Debt isn’t just a financial burden that people have, and carrying a lot of debt can actually cause and exacerbate both physical and emotional health conditions. Most of the ways that debt can affect health are in terms of mental health—including causing stress, anxiety, and depression—but carrying a large debt load can also cause physical changes in the body like high blood pressure. Just in case you needed any more reasons to get out of debt, here’s a list of the health conditions associated with owing lots of money.
Anxiety and Depression
Two of the major mental health issues that debt contributes to are depression and anxiety, which can, in turn, lead to serious physical effects as well as the debilitating psychological ones. It seems that the higher a person’s debt load, the more likely that person is to report symptoms of depression and anxiety, which include:
- Feeling hopeless
- Weight gain or loss
- Feelings of panic and fear
- Lost interest in regular activities
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Numbness or tingling
- Anger or irritability
- Energy depletion
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
There is some indication that people with high debt loads may be more susceptible to headaches, migraines, back pain, and muscle tension. And while this could be related to the stress that debt causes, the reasons don’t really matter to the people experiencing the chronic pain.
Increased Blood Pressure
Not only does a high debt ratio make people more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, but it also makes them more vulnerable to the conditions associated with it, including stroke and heart disease.
Stress Levels Can Skyrocket
Stress levels can be difficult to measure, but there’s no doubt that debt leads to stress, and that stress leads to poorer health and a lower quality of life. Chronic stress from money problems can take the enjoyment out of life, lead to depression and anxiety, weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds, flus, and autoimmune diseases, cause reproductive, heart, and digestive issues, and impair memory. And that’s just a few of the health conditions associated with stress—the list goes on and on.
There are hundreds of reasons why you should start taking back control of your finances today, and the state of your health is just one of them. Carrying heavy debt can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress, and these symptoms alone can in turn lead to a vast number of related health issues that are both physical and psychological.
If you’re experiencing any of these health issues because of your debt load, it’s time to get in touch with a debt specialist who can help you get your finances, your life, and your health back on track.