64% of Americans say that money is a significant source of their stress in life.
Close to 20% of Americans considered skipping / actually skipped a medical appointment due to financial concerns.
The emphasis of mental health on various media platforms has never been as prominent and large as it is currently.
The vitality of mental health awareness stems from the fact that it can help spread the importance of prioritizing oneself’s emotional wellbeing in addition to destigmatizing mental health issues. Something that has been pushed to the side and looked down upon until now. While there is more work that can be done in terms of emotional wellness awareness, financial health coverage does not even come close in terms of recognition by the public. The data from American Psychological Association above not only emphasizes the need for financial wellbeing acknowledgement, but it also shows how many are suffering in silence due to the lack of coverage. Why is that? Even when ⅔ of the population struggle to manage financial issues, why is it not talked about openly? The intersection between mental health and money is still stigmatized and it is detrimental for our society to move in the direction of eliminating it.
The crossroad of mental and financial wellbeing is quite intertwined.
Financial stress can be induced by a range of factors, such as overspending tendencies, investments, low income, and many more. However, the consequences of financial stressors do not end at the lack of savings or loss of investments. It can lead to serious emotional and potential physical consequences. Kelly Holland, a business journalist, writes that financial stress can cause feelings of guilt, relationship problems, and low self-esteem.1 Additionally, the past year with the pandemic did not help with improving one’s mental or financial health at all. A study by Ettman et al. concluded that the pandemic has increased the prevalence of symptoms of depression by 3 times in the United States.2 In addition, the financial stressors has created a compound effect, causing depression symptoms occurrence to increase by 50%.3 This creates a vicious and unhealthy cycle of both financial and mental health negatively affecting each other in a loop.
On top of that, money problems can also have consequences that lead to health concerns.
It has been shown that financial stress may increase the risk of insomnia, migraines, and higher blood pressure.1 In addition, a study by Steptoe found that a lowered blood pressure reactions to severe mental stress suggests financial stress may affect the chronic allosteric load, which is defined as the total load of stress and life experiences.4
When we take a look from the other side, we will also see that concerns of mental and physical wellbeing can ultimately cause financial issues. People who suffer from depression may have a difficult time with daily activities, such as paying bills or checking their own bank account.5 This can accumulate and result in financial issues in addition to the mental health issues that were already existing.
It’s not just the money that you can take care of while ignoring one’s mental health.
Both are extremely interconnected and it is quite possible that a deteriorating health in one aspect can lead to affecting another. While some may define happiness as having money and nothing else, it is crucial to remember the effect one’s poor mental health can have on your habits with money. Whether it be physical exercise, talking to a professional, or creating a healthy routine for your finances, they can all be very helpful in maintaining a healthy headspace.
Remember, money does not have to be and should not be the only source of your happiness.