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Mental disorders & debt: is there a link?

Plagued by mountains of debt? Get rid of the credit cards, implement a plan to get back into the black and all will be well again.

Actually, that's a myth.

Financial stress has far wider implications than an inability to stay on top of your finances or pay the electricity bill. The authors of a study from the University of Leicester in the UK and the University of London surveyed more than 7,461 adults aged over 16 and found that people with personal debt were three times more likely to have a common mental disorder - ­ phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder or depressive disorder - than those without debt. They were four times more likely to have phobia. Those with personal debt and a substance use or gambling disorder were seven or eight times to have a common mental disorder. The paper was published this month in the European Journal of Public Health.

Interesting results. Professor Richard Mattick and colleagues’ unique new study which will investigate the impact of financial stress on people’s success rates in quitting smoking could not be more timely. The study will evaluate the impact of combining financial counselling with traditional quit smoking methods such as NRT and counselling.