Managing Stress

If you’re feeling like you really can’t cope, having thoughts of harming yourself or feel suicidal, it’s important you seek help straight away.

  • If you have taken an overdose or seriously injured yourself, call 999 immediately.
  • For help and advice, you can contact your GP or an out of hours service. (You can find your local GP’s phone number on the NHS Choices website).
  • Alternatively, you can call the NHS non-emergency line for more help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 111.
  • There are also special helplines that you can contact where trained advisors will be able to talk to you in confidence – for instance the Samaritans run a 24/7 telephone service on 116 123.

As the credit crunch has taken hold, more people than ever are struggling to make ends meet. The impact this has reaches far beyond the obvious implications of needing to cut back on spending; it can affect your self esteem, relationships with those around you and even your health. Recognising the link between money worries and mental wellbeing is really important, and if you are beginning to feel that it’s all getting too much don’t hesitate to seek help.

Feeling low or anxious is often a completely normal response to money worries, and you may find you are able to deal with these feelings yourself by taking steps to regain control of your financial situation – look at our Managing Your Money and Dealing with Debt sections for more information on money problems and what you can do to resolve them.

It’s important to recognise that there are also more serious problems which may develop as a result of the pressure of financial worries. If you find yourself unable to eat, sleep or concentrate, or if you are losing interest in day-to-day life and struggle to get out of bed in the morning, you may be depressed. The NHS Choices website has an online self assessment questionnaire which you can use to see whether you could be suffering from depression.

Financial worries can also be a major contributing factor in the breakdown of relationships. The pressure and stress of money worries may cause difficulties between you and your partner, and often people may stop communicating as effectively as they try to keep things from their partner so as ‘not to worry them’. Some advice is offered here as a starting point for couples in financial difficulty to look at.

Facing up to the pressures of financial worries and asking for help can feel difficult, and men may be particularly reluctant to do so as they feel they will be branded a failure for being unable to care for their families. It’s important to remember that the problem will only get worse if you try to ignore it, and suffering in silence will increase the amount of pressure you are under and may lead to you suffering serious anxiety or depression, which will make it even harder for you to deal with your financial problems.

There are many places you can go to for help, as well as plenty of things you can do to help yourself. Usually the first port of call should be your GP, who will be able to advise you and if necessary refer you on to someone who can give more specialist help. Mind suggest the following Five Ways to Wellbeing