Debt problems linked to mental health issues

New research by the University of Southampton has shown how important it is to get a handle on your debt problems.

Scientists at the south-England institution found people with excessive credit issues are three times more likely to have depression, anxiety, stress or another mental health problem than the general population.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of data from 34,000 participants and showed a quarter of people with any form of debt have psychological difficulties, compared to nine per cent outside of this category.

Dr Thomas Richardson, clinical psychologist from the University of Southampton, said: “This research shows a strong relationship between debt and mental health; however it is hard to say which causes which at this stage.”

This study will allow therapists and doctors to tailor their diagnoses more effectively, with stress management treatments likely to be one of the more common prescriptions offered by health officials.

Dr Richardson added psychologists should now make sure they ask patients if they have any debt problems before starting their counselling sessions – as debt and depression can be a vicious circle.

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