Financial Stress and Debt Linked to Depression
It has been recently reported that individuals suffering with mental health issues are three-a-half times more likely to have problems managing debt than those without these conditions.
The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute stated that these financial issues are even more prevalent for those people with specific conditions such as bipolar disorder and depression.
It is understood that people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are in fact six times more likely to be experiencing financial problems.
A survey carried out by the institute involving 7,500 people in England suggests that 1.5 million people were experiencing mental health issues and debt problems at the same time.
There is at least anecdotal evidence which suggests that certain people suffering with depression will often buy items on credit which are not needed in an attempt to make themselves feel better during periods when they feel low. Credit card, store card and catalogue debt are seen as typical examples of unnecessary and unaffordable spending patterns linked to depression.
The Institute’s findings reveal that one in four people suffering from depression have debt problems. This compares to only one in 20 people who do not have mental health issues.
The Institute states that there appears to be a direct correlation between depression, including low moods and impaired concentration levels, to the ability of individuals to properly manage their finances.
The Chief Executive of the Institute has called on the Government to introduce minimum standards for service providers (including banks and utility suppliers) to be made available to individuals with mental health issues to provide these people with greater financial protection.