There are a lot of articles out there on how various life-situations can affect your finances; divorce, kids, buying a house… death. But what about depression in all its’ ways, shapes and forms? How does depression affect your finances?
What depression is
Depression isn’t just a set list of symptoms shared by all people affected by it. Depression comes in many different forms: There are those that deal with SAD: seasonal affective disorder (the winter blues), manic depression, post-partum depression, psychotic depression and major and minor depression that last from anywhere between a few weeks to years.
Without getting into the nitty gritty of which is what, it all boils down to this: Depression hurts. It may make you sad, down, lonely and tired. It may affect you physically or emotionally, it may only last a few weeks after a bad break-up and it may last for years. It’s different for everyone and it flat-out sucks.
Depression can affect all areas of your life
Depression affects all areas of your life. It isn’t something you can stuff away in a corner and pretend it’s not there. Its always there and it can be tempting to try to find ways to push it out, rather than deal with it. This can lead to other issues: Drug and alcohol addiction, overspending, life avoidance, automutilation and a range of other ways to dull the pain.
It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of overspending to get the high that takes away the dull pain, the desperation. Shopping and buying something new and fun can be addictive, the temporary high and glitter of something new taking away the fog that surrounds your brain from the moment you wake up in the morning can be very enticing.
The holidays can be especially hard, everybody else is having a good time, why not you too? There are great deals everywhere and it’s oh-so easy to fall into the trap of “Oh I can pay it off after…”.
It doesn’t have to swallow you whole
Personally I found that success in one area of my life almost always leads to success in others. I was not in a good place emotionally and physically when I began my journey out of debt in early 2009. But I made it through in once piece and I made a hell of a lot of progress once I realized what I was doing. I’ll be honest, I’ve been struggling again emotionally for the past year. It’s not something I chose and I’m noticing I’m more enticed to spend with no regard on days that are crap. It’s hard to keep my goals in mind sometimes, but I am thankful for the support and encouragement and progress I’ve made financially, many of it thanks to this blog and other blogs I’ve found through Yakezie. It is not easy, but it’s worth it.
We all hit rough spots! I believe that it was my desperate desire to do something with my finances that lead to success in other areas of my life. One step and one nickel at a time I’m changing my future and you can too. Small achievements give encouragement and propel you to keep going.
How to deal?
First, see your doctor and try to get help. Find someone to talk to, find support and learn about depression and what you can do to deal with it.
When it comes to your finances it may be helpful to set up a plan to get your finances in order. Talk to your family, if you have kids, a wife a husband, make sure you’re all on the same page. Confide in a friend or someone you trust. Remember you are not alone, there are others out there in the same shoes.