Debt and Depression
There's no denying that debt is debilitating and has ruined one too many lives, but the effect of debt on a person's psyche was once again brought to the spotlight with the recent news of the suicide/ murder of the Hsieh family.
The news outlets say that the family's business went bankrupt and with their mounting debts with loan sharks and the knowledge that under Taiwanese law their children will inherit their debt, the parents deemed it best to just kill their children and themselves.
I've heard people ranting about how death was not the only solution that they could have pared down their belongings and sent their children to less expensive schools in order to pay their debts down. And those are very valid solutions, but the thing is, you don't really think rationally when crippling debt gets a hold of you and drags you down into deep depression.
There are many, many success stories of people who beat their debts down to a pulp, but for every success story, there are also tragic scenes of whole families wasted because depression has mixed in with desperation over the mounting bills to be paid.
I grieve for the Hsieh couple who saw death as their only alternative, but I grieve more over their children who had their whole lives ahead of them. As a mother, it breaks my heart to think that another mother saw death as the only way out for her own children. It should never come to that.
I've talked about how my husband and I were deep in debt when we got married, but after the momentary chill of realizing just how much in the red we really were, we made the necessary adjustments and sought help when needed to pay off all our credit card debts (the second worst type of debt, next to loan sharks). There were moments at the beginning when I felt I couldn't breathe because of the enormity of our debt, but I sucked it up, asked for help from family members and paid off every single centavo in about a year's time.
It also helped that I started reading personal finance blogs and started this blog, so I saw that I wasn't the only one struggling with debt, that there was a way to get out of it and even achieve financial independence. With this blog, I found like minded souls and got inspired over and over again with other people's personal journeys and how they triumphed against debt. There was no time to get depressed because I was busy chasing the light of financial freedom, fueled on by sheer tenacity and inspired with the thought of a debt free life.
If you or someone you know is deep in debt, please don't let it get to the point where you see suicide as the only option. It isn't. There are many, many ways to manage debt and I will gladly help you out. Let's talk about it and then let's make a concrete plan to give your debt the middle finger. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm ready to help.