Many of us know what it is to have spent just a little too much money during a shopping spree for new clothes or on the latest technology.
Admittedly, it feels nice to spoil ourselves. Unfortunately, it can take some time to recover from overspending, and the resulting debt can actually have consequences, not just for your finances, but also your mental health.
According to a study published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, short-term household debt may lead to depressive symptoms.
Short-term debt has a stronger positive association with depressive symptoms than mid- or long-term debt, according to the study abstract.
Short-term debt is considered unsecured debt, such as credit cards and overdue bills.
The association of short-term debt and depressive symptoms was also stronger in specific populations, including people ages 51 to 64, people with a high school education or less, and people who didn’t have a stable marriage during the data collection period.
Almost 80 percent of study respondents had debt, according to HealthDay News. Out of those households with debt, 62 percent had short-term debt.
“These findings suggest that short-term debt may have an adverse influence on psychological wellbeing, particularly for those who are less educated, approaching retirement age, or unmarried,” according to the study abstract.
Researchers used data from waves 1 and 2 of the National Survey of Families and Households in the United States, which includes years 1987-1989, and 1992-1994.
Short-term debt is fairly common. What can we do to help avoid feeling slightly depressed?
Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and chair-elect of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Socioeconomic Status, said in an email that the link between financial and mental health can be somewhat complicated.
“What is tricky here is that it is a bit of a financial-mental health death spiral,” Durvasula said.