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Financial stress and your health

If you are worried about money, you are not alone. It’s a very common worry. Financial stress can affect your relationships and your health, so it’s very important to seek help and support as early as possible.

Lots of situations can cause financial stress. You might have lost your job or been retrenched, you might be unemployed or unable to find sufficient work, you might have debts you cannot pay or you might feel worried about expected financial pressures.

Your financial problems might be a result of problem gambling.

Be realistic and take control of your changed financial situation. A good step is to seek help from a free financial counselling service (see below for more details).

Some signs that financial stress is affecting your health and relationships include arguing with the people closest to you about money, difficulty sleeping, feeling angry or fearful, mood swings, tiredness, muscle pain, loss of appetite, lower sex drive and withdrawing from others.

While these are normal reactions, they can affect your health if they continue for more than a few weeks. You could be at risk of developing anxiety or depression. Some people use drugs or alcohol to help them cope. Some have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

People from all walks of life experience problems with money. It’s important not to bottle it all up and try to deal with it alone.

Where to get help

Talk to your doctor or another trusted health professional if this is happening to you and discuss your situation and how you are feeling. You can also call:

  • beyondblue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
  • Lifeline (anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online.
  • Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467.
  • Black Dog Institute (people affected by mood disorders) – online help.

Last reviewed: December 2016

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