The UK’s households are facing something of a debt crisis. In 2017 the average household spent £900 more than it brought in and the total amount of debt in the UK is thought to be around £25 billion, which is equal to 1.2% of the country’s GDP. Households in the UK are among the most indebted in the West.
Most types of debt are stressful, although we all have different tolerances. Some people manage to deal with small-to-medium amounts while others feel they have no choice but to become bankrupt and make a fresh start. You can find out more about ways to manage debt at Credit Fix. Whatever the size of your debt, not facing up to it and getting it under control can affect your health and wellbeing; here’s just some of the ways you can suffer.
Your blood pressure can rise
If you have a high debts-to-assets ratio – even if you sold all your assets then you’d still have some debts – then you’re more likely to be in poor health. Raised blood pressure is common in these scenarios, even among younger people and high blood pressure is in turn a risk factor for heart disease and strokes.
Debt can make you more anxious
This is probably not news to you if you’re already worrying about debts. While a small amount of manageable debt isn’t a worry – and can even be a good thing if you’re servicing it – the more debt you have means the more anxiety you’re likely to feel. Anxiety can raise blood pressure and stress hormones like cortisol and this can lead to depression and weight gain, among other problems.
Depression can strike
If you have a lot of unsecured debt you can begin to feel hopeless and helpless, especially if you’re in mid-life or later as you’ll feel you’ll never be free. These feelings easily lead to depression.
Debt can affect your immune system
High cortisol levels, high blood pressure, lack of sleep and constant stress can really affect your immune system. Stressed people often don’t eat properly, especially if they’re struggling for money, so it’s easy to make the links between debts and illness, even if you only have a few headaches and extra colds each year.
You may delay seeing a doctor or dentist
If you have lots of debt you might not want to take time off to see your GP for a minor ailment because you don’t want to lose the earnings. That minor ailment may get worse, or you might just carry on suffering when you don’t need to. Dental care is especially troublesome as it can be expensive.
Debt can become painful – literally
You can develop neck, shoulder and headaches due to muscular tensions. Many people also suffer from digestive upsets and cramps due to the ever-present stress; it’s just not a nice way to live.
If you’re worrying about money, then stop right now! There’s no point sitting around thinking about it – you need to take those first vital steps to sorting it out. It’s hard to face those numbers, but you don’t have to do it alone if you call a debt advice service. What’s more, even if you know you’ll be paying the debts down for some years yet, just knowing that you’re walking towards the end of the tunnel is a huge relief.