Uncovering The Links Between Poor Health & Debt

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The vast majority of people out there have some form of debt. It might be a home loan, for example, a credit card, or maybe just a monthly prescription you pay for services received. But, whereas debt seems to be entirely normal these days, bad debts are a huge issue – not just to people’s finances, but also to their health and wellbeing. And if you are looking for reasons to teach your kids about the importance of sound financial knowledge, the fact that bad debts will harm them in the future should be all you need to start educating them right now. Let’s take a look at some of the links between bad debts and poor health – and see how we can all make sure our children never suffer from either.

High blood pressure levels

Having bad debts means that your lenders will, to all intents and purposes, be after you. Phone calls, letters, emails – your creditors will be trying their damnedest to get their money back by almost any means necessary. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to stressful health issues such as high blood pressure. A study in Norway found that adults with high debt-to-asset ratios suffered from higher blood pressure than others, and also suffered from poor health in many other areas. And it’s also important to note that those adults studied were in their prime, too; between the ages of 24-32. It’s important to bear this in mind for your children, as it could only be a decade or so before bad debts could start impacting their lives – and blood pressure. Don’t’ forget, developing a higher blood pressure means people will be more at risk of heart attack or stroke – it’s that serious.

Lowers immunity

Chronic stress doesn’t just affect your blood pressure – most researchers and scientists understand that stress can also suppress your immune system. So, the more down the dangerous debt spiral you go, the more your blood pressure rises, and more at risk your body will be to general illnesses. Being in debt also has a tendency to keep you awake at night with worry so you won’t be sleeping well. And, as every doctor will tell you, sleep is vital for giving your body a chance to recover and recuperate, as well as fighting off any infections.

Feelings of anxiety

It’s not much of a surprise to hear that the more debt you are in, the more anxious you will become. Anxiety is a symptom of stress, and owing a lot of money is obviously an incredibly stressful experience. Feelings of anxiety can seep into all kinds of different areas in your life. You might struggle to be sociable, for example, and withdraw from your friends and family networks. It can impact on your productivity at work, too – meaning you are more likely to have to take time off or maybe even lose your job. And anxiety is also an indicator of high blood pressure, which, as we mentioned above, can lead to heart problems and stroke.

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Depression

When you owe a lot of money and can’t afford to pay it back, you tend to feel helpless. And the impact of those feelings can be dramatic on your psychological makeup. Unhappiness can quickly lead to depression, and the feeling for many people in debt is that they are underwater and incapable of helping themselves, which exacerbates those depressive feelings even further. And while many people discount depression as not a serious issue, the simple fact is that it has a terrible impact on people and those that love them. Families can break up, people can lose their jobs and find themselves unable to work, which increases the debt spiral further. As a parent, one of the worst things you can face is your beloved child developing depression, and feeling like there is nothing you can do to help them.

Doctor’s visits

When you owe a lot of money, some things in life that you deem unnecessary will often take a hit. That might mean paying fewer visits to your doctor, even when you are sick. There is a direct link between those who have high levels of credit card and medical debt and those who are less likely to visit their doctor for regular checkups. And the simple truth is that when you tie in the many health problems debt can cause and fail to see a doctor, there is more chance of serious issues arising.

Severe injuries

You can be leading a perfectly sensible lifestyle one minute. But a serious injury or accident can change everything in a single moment. Not only will you have to consider quitting your job, but you might also have to find tens of thousands – possibly hundreds – to pay for medical care. Health insurance can help, of course, as can finding a personal injury lawyer to claim for compensation. But there are no guarantees that your insurance company will pay out, or that you will win your case. The reality for many people who suffer serious injuries is that their finances will take a hit, their lifestyle opportunities will dramatically reduce, while their debt levels will increase. You can’t teach your child to avoid accidents, of course. But you can teach them how to prepare for the worst.

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Aches and pains

Nasty letters from debt collectors and angry lenders can even lead to you developing physical symptoms such as headaches, pains, and muscular tensions. In fact, researchers have found almost one in every two of those who were in bad debt also reported frequent migraines, headaches, and digestive problems. So, if you want your child to grow up physically healthy, it’s worth teaching them the benefits of financial security.

Eating habits

When you are in the midst of a severe debt problem, it’s not unusual to stop being mindful of what you are eating. Stress levels can keep your hunger at bay, and when you eventually crash, you will often reach out for quick fixes such as sugary snacks and fast food. And make no mistake about it, when you are eating too much garbage, it is going to have a grave impact on your body’s ability to fight other issues. Your stress levels will rise, too, as you aren’t getting enough nutrients, and feelings of depression are also likely to follow because you end up not taking care of yourself. Again, it’s being in debt that can lock you into a vicious cycle of ailments that can lead to others – and increases the damage they cause.

Exercise

As surprising as it might be to hear, research suggests that more than sixty percent of people with bad debts don’t take enough exercise every week. While the reasons for the link are not clear, it is an alarming statistic, given that exercise is part of the key to a healthy and long-lasting life. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which can protect you against depression and stress, both of which can arise due to having bad debts. For parents with growing children, it’s important to realise the positive impacts of exercise on their futures. And it’s also vital to understand that if they do have bad debts, it might even protect them against some of the many health issues that being in debt can cause.

As you can see, there is a broad range of links between poor health and bad debts. The pressures and strains of being in debt can take a toll on anyone’ s mind and body – and it’s something you need to prepare your children for in the future.

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