Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Link Between Debt and Depression

I had a bad day.

Too often these days, things seem overwhelming.

But I'm trying to remember that life is big. This present horror is but a blip that will earn me my gray hairs.

Fifty-three year old Carlene Balderrama of Taunton, Massachussetts was so beseiged by debt, and I'm guessing, shame, that she committed suicide a few months ago immediately before the bank was to foreclose on her home.

Her husband didn't know they were about to lose her home. Her neighbors didn't know the family was in trouble.

We have a real taboo against talking about money problems in our society. Secrets and shame combined with stress can contribute to physical and psychological illnesses. People think that setbacks represent a long-term catastrophe. They may avoid getting treatment because they have inadequate or insurance coverage for mental health problems. Marital or family tensions can become worse. Even abuse and neglect may occur.

Polly's Pointers

1. Please, if you're reading this and are having problems that are interfering with your health and wellbeing or that of those around, you, get help.

2. Talk to someone you trust. Find a counselor, social worker, minister, friend, or doctor.

3. If you have thoughts of harming yourself call a suicide hotline. If anyone is in danger, get help now.

It's just a house. It's just a car. It's just stuff. Life is big. You can make it better. Take it one day, one bill, one phone call, one hug at a time.

Be well.


Further Reading

Facing foreclosure, Taunton woman commits suicide from the Boston Globe
Debt and Depression at Debt Prison blog
Severe debt can cause depression and even suicide by Emily Starbuck Gerson

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