Money troubles are often challenging for us because of the feelings of shame, helplessness, and guilt that often accompany them. Financial stress can cause significant problems and damage our mental health. Men may feel more pressure and expectations when caring for others.
Research has shown that financial stress can lead to depression or worsen it. This could result in poor mental health and financial struggle. We will discuss the relationship between depression and financial stress in men and offer strategies to help them deal with their problems and seek support.
Relationship between financial stress and financial suspension
The American Psychological Association reports that 66% of Americans are stressed about money. Everyday worry can lead to more severe problems, such as depression. Recent research found that people who report financial security and stability are less likely to feel depressed than those who experience stress or instability with their finances.
Financial difficulties can occur in many ways, such as accumulating debt, losing your job, facing unexpected expenses, struggling with gambling, or impulsive spending. One landmark UK study discovered a direct relationship between debt accumulation and mental health problems, and another found that people with debt were more likely than others to experience daily decision-making and concentration problems.
Many men feel pressured to provide for their families and be the breadwinner. Their mental health can suffer if they are unable to do this. Many men feel an intense connection to their careers, which plays a significant role in their identity and sense of self. Depression can be caused by losing a job, struggling to complete a project, or being denied a promotion. Because of the guilt, shame, helplessness, and guilt that often accompany money troubles, it can be challenging to manage our finances.
Myths or misconceptions
1. As a man, I will be most happy if I’m the primary breadwinner for my family.
Contrary to famous belief, men are not always happier if they are the primary financial provider of their families. Research has shown that men who feel more responsible for their family’s financial well-being can suffer.
2. I will be less depressed if I make more money
One common myth is that more money will bring happiness and fulfillment. Financial stability is a good thing. However, it does not guarantee your overall well-being. Depression is a multifaceted mental disorder. It is not caused solely by finances.
Instead, it is affected by many other factors. One man might be content despite having a low income, while another may be wealthy but unhappy. Although finances can impact our moods, they do not define us.
3. I must discover my depression to my employer, or I will lose my jobs
Talking about depression can be difficult, depending on your workplace culture. However, it is not a bad idea to disclose a mental health issue, including depression, as many employers are more open and supportive of employees.
Your employer might have resources available to accommodate you, such as access to Employee Assistance Programs or time off to care for your mental health.
These are difficult decisions, and it is important to talk them through with a trusted colleague, friend, family member, or therapist. When we are depressed, we often worry about the worst and become more pessimistic about what an employer will do.
Numerous studies have shown that employees who don’t get support are more productive than those who do. Employers are starting to pay attention.
Money troubles can cause depression and stress. However, some strategies can be implemented to reduce financial stress or mitigate its effects on our mental health. Identifying the top financial stressors and prioritizing what you can control is a good idea.
It is essential to recognize that some things cannot be controlled and that our self-esteem should not be tied to how much we earn. It’s important to be gentle with ourselves and thankful for all the positive things in our lives. Keep your eyes on your financial goals and take each step individually.
1. Create a budget
A budget helps us plan and prevents us from spending beyond our means. This budget also shows our financial information and concrete spending so we can see exactly where our money is going.
It is easy to start by gathering your financial documents. You can then list your fixed expenses (such as rent or internet bills) and your variable expenses (such as groceries and entertainment). These expenses can then be subtracted from your income to see where you stand. This simple practice can help you gain more control over your money. A budget can help us identify our spending patterns and track any debts.
You can also create your budget with software such as Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel or use pre-made templates to give you a framework to work with. These are just a few examples to help you get started.
- Personal Monthly Budget
- Personal Budget
Or, this Google Sheet by SmartSheet
- Personal Monthly Budget Template
You can also download free apps that simplify budgeting, such as Mint and Spendee. These apps can help you quickly check if your goals are being met. Mint will also alert us when we are approaching our spending limits.
2. Communicate about finances with a partner or family
Financial obligations can cause strain in relationships. You and the people you share financial responsibilities must get to know each other and understand their individual goals and expectations. It is usually a partner but could also be a parent or roommate.
Begin by discussing your financial situation, including income, debts, savings, and investments. Listen attentively and communicate your feelings and thoughts respectfully and with understanding.
You can also use some of the strategies above to create a budget with your partner and a plan for managing your shared finances. Be open to compromises and work together to find the best solutions for you both.
3. Find resources specialized in financial issues
It can be challenging to deal with financial problems alone, especially if you are dealing with depression. If you are having financial difficulties, it can be challenging to connect with other resources.
Counselling/therapy can be an excellent starting point, mainly if you use spending as a maladaptive strategy to cope with other difficulties. Couples therapy is also recommended if partners have different financial goals or behaviors. This can cause strain on the relationship.
Money problems don’t necessarily mean you are a failure. External factors often cause these problems. For example, economic instability or systems that do not ensure financial success for all. These factors cannot be ignored, but it is much more critical that we focus on the things we can control.