Debt – a key factor behind significant stress and anxiety among Americans

Debt – a key factor behind significant stress and anxiety among Americans

“I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.”

― E.E. Cummings

Attracted by extremely fascinating credit offers, easy access to money and incomprehensible mortgage offers, many naive and unsuspecting Americans have fallen into the trap of massive debts. Sucked deep into never-ending bills and fines levied by credit card companies, the mental health of consumers is getting affected, increasing the rate of prevalence of anxiety disorders among them.

Profit-making companies and banks have lured many individuals into taking loans that are difficult to pay back. Rather than taking proactive action against such companies, users are widely held responsible for their choices and actions. In the light of the rising financial crisis, many people regret not being able to take wiser financial decisions.

According to a recent survey, conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), more than half of the Americans with debt (56 percent) admitted experiencing stress about everyday monetary decisions. Moreover, an increased level of anxiety over bills and stress over the letters and calls of collection agencies was also observed. Due to the ripple effect of increased debt, people are witnessing consequences like strains in their relationships, poor performance at work, decreased mental health, etc.

Low economic growth, hyper-consumerism behind stress

One of the primary reasons behind the rise in personal debt is the emergence of the culture of thrift. With the emergence of retail therapy as a way to alleviate mental disorders like stress and depression, people indulge in hyper-consumerism rather than opting for trained professional care. Legitimizing these actions, most neighbors, friends and family also accept and promote such behaviors.

Highlighting the magnitude of the problem, the AICPA survey revealed the impact of personal debts on the daily activity of users. While around 31 percent of the participants admitted to worrying about their debt in general, around 25 percent were stressed about their debts at bedtime and 18 percent were concerned at work. Compared to baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 (19 percent), the risk of worrying about debts was two times higher among millennials born between early 1980s to early 1990s (43 percent).

Debt affects baby boomers and millennials

Both baby boomers and millennials are likely to have debts. Due to their early exposure to the repercussions of debts, millennials understood the impact on their personal and professional lives. With the key indicators of a healthy labor market still trying to catch up, the lack of employment opportunities has further exacerbated stress and anxiety levels.

Some of the common reasons behind the increase in personal debts are mortgages (41 percent), car payments (33 percent), health care costs (32 percent), interest payment on credit cards (30 percent), student loans (23 percent) and vacations and luxury purchases (16 percent).

Anxiety disorders can be treated

The need of the hour is to ensure a shift from the culture of hyper-consumerism to saving in the society. In order to maintain a calm mind in all circumstances, it is essential to avoid the misuse of credit cards and loans. People should resort to such financial sources only during grave situations. Moreover, consumers should be aware of the various illegal and fraud schemes that dupe people.

As many as seven out of 10 millennials admitted to experiencing negative impacts like anxiety and stress in their daily life due to personal debt. If you or your loved one is suffering from any kind of stress or an anxiety disorder, contact the Florida Helpline for Anxiety to access information about the leading anxiety treatment center in Florida. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-920-9834 or chat online to find out more about centers offering evidence-based anxiety disorders treatment plans in Florida.