Hidden Health Cost of Money Stress and Debt Suicide

Written by: Shreya Manerkar – MA (Clinical Psychology)
Last updated date : March 09, 2023

Before the year 2020, many of you fulfilled your dream of buying a new house or a new car on loan or equated monthly installments (EMI). Unfortunately, all that changed when you lost your job due to the pandemic. Naturally, you feel stressed because now you need to pay off your debt. There is a major hidden health cost to money stress, which people don’t openly discuss. This eventually leads to suffering alone and can also lead to debt suicide.

Let us now understand money stress and how it leads to debt suicide.

“Very practical suggestions” Peter

95 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use
$9.00 $12.00

25% discount


Chapter 1:

What Is Money Stress?

In simple words, money stress is the stress you feel when you face issues related to your finances. When you are unable to pay your monthly rent, buy groceries or even pay off loans, you will feel stressed. Many people with low incomes struggle to meet even basic financial needs. In addition to this, imagine if you have lost your job and have to pay off a huge loan.

Alternately, many people stick to jobs they hate because they have to fulfill their dreams or take care of their families. They may work in toxic conditions or unsafe environments because they feel stuck and hopeless. This money stress has a hidden health cost not only on our bodies but on our minds as well.

Chapter 2:

Hidden Health Cost of Money Stress

We all stress about money from time to time. However, when it disrupts our life, it is a problem. Severe money stress can cause a negative effect over some time. Like all other forms of stress, one of the biggest effects of financial stress is anxiety. Apart from this, people’s behavior also changes.

Chapter 3:

Symptoms of Money Stress

Under stress, your body will react in a particular way. Everyone reacts to stress differently. Here are some common symptoms that we see in people who are undergoing stress due to financial issues.

Chapter 4:

Emotional Health

The most neglected but serious hidden health cost of money stress is emotional health. Image a situation where you have to pay rent, other bills, and EMI. Additionally, you have to buy groceries, take care of your family’s needs and pay for your child’s education. But there is no money coming in because you don’t have a job. You start using your savings but they start to dry out. How would you feel?

First and foremost, people feel they are losing control over their finances. They may borrow money from friends and family. However, they worry about repaying this borrowed money. They may get stuck into a vicious cycle. Secondly, because they are incapable of paying their debt, they feel shame or embarrassment. As a result of this, they feel angry or irritated towards people, especially their family. This is because they feel family members are draining their finances. Lastly, there is a lot of worry and concern about the future. In extreme situations, people also resort to suicide due to increased debt.

A common hidden health cost of money stress is anxiety. When people think of money, they feel shortness of breath. This is a common sign of anxiety. Moreover, their heart races when the due date to pay rent or pay loans comes closer. The stress of coping with these constant demands can make a person want to completely give up and this can lead to debt suicide.
Imagine being constantly harassed by people asking you to repay their money. Especially when you have been going through such a bad time. It is only natural to avoid any phone calls, messages, or emails from them. And if this is your landlord, you may avoid running into them.

Moreover, you may cancel plans with your friends or avoid social gatherings completely. This is because you worry people will ask personal questions which may be uncomfortable.

Chapter 5:

Physical Health

Just like our emotional health, our body also gets affected by long-term stress. The common physical effects of money stress are listed below:
Trouble Falling Asleep
A common hidden health cost of money stress is difficulties falling asleep. This is because you are constantly worrying about money. However, staying up all night thinking about your money problems doesn’t make it go away. It creates a loop. When you sleep less, you find it difficult to deal with stress.
Not Taking Care of Yourself
When you have money concerns, you will try to save as much as possible. As a result of this, you will cut back or give up on your self-care. People discontinue their gym memberships, don’t go for a haircut, avoid eating out, and visiting doctors.
Gain or Lose Weight
Some of you overeat to deal with stress. However, some of you may have the opposite reaction. Alternately, you may also skip a meal or two, so that you can save money. These extreme choices disrupt normal eating habits and can affect your weight.
Body Aches
Stress can also show up in the form of headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stomach problems. Since you worry constantly worry about your finances, you completely forget about your health.

Chapter 6:

Dealing With the Hidden Health Cost of Money Stress

If your finances are causing you stress, we recommend having a look at your monthly budget. Analyze your budget to see if there are opportunities to make any adjustments. To get a clear picture of your finances, you can follow these simple tips:
  • Note down your total household income
  • Track monthly spending
  • Make a list of all debts
  • Write a money journal
  • Make a budget
  • Make small changes

Along with this, you can also follow some lifestyle changes to deal with the hidden health cost of money stress. Here are some easy-to-follow tips

Firstly, analyze how you currently cope with stress. Do you surf the net, watch a lot of TV/ movies, oversleep or don’t sleep, overeat or starve, or engage in substance use? As financial stress increases, you find it difficult to cope with the demand and hence you engage in self-harming behaviors. These may give you temporary relief to run away from the problem but do not make the problem disappear.

Secondly, having a social group can be the key to dealing with money stress. Since this is such an unthinkable subject, many people suffer alone. This can lead to very serious consequences including suicide debt.

Thirdly, engage in physical activities, yoga, and meditation. You don’t need to join an expensive gym or class to be fit. You can watch YouTube videos or go for a run or walk. Along with this, get enough sleep.

Lastly, talk to an expert or join our self-help course, “Low self-esteem“. This will help you with all your negative emotions and build your confidence in dealing with the hidden health cost of money stress.

"Very practical suggestions" Peter

95 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount