Debt & Mental Illness are Linked – You Don’t Say…

Every once in a while, science gives us some real doozies. In this case, I’m talking about a study that tells us that people with a lot of debt are more likely to have mental illness issues, too. I’m sure that for anyone who spends more than 5 seconds thinking about it, this should be pretty obvious. It’s stressful trying to pay the mortgage, send the kids to daycare or the local preschool center, buy food, and maybe go on a little vacation every so often. If you have to go into debt to do those things, it’s even more stressful. And you know what stress does? It wears down our mental defenses and makes us more likely to succumb to problems. And of course, it works the other way, too. If you have mental health issues, you’re going to be more likely to have trouble budgeting, paying for things, and handling debt.

As obvious as it may seem, though, it IS important for scientists to verify these things with studies. That kind of rigorous examination of commonly-held beliefs is what helps us differentiate between the truth and the unverified stereotypes we may develop as a result of our environments. That’s what science is all about, right?  So, the next time you see a study like this, think about it for a bit, but if you find yourself laughing at how “obvious” the conclusion seems to be, remember that we need that quantitative data. Otherwise, we’re all just fumbling in the dark and living on stereotypes and superstitions.

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