Money induced depression is real but often overlooked. Depression in itself is a serious illness that negatively affects how you feel, act, think, look and live.
According to American psychiatric association, depression affects an estimated 1 in 15 adults in any given year and 1 in 6 people will experience depression at sometimes in their life. However, Symptoms of depression have to be on going for a minimum of two weeks before it can be diagnosed as depression.
Thankfully, it is one of the most treatable mental disorders with an 80-90% success rate when treated.
Depression can cause financial issues because depressed people are not as productive with their jobs and tend to take off more time from work.
Similarly, financial issues can also cause depression. Depression as a result of financial issues is known as money induced depression.
Before I explain money induced depression, I’ll briefly point out some general risk factors for depression.
Based on information provided by the American psychiatric association, there are 4 major risk factors of depression, which include; biochemistry, personality, environment, and genetics. In this article I summarized them for easy understanding.
Top 4 risk factors of depression
Early childhood trauma:
Some events that happen during childhood can cause the body to react to stressful or fearful situations.
When a person is continuously exposed to the wrong environment (e.g. poverty, violence, neglect e.t.c), it can trigger depression and this is where money induced depression falls in because it occurs when a person is constantly exposed to a situation of lack.
When a person has low self esteem, is easily overwhelmed by stress and pessimistic about life, the person is more likely to experience depression.
One weird thing about depression is its ability to transcend from one family member to the other. There is an increased risk of depression if you have a family history of depression. Similarly, if one twin is depressed, there is a 70% chance that the order twin will have it at one point in their lifetime.
7 tips to help you overcome money induced depression
#1 Count your blessings
Making a list of the things you are grateful for is one thing that has always worked for me. The things to be sad about are not so huge when you take a look at all the things you should be thankful for. Sometimes they might seem greater, but that doesn’t make you the most ungrateful person in the world.
What you should do is try to make a conscious decision to stay positive through it.
We have a weekly gratitude log template in free resource library and you can use it to keep track of things you are thankful for every day of the week.
#2 Be kind to yourself
This isn’t a time to beat yourself up or blame yourself for every wrong financial decision you have ever made. Move past it as soon as you can and be kind to yourself because you did what you thought was best.
A lot of people have suffered financial ruins because of the decisions they made at some point in their lives and you too will pull through if only you give yourself a chance.
#3 Stay social and don’t isolate yourself
It is typical to become isolated and avoid encounters with people due to shame. This is a wrong move and only affects your mental health negatively.
This is the time you should connect with the people you know are rooting for you. Not just any person you know, but friends that actually love and care about you.
What is common is some friends will try to take your moment. They are countless occasions where I have told a friend about something that was going on in my life and how hard it was to deal with, and they would end up making it about themselves like “oh…you don’t have a problem, my problem is much worse than yours” etc.
While this might make you see how good you’ve got it, sometimes you should avoid people that will downplay your problems every single time.
It is much better when a person encourages you with words like; “I know how you feel because I am passing through so so and so” without cancelling out your worries as if they were nothing
#4 Recognise your money mistakes and take responsibility for your actions
Knowing the steps you took to bring you into financial ruins will help you recognise your mistakes, move past them and make better decisions. This is important because spending time in self-blame doesn’t help in any way and so does blame shifting. You should recognise when you are responsible for your financial ruins and resist the urge to push the blame on someone/something else.
Although something beyond your control can cause your financial ruin, like an economic recession. There is no way an economic recession affecting your entire country is your fault. Know the difference and learn from it.
#5 Accept your financial situation, focus on what you can control and re-strategize
After accepting your situation and learning from your mistakes you need a new game plan. Evaluate your money habits, learn to make budgets and differentiate between your needs and wants. One simple way of re-strategizing is having a financial plan (budget planner).
We have a budget planning sheet in our free resource library for only subscribers that you can print and use in keeping track of where your money is going and how much you are saving each month. You need to re-strategize and move on from your mistake
#6 Avoid drugs and alcohol
“Taking drugs and alcohol helped me achieve financial wellness” said no one ever.
Do not resort to drugs and alcohol for a temporary fix. It will only hurt your mental, physical and financial health even more.
Spending money on drugs and alcohol independently causes financial issues’ so using them to feel better is only going to cause more harm.
# 7 Get help
You can get help from a financial planner, family, friends or a psychiatrist.
Sadly, money induced depression can lead to suicidal thoughts soso befo it gets to this stage, you have to seek help immediately. You should only get help from family and friends that actually have your best interest at heart. Understand that seeing a psychiatrist doesn’t mean that you are mad or mentally impaired but a means to get better and live well.
Money induced depression is more common than we acknowledge and it doesn’t just happen to poor people or financially reckless people.
I hope these simple steps to overcome money induced depression helps you and everyone you share it with make better financial decisions.