A financial reset can affect your entire life
If you're dealing with overwhelming debt, then you almost certainly know that it's not just a financial problem. Having debt hanging over your head can affect every aspect of your life. One recent poll found that a whopping 73% of Americans rank finances as a cause of stress in their lives. And chronic financial stress can cause numerous mental health and even physical health problems, including:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Anxiety and depression
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble with memory and focus
- Changes in appetite
- Digestive problems
- Nervous behaviors
- Drug and alcohol use
The long-term consequences of overwhelming debt can be devastating. People with chronic stress, including financial stress, are more likely to develop Alzheimer's and dementia. Financial issues are one of the leading causes of divorce. Heart disease, which can be caused or exacerbated by financial stress, is the leading cause of death in America. And one study found that people who are in debt are three times more likely to die by suicide.
Even worse, the relationship between debt and health issues is a vicious cycle. Health issues may require medication and medical treatment, and those medical bills can add to your financial woes — or, if you put off going to the doctor because you're concerned about cost, your health may get worse still. Worsening health can also affect your ability to work and earn income. Some coping strategies, such as shopping or drugs and alcohol, also have financial costs.
In short, getting out of debt is an important aspect of protecting your mental and physical health. Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start.
The value of a fresh financial start
Debt is one of many stressors, but it's a particularly dangerous one because it is all-consuming. If you are deep in debt, you likely think about it all the time. You're concerned with how to hold off your creditors, keep your home and your car, and make ends meet at the end of the day. You may also be feeling embarrassed and like you need to hide your financial struggles from your friends and family. Above all, there is a sense of hopelessness and inability to find a way out, which can lead to depression and a downward spiral.
Bankruptcy provides a way out of that spiral. We've seen this time and again: the sense of relief our clients feel when they're on track to have their debts discharged or reorganized. While there are effects on your credit score, those effects have an end date. It may take some time to truly achieve financial stability, but the mental health improvements begin as soon as you see yourself on the right track.
It's time to end the stigma around bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy doesn't mean you've failed; it means you are exercising your rights and utilizing the legal protections you have as a debtor. While many people go into the process feeling downcast, it has been our experience that very few people regret filing for bankruptcy. It's an opportunity for a fresh start, not just financially, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
In short, bankruptcy isn't just about your money; it's about your life. The right bankruptcy lawyer can listen to your story and help you find the right path forward as you move on from overwhelming debt. If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact us today for a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer at Benjamin R. Matthews & Associates, LLC.