Many individuals and families are turning to bankruptcy to find some financial relief in these difficult economic times. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide consumers with a fresh financial start and alleviate stress and worry. However, for some individuals, the important and difficult decision to file for bankruptcy can be emotionally overwhelming.
These people are not alone. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, there were 1,165,172 U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings in the first nine months of 2010, representing an 11 percent increase from the 1,046,449 consumer bankruptcy filings during the same period in 2009. While some may find comfort in numbers, others may still grapple with their dismal financial situations and the factors that put them in such a situation.
According to clinical psychologist Bradley Klontz, going through a bankruptcy can affect an individual’s emotional health. Money problems can cause shame, anxiety and depression. Also, financial issues can lead to problems in interpersonal relationships.
In a society that places great weight on money and material goods, those who find themselves in financial ruin may suffer a blow to their self-esteem. Klontz said that men might be more likely to face emotional issues when filing for bankruptcy because they often see themselves as financial providers. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to reach out to family and friends for social support during difficult financial times. As a result, women may be less likely to experience emotional disturbances during bankruptcy.
In our next blog post, we will provide some tips on how to deal with the stress and negative emotions that can occur when making the decision to file for bankruptcy. We also will discuss how bankruptcy can often improve your emotional health.
Source: EmpowHer “How Can Bankruptcy Affect Your Mental Health? Psychologists Offer Coping Strategies,” Rheyanne Weaver, 20 October 2010