Many people in the United States believe their mental health is suffering because of the desire to use credit cards, even if they know this is not the best course of action.
Over a thousand people in the United States participated in a recent survey conducted by Debt.com to determine the impact that credit cards have on levels of stress, depression, and general mental wellbeing.
Howard Dvorkin, CPA and chairman of Debt.com said:
“Credit cards are so convenient, they become a temporary solution to personal issues. Shopping no longer requires going to a store. You can do that from your phone while lying in bed – and that combination is dangerous and costly.”
After using credit cards, more than 21% of respondents report feeling worried, 20% report feeling guilty, and 6% report feeling despondent. Further, over 30% of those surveyed said that they avoid looking at their credit card bills because it is too unpleasant, and over 20% have applied for new credit because they were unhappy or stressed out.
Nearly half missed a credit card payment out of fear
Almost half of those polled admitted to missing a payment on a credit card because they couldn’t bear to see the account balance.
“When you incur debt while you’re feeling awful, it never makes you feel better. It not only affects your mental health, but it can spread to your loved ones,” said Don Silvestri, President of Debt.com.
Due to the negative effects of debt and mental health on society, 20% of Americans do not participate in discussions about their long-term objectives and ambitions, and 10% of people avoid spending time with their families and friends because of their financial predicament.
A little under 6% of respondents said that they kept their credit card spending a secret from their significant other, and another 4% said that they did not date because of their debt.
Respondents often engaged in retail therapy, also known as impulsive shopping, in an effort to alleviate emotions of melancholy.
Finally, credit card debt may have adverse effects not just on a person’s emotional health but also on their physical health. Over 5% of persons surveyed said that the stress brought on by their credit card debt caused them to either lose sleep, their appetite, or their sense of self-worth.