7 Surprising Ways Student Debt Management Can Improve Your Health

September 24, 2012

A plethora of evidence indicates that debt is detrimental to your health. According to a poll conducted by CNN, worrying over money is the world’s number one cause of stress. The very last thing you need as a recent college grad, shouldering thousands of dollars of debt, is to have a health crisis impair your earning capacity and subsequent ability to repay that debt. It is vital to your physical and mental well-being that you find ways to get a handle on your student loans in order to avoid the scenarios on this list.

1. Severe Depression

Chronic stress over your student debts causes increased levels of hormones like cortisol in your brain and decreases other hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine. Low serotonin and dopamine have been linked to depression. The hormones in your brain are responsible for controlling all sorts of your body’s processes: sleep, appetite, energy, sex drive and mood. When they are out of whack, you’ll find yourself in serious trouble.

2. Migraines/Headaches

44% of people who have reported high stress as a result of debt reported severe problems with migraines and other types of headaches. This is in contrast to the 15% who reported they have a low level of debt-related stress. It has been well documented that heightened stress can trigger migraines, tension headaches and other sorts of headaches.

3. Insomnia/Trouble Sleeping

The number of people who report debt as a reason for sleep loss is on the rise. What’s more, 30% more people who are stressed out over their debts report sleep issues than those who don’t share that concern.

4. Severe Anxiety

Not only is severe anxiety caused by stress but it’s also a gateway condition to even more severe psychological and physical issues, such as depression and insomnia. 95% of college therapists are reporting a rise in the number of students coming to them with severe psychological issues. One of the primary causes cited by students is anxiety over their student loans.

5. High Blood Pressure

It is highly unusual for twenty-somethings to suffer from high blood pressure but it’s becoming more and more common. The two reasons that put them in the high-risk category are stress and improper diet. Of course, improper diet is also often caused by anxiety over money and is often linked to stress eating, which is a very common way of dealing (albeit ineffectively) with stress. Coupled with the ultimate stress relief of getting your debt optimized, young people strapped for cash might try simple, tasty and inexpensive foods that will be good to your body.

6. Obesity

Studies indicate that the likelihood of obesity doubles with indebtedness. Like the rest of America, college students are growing fatter and deeper in debt.

7. Stomach Ulcers and Digestive Problems

27% of people who are highly stressed over debt report stomach ulcers and digestive problems as opposed to 8% of people who are under low levels of debt stress.

Stay healthy, get your student debts under control.