What is debt stress syndrome, and how to deal with it?

by | Oct 18, 2022 | Personal Finance

Times are tough and feelings of stress and anxiety due to overwhelming debt is not only normal, but also the daily lived experience of many South Africans. However, when debt stress consumes one’s life for prolonged periods of time, it can lead to a medical condition known as the debt stress syndrome. Simply put, the debt stress syndrome is a medical term used to describe lengthy periods of mental strain caused by overwhelming debt and the psychological and physical health issues that stem from it.

Issues with debt, can very easily consume your entire life, distracting you from everything else – your family, work, and even the odd memory of whether the salt belongs in the fridge or the kitchen cupboard. You may dismiss these concerns as acceptable life challenges and struggle on with your debt burden. However, this can lead to some serious health issues. These can include a myriad of diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease, and infections such as the common cold. Other related health woes include, ulcers, upper and lower back pain, muscle tension digestive tract problems, tension headaches, migraines, insomnia, , and severe anxiety. Also, high levels of stress can also aggravate pre-existing conditions, such as chronic pain and cancer, as it destabilises the body’s ability to repair or care for itself.

If you are struggling from the debt stress syndrome here are a few steps that you can take to try and heal.


Stay away from alcohol

First of all, drinking your problems away won’t actually make them disappear, and you might end up worsening your situation by doing so. Small breaks and sips to cope with your emotions quickly turn into a drinking problem, which I know doesn’t go well. Moreover, drinking too much can cause health problems. People who are incredibly stressed out about their loans tend to drink excessively. Having a drink can sometimes be an escapism for your emotions, but when you have debt piling up, it’s the last thing you need. Avoid alcohol as much as possible.


Stick to Your Daily Routine

If you have a daily routine, keep at it. Regardless of financial stress, you must develop a disciplined mindset and stay focused. Create a schedule of tasks you want to accomplish every day and get up when you normally do. Keep an eye on your diet too while you lose your routine, as this may affect your eating habits.


Keep active

Exercise can go a long way towards helping you manage your emotions, regain cognitive normalcy, and maintain good health for your mind and body. Now is the perfect time to start exercising if you don’t already. Maintain an active social media presence, search for income opportunities, and meet new people. Be careful not to isolate yourself when you’re stressed or dealing with problems.


Face your fears

If you are afraid to dive into your finances out of fear of losing control, or if you are reluctant to reach out to others, don’t be. It is likely that your fears are actively keeping you from seeking help. This is why, whenever you are dealing with money stress, you should start by confronting your problems and making sense of them.


Ask for help

If you are feeling lost when it comes to paying back money, seek the help of parties who can assist you and provide financial advice. National Debt Advisors has helped thousands of South Africans in dealing with their debt problem. Our tried and tested solutions have successfully helped many get rid of debt and become financially free. Our interactive programme will not only physically assist by negotiating with your creditors for instalments that are affordable to you, but our highly skilled and compassionate debt counsellors will be there to guide you through your financial journey, every step of the way.

Don’t suffer through any more debt stress for.  Contact NDA today.    

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