The Horrifying Ways Debt Could Be Destroying Your Health

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It’s no great shock that dealing with debt causes serious headaches. But there are so many other health problems stemming from debt that you probably don’t know about. From student loans to maxed out credit cards, there are countless ways to accumulate debt — and even more ways you can fall prey to these health issues. Here’s how debt is destroying your health.


Horrifying Ways Debt Could Be Destroying Your Health

A very common problem among college students with mountains of loans. | Tommaso79/iStock/Getty Images

In a shocking study, Student Loan Hero uncovered some of the horrible ways that mounting student loan debt affects overall health. Lead researcher Shannon Insler and her team found that 74% of their participants developed depression, which lead them to shut people out of their lives. Study subjects reported that they experienced apprehension and dread, among other things, which drove them to isolate themselves from family and friends.

Difficulty fighting illness

A man comforts a friend while they sit on a bench.

It will take quite a toll on your body. | Antonio Guillem/iStock/Getty Images

Of course, stress is the main culprit when it comes to dealing with any kind of financial upheaval. And chronic, on-going stress from debt problems throws your body out of whack. Stress ramps up the production of cortisol and adrenaline in the body, and robs the facilities used to maintain your immune system. And long-term worries over money make it harder to fight off infections. Long story short: The more burdened you are by your money problems, the more likely you are to get sick.

Mental health problems

A man sits and ponders in front of a window.

Your bills aren’t easy to ignore. |

The rise of stress hormones brought on by financial debt can create a severe imbalance of chemicals in the brain. In fact, individuals with debt problems are three times more likely to have mental health issues. This can lead to depression, as well as chronic anxiety and psychotic disorders.

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Physical pain

A woman suffers a backache while sitting at work.

Money problems will make your body ache. | Andrey Popov/iStock/Getty Images

Your brain isn’t the only thing hurt by mountains of debt. Dealing with small business loans, home owner’s debt, what-have-you, means you are more prone to physical pain. Those dealing with financial problems are also reportedly more likely to buy over-the-counter painkillers to deal with their ailments.

Raised blood pressure

Doctor checks a young man's blood pressure.

Stress and worry can affect your blood pressure. |

The National Institutes of Health reveal all the different ways a financial crisis can impact the body. The study, which investigated 8,400 young adults, showed there was a definite correlation between debt and elevated blood pressure. Student Loan Hero adds that a rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath are also prevalent ailments in individuals bogged down by financial woes.

Sleepless nights

Young woman sitting up in bed at night because she can't sleep.

It’s hard to sleep when you’ve got loans and bills on your mind. |

Yes, stress ruins your sleep. And if you are swimming in financial upheaval, you’ve probably experienced multiple sleepless nights in a row. This can become an even more severe problem as time goes on and insomnia becomes a possible issue. If you have gone more than three months without restful sleep, you should consult your doctor about addressing both your stress and your sleep concerns. While we’re on the subject of doctors …

Difficult doctor’s visits

Businesswoman using mobile phone while outside.

Trips to the doctor’s office might become dreadful. | Diego Cervo/iStock/Getty Images

We aren’t just talking about the elevated dread that comes from worrying about paying for your doctor’s visits. The apprehension and unease brought on by debt can turn you into a nervous wreck at every turn of your life. And this can make trips to the doctor’s office even more stressful, and send your blood pressure through the roof. As uncomfortable as it may seem, being upfront with your doctor about your high stress levels is the best way to find relief while dealing with your debt problems.

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