levels of stress, anxiety and depression – especially when you’re being chased to pay what you owe.

In other cases, your mental health can be the reason for your money worries. According to the Mental Health Foundation, the lack of energy that sometimes comes with mental health issues can make it hard to keep track of your money.

They also state that making rash or unwise decisions can mean you end up overspending on things you shouldn’t. This is especially worse in cases of illnesses such as dementia, where your decision-making ability is affected.

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How to deal with debt stress

There are many things you can do to help cope with your money worries. The most important thing to remember if your health is being affected by debts is that you’re not alone and it doesn’t make you weak to look for help.

Support is available from a whole bunch of places, whether this be from professionals or closer to home. We laid these out for you below:

Visit your doctor

Depending on your situation, calling in the professionals to help you is one of the best support systems you can find. By visiting your doctor and telling them what you’re going through allows them to offer you different solutions, whether it be therapy, medication or simple changes to help you relax.

The NHS has also published a guide on how to cope with money worries. It details simple things you can do to reduce your anxiety levels and even offers you tips on how to be healthy on a budget.

Family support

We often think that telling a loved one, family member or even a friend about our problems is the worst thing you can do. However, it actually does the opposite.

You’ll often find that they can offer a better support system than you think. They may even be able to help you come to a solution for your money problems and work through them with you.

Get some advice

When it comes to dealing with your debts, getting advice before making a decision is one of the best ways to make sure you do what’s right for you. Organisations such as Debt in Mind, Mind and the Mental Health Foundation offer services to help you find ways to deal with your debts and health issues.

If you’re looking to find out where you’re at with your money and advice on how to deal with it, talk to our resident debt expert, TAD.

Depending on the information you give us, we can offer you a tailored of advice and, if necessary, refer you to one of our trust partners. They’re here to help you find a solution that works for you, so you can sleep a little easier knowing your debts are being taken care of.