Psychiatrists weigh in on credit card, loan debt


Mental disorders and debtA large overlap between people with mental health problems and people with money worries has been revealed by psychiatrists.

In a new report, The Royal College of Psychiatrists suggested that as many as one in two people in credit card, loan or mortgage debt might also have some form of mental disorder.

Additionally, the report suggests that the credit crunch and economic downturn have worsened the problem by increasing many people's money worries.

Britain has been in recession since the end of last year and unemployment has risen to a 14-year high. According to financial charity Credit Action, the collective national debt stands at just under £1.5tn.

Each household that owes some form of unsecured debt, such as through a credit card or personal loan, is typically over £20,000 in the red.

Writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry, who also campaigns on mental health issues, has welcomed the publication of the study. He said: "My own bipolar condition has caused me to go on many giddy spending sprees so I have first-hand experience of the difficulties of debt brought on by poor mental health.

"An understanding of the relationship between mental health and unmanageable debt should ensure that appropriate advice and support is provided to those who need it."ADNFCR-2308-ID-19402179-ADNFCR

Published: 14 October 2009