Article: How to get out of mental health debt

Updated: 4 days ago

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/884xzp/how-to-get-rid-of-debt-you-racked-up-during-a-bad-mental-health-period

How to Get Rid of Debt You Racked Up During a Bad Mental Health Period

When you finally have the energy to go out and enjoy life, it can be devastating to read financial advice that urges you to cut every single corner until your balance is paid off.



I thought this was an interesting one. It touches on an issue I haven't seen expressly discussed before - the difficulty of overcoming debt racked up during a depressive phase.


Been there?


I'm not one who allows for massive "treat yo self" days. But even if we aren't talking big spending sprees at target, splurging at sephora, or other obvious money mismanagement attacks... there are plenty of ways to accidentally blow your cash in an attempt to feel better. You might not even notice them.


Emerging from the fog, you can't explain the illogical ways you wasted your time and money, because you weren't operating from a logical place at the time. It's easy to self-criticize when you aren't in the same mindset, living in discomfort and fighting uncontrolled thoughts.

All those times I made useless trips to the grocery store so I could binge-eat bullshit as a form of escapism? Adds up. Those tiny Amazon purchases, trying out a new cleanser or face product for $5-7 to band-aid my unhealthy skin? Still amounts to less money in the bank and more unnecessary crap sitting indefinitely on my dresser when it works like a $5-7 dollar product. Those days when I convinced myself another cup of coffee would give me the perk I needed to act like a normal human for the final meeting of the afternoon? Really just gave me anxiety, irrational sweats, and set me back one subpar cup of coffee further away from reaching my life goals.



The financial loss is significant, but the subsequent self-punishment is worse for me.


Piddling away money is a shameful thing in my eyes. Growing up in a place of lack, I am admittedly obsessive about retaining my cash.


Coming out of a depressive state and taking a look at the months of bank account stagnation - or worse - seeing high credit card bills and having nothing to show for them, is a great way to immediately re-enter your depressive state. Emerging from the fog, you can't explain the illogical ways you wasted your time and money, because you weren't operating from a logical place at the time. It's easy to self-criticize when you aren't in the same mindset, living in discomfort and fighting uncontrolled thoughts.


Those days when I convinced myself another cup of coffee would give me the perk I needed to act like a normal human for the final meeting of the afternoon? Really just gave me new anxiety, irrational sweats, and set me back one subpar cup of coffee further away from reaching my life goals.

It's not hard to get caught up in self-hate for prior mistakes, but you're better off budgeting.


Self-shame, trauma, and your bank account


Instead of ruminating on what a POS you are for blowing an extra $200 last month on cereal and eyeliner and getting stuck in a negative cycle, agree that today is the worst day of them all. You can feel like an asshole today, let that sink in, and move on with a purpose. Feel free to admonish yourself for a minute, 5 minutes, even an afternoon. Feel like garbage, if you have to.


And then, redirect your energy forward. Lay out the steps to make each day better, and feel certain that you won't ever be as pissed off with yourself after this moment. Don't keep beating a dead horse.


... agree that today is the worst day of them all. You can feel like an asshole today, let that sink in, and move on with a purpose.

Shorten the shame, get back on track


Formulate a plan for getting back on the right track - and remember that it's a long-man's game. You aren't going to fix things in the snap of a finger. Give yourself room in your budget to enjoy life, and count on some bad days causing a spontaneous purchase or two. Roll them into your plan, and build yourself up ahead of time, in anticipation of the difficult times you'll ultimately get through. Mental illness is going to happen, mistakes are going to happen, but you're a crafty enough bitch to make it work.


Mental illness and poor financial decisions can easily become an endless cycle of cause and effect. Don't let it become the cause of more mental strain. Forgive yourself and make solid plans on how to move forward - with a realistic budget and insider knowledge of your self-care impulses.


Every month will feel better.




Got any tips for financial security or keeping your cash in control? Shout em out!


Traumatized Motherfxckers

Not doomed. Not damaged.

Not dead yet.

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