Exploring all constructive options is the critical factor ...
ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ - Nearly half of the people who
have problems with debt are experiencing symptoms
of depression, according to a survey by Myvesta.org,
a nonprofit financial crisis center.
The survey found that 49.3% of people with problem debt can be classified
as depressed, of those 39.7% report symptoms of severe depression. In
comparison, studies have shown that 9.5% of the general population is
In August, Myvesta.org surveyed 136 of its clients whose unsecured debts
range from $1,000 to more than $100,000. Their ages range from 21 to
77 years old; incomes range from $6,000 to $165,000 per year. Participants
were asked a series of questions about their financial situation and
mood states using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression
Scale (CES-D), an industry standard for measuring depression.
They also were asked about other psychological factors such as social
support and optimism.
"Single women are at the greatest risk for depression related to financial
problems,'' said Myvesta.org President Steve Rhode.
Depression is typically thought of as a combination of feelings of hopelessness,
inadequacy and other negative emotions and behaviors. The survey found
that 58% of women reported mild and major signs of depression, compared
to 36% of men.
More than six out of ten women reported their level of debt to be very
bad, while 46% of men described their situation that way. Women think
about debt troubles more often than men, and feel less competent to
solve their problems. More than half of women reported their stress
level to be high or very high.
"For women and men, too often financial problems equal depression,''
said Rhode. "The survey found that it doesn't matter how much debt or
income a person has. In fact, many of our clients have incomes exceeding
$100,000 a year. Depression affects people who have high and low debt
The survey found that nine out of ten of all debtors feel some stress
over their financial situation. Stress is commonly defined as emotional
strain that manifests itself as fear and/or anxiety. Almost 50% of the
respondents said debt caused their stress level to be high or very high.
70% of respondents said they think about their debt very often or constantly.
"Depression creates an inability to conquer financial problems,'' said
Myvesta.org Staff Psychologist Joe James. "People
become emotionally paralyzed, which leads to the inability to develop
a plan or take action and compounds their financial problems. This is
why people who are having money troubles should get extensive professional
help as soon as possible.''
Myvesta.org specializes in helping people with the financial and emotional
issues surrounding money problems. "We are seeing more and more clients
whose financial situations are tangled with a host of other emotional
issues. The events of September 11 and a gloomy economic forecast are
causing people to be even more worried about their financial future,''
Dr. James added.
Myvesta.org is the nation's only comprehensive financial crisis and
treatment center. Founded in 1994, the nonprofit financial crisis center
has helped more than four million people through its programs and educational
resources. Myvesta.org is committed to helping people resolve past financial
mistakes, manage current financial responsibilities and find financial
peace of mind.
Its programs and services include crisis resolution, online bill management,
bankruptcy alternatives, creditor problem resolution, debt management
and financial coaching.
Prior to April 2000, Myvesta.org was known as Debt Counselors of America®.
Copyright 2002 Myvesta.org