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Could bankruptcy relief lead to improved mental health?

When financial troubles abound, many in Arkansas take on a significant volume of stress. Over time, this can lead to health issues, both physically and emotionally. A recent study looks at how debt impacts emotional health, and the results may be of interest to many consumers who are in search of debt relief options. When it comes to protecting one's health, virtually no measure, including bankruptcy relief, should be excluded from consideration.

The study looked at data collected from more than 13,000 participants, all between the ages of 21 and 65. Researchers conducted the survey in the late 1980s, then checked back with participants in the years between 1992-1994. The information gleaned from these surveys suggests that individuals with certain types of debt were more likely to experience signs of depression. Specifically, short-term debt was associated with problems related to sleeping, weight gain, inability to focus and lack of motivation.

Short-term debt includes credit cards and overdue household bills. These forms of debt are often more expensive than long-term debt, which includes mortgages and car loans. In addition, long-term debt is usually associated with an item of significant value, such as one's home or car. It is easier to accept making these payments over a long period of time, because there is a tangible reward for doing so. When it comes to short-term debt, such as credit cards, many consumers have forgotten what was purchased by the time the bill is due, and certainly before the balance is paid in full.

For those in Arkansas who have amassed a significant volume of short-term consumer debt, the findings within this study may be troubling. Managing financial strain is difficult enough, but having to manage depression on top of financial hardship is a very serious set of circumstances. Often, seeking personal bankruptcy protection is the best way to move beyond a period of financial turmoil while also preserving one's emotional health.  

Source: health.com, "How the Type of Debt You Have Could Contribute to Depression", May 14, 2015

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