According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, money and finances have remained a leading cause of stress for the past decade regardless of the economic climate. Lower income households (below $50,000) experience higher stress levels than higher income (above $50,000) households. Stress can be good, and most of us need some level of stress to feel useful and valuable. I know the stress of a work deadline or an athletic competition motivates me. Motivation is great, but according to the study too much stress can alter the brain’s chemicals and lead to depression particularly in susceptible people.
In 2017, the Harvard Medical School updated a 2009 study on depression. According to this study, there are many possible causes of depression, including poor mood regulation by the brain, genetic susceptibility, stressful life events, some medications, and medical problems. The study also determined that depression is complex and may be caused by a combination of these factors.
It is common knowledge that medical bills are a cause of bankruptcy, and medical problems are the obvious precursor to medical bills. We also know – without any formal study – that financial problems are stressful life events. Bringing these facts together makes it easy to see how depression and financial hardship are connected. Anecdotally, I can say I have had many depressed people come to me for bankruptcy. Sadly, depression is often untreated. Today there are many resources available including a recent book entitled, “Fearing Nothing,” by Michael O’Brien.
At the Law Office of Michael Primus we have helped thousands of clients get out of debt, stop wage garnishments, and start fresh through bankruptcy. If you live in Contra Costa, Alameda or Solano counties and have debt problems, contact us for a free in-office consultation. We have offices in Walnut Creek, Antioch, and Hercules.