Depressed? It Could Be Your Debt
As of July 2013, the average American credit card debt was $15,325, and the average student loan debt was $32,041. (See also: How Much Does Your Credit Card Debt Cost You?)
Reading those numbers makes me think about my own lingering student loan debt, and that gives me a clenching feeling in my stomach.
As it turns out, I'm not the only one who feels stressed about debt. Moreover, for some people, debt might not just cause stress — it can also lead to depression and even poor phyisical health. This month, the journal "Social Science & Medicine" reported that, in a study of 8,400 young adults,
...high financial debt relative to available assets is associated with higher perceived stress and depression, worse self-reported general health, and higher diastolic blood pressure. These associations remain significant when controlling for prior socioeconomic status, psychological and physical health, and other demographic factors.
And that financial strife doesn't just affect our personal lives. A study released earlier this summer also noted that financial arguments early in a marriage are the number one predictor of divorce.
Basically, if you think that your finances are causing problems beyond your wallet, you're not crazy. And the faster you get out of debt, the faster you might be on the road to better mental and physical health. Take a look at this article on how to start fighting debt — today. Or, if you're already working on paying down your debt, check out my piece on 15 ways to pay back student loans faster.