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How Those with Mental Illnesses Overcome Financial Hardship

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Virtually everything is more difficult when facing life with mental illness in the background. Friendships, relationships, careers, and even finances can be impacted by any number of conditions that make day-to-day living a struggle. While many aspects of mental health and the impact they have on life get attention, the effect on finances is arguably the least discussed.

A combination of factors can cause financial hardship for those suffering from even minute mental health challenges. Many struggles may seemingly have nothing to do with the illness itself, but nevertheless, indirectly affect how people save, spend, and earn income.

Despite these challenges, there are many bright stories to be shared about how those who struggle with mental illness have overcome their financial burdens. Between fighting back against mental health stigma, challenging oneself to be more proactive and making accommodations where needed, overcoming financial hardship can be done – let’s look at some examples of how people accomplish this.

Understanding the Reciprocity of the Situation

A huge component in the fight to rectify any negative life situation is understanding the effects and influences.

Financial hardship can actually be the cause – or in some cases, merely the trigger – of some peoples’ common mental health problems. The effects of sustained poverty on one’s mental health are well-known, contributing to a variety of decisions and mistakes that directly impact the finances of those who are dealing with these issues.

It is all too common to assume that the experience is a one-way affair: while dealing with depression or other mental health conditions absolutely impacts everyday finances, the stresses of poverty and/or financial hardship can exacerbate the conditions of many.

Accepting There’s an Issue

People living with anxiety, addiction, depression and other mental health struggles may not initially realise there’s a connection between mental illness and financial hardship. Others may refuse to accept that there is a specific connection on a personal level. Whatever the case, those who have rectified the problem of hardship ultimately accepted the role each was playing in their lives.

Some common examples that your mental health might be impacting your finances include a sudden increase in late bills and additional credit card debt. While there may be a justifiable reason for such a sudden change in spending behaviour, it can also be indicative of mental health impacting decision-making.

Likewise, those living in fear of eviction, repossession of property, or who simply don’t have enough income coming in each month face ample stress (easily one of the biggest causes of stress is money troubles). This stress, again, may further impact financial situations.

Because of the complex nature of mental health and financial success, accepting there is a problem is absolutely essential.

Asking for Help

In the pursuit of breaking any cycle of financial hardship, it’s never wrong to ask for some help.

All too many people are afraid to admit to others that they are struggling, which often leads to continued struggle. Whether support is sought through personal channels via friends and family or through online support systems, taking that first step to breaking the cycle is a big part in overcoming financial hardship.

Mental Health and Money Advice is one useful online support website for those who are dealing with mental health and their finances. Here you’ll find contacts to speak to and a plethora of guides that are tailored to your problems.

Help may also come in the form of benefits. A variety of programs exist to help those suffering from mental illness recover from financial hardship. Personal Independence Payments, ESA allowance and other forms of assistance may be available to you depending on the exact situation. An ESA or Personal Independence Payment assessment can help you determine eligibility.

Consulting with Professionals

Both a strong support network and public assistance are needed in recovering from financial hardship, but some expert advice makes the recovery even more successful.

Many individuals begin consulting with a therapist to address key stress points in their lives, and may also address issues such as understanding depression, anxiety, stress and their effects on financial decisions.

Likewise, consulting with a financial counsellor may also prove to be fruitful. These professionals help establish sensible budgets, create savings plans and personal blueprints that can nurture the conditions for a financial recovery in the face of hardship.

In fact, there is an ever-growing number of financial therapists who actually handle both aspects of this struggle. Addressing both the psychological and emotional realities of financial hardship – along with sound financial planning advice – often prove the key to improving mental health and finances side-by-side.

Breaking free of the struggles that mental health illnesses and financial hardship both present can sometimes feel impossible. The good news is that countless people have declared victory in this regard – there is a pathway forward. For many, the key is in recognising the complexities of the situation, asking for help and consulting with professionals. Through this broader process, many living with anxiety, depression, OCD-related issues and other challenges have broken free from the cycle of poverty.


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