Any person burdened by crippling debt faces many difficult challenges, but some look at it as an illness that never completely goes away. Like an illness, debt can come with many side effects that can even manifest themselves in physical pain and suffering as well as an endless variety of mental health issues
It is important to remember that these challenges are not isolated incidents — the average American carries nearly $16,000 in credit card debt with 39% carrying that debt from month to month. Lest we forget, the specter of student loans is another everyday reality for millions – the average student accrues $40,000 in debt from school. Moreover, there are many other commonplace debts that Americans carry, such as mortgages, car loans and medical debts.
Debt may be hard to acknowledge, but it still can manifest itself in ways that the person may not even realize:
- Anger and frustration: These feelings can arise when a person feels like they have lost control or encounter a financial burden through no fault of their own.
- Regret: It may have initially felt great to splurge on a new pair of shoes or a nice car, but buyer’s remorse is more acute for those struggling with debt. Others regret not seeking out scholarships or taking out loans without understanding the ramifications.
- Embarrassment or shame: Material possessions are a sign of wealth and success, but objects can also feel more like anchors. Even talking about personal debt is frowned upon, which can also lead to shaming by unsympathetic friends or family.
- Fear: Fear can drive just about any financial decision, whether it is making the wrong financial choice, concern about eviction or the knowledge that any unexpected debt could destroy them.
Meeting them head-on
Many people feel that they will never recover from debt, but bankruptcy is often a viable long-term solution. Pro-actively addressing the problem can lead to a new set of side effects. Instead of the above, new feelings like a sense of relief, accomplishment and freedom where the walls no longer close in. It starts by deciding to act.