Credit Card Debt and Depression – Sad NewsThere are various types of debt that a person can rack up. But, Credit Card Debt and Depression is scary. There’s what’s considered long-term debt, which is characterized as bank loans, student loans and mortgages. There’s mid-term debt, such as auto loans and personal loans. And then there’s short-term debt, such as credit card debt and overdue bills. According to a new study by the Institute for Research on Poverty and the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, it’s this short-term debt that researchers have found is linked to depressive symptoms, especially if the individual is single, near retirement or uneducated. And if you think about it – the results make sense. Long-term debt, such as a mortgage, can be thought of as an investment. So can mid-term debt, like student loans – it’s essentially debt with a purpose. However, lofty credit card debt and overdue bills – in this study, overdue bills are characterized as being more than two months late – more reflect one’s financial irresponsibility.
Study DetailsThe study measured 8,500 consumers over two time periods, from 1987 to 1989 and then again from 1992 to 1994 through the National Survey of Families and Households. The two time periods reflect spans where unsecured debt escalated in the United States. Respondents were asked to identify how many days per week they felt 12 depressive symptoms, of which a significant relationship was discovered between depressive symptoms and short-term debt, especially of the unmarried, near retirement or uneducated crowd, of which limited resources might exist for breaking out of such habits.
ConsiderationsOne important to consideration about this study is that depressive symptoms and clinical depression are not the same thing. So, it’s not accurate to say, according to this study at least, that those with short-term debt are more likely to be depressed. Depressive symptoms include the likes of:
- Sleep changes
- Self loathing
- Feelings of helplessness/hopelessness