Fear of Debt

Psychology-related discussions or questions that don't fit neatly into any other forum.

Postby Paper » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:06 am

I've found myself suffering from this.

It's an awful fear, because you're so afraid, you don't even want to look at your Bank Statements. Or when a debt-related issue starts to get too complicated, you ignore it until it gets out of hand.

And then you worry every day, all day. And you're afraid all day every day.
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Postby Yellowcoaching » Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:19 pm

If you are uk based call the citizens advice bureau, they can give you professional help and put you in touch with a debt counsellor.

There are probably other organisations in other areas. Do a search and make sure the advice you get is free, impartial and doesn't tie you in to a consolidation loan. They can be a good idea for some but you need to talk it all through and know what the other options are before you plump for another loan. which is more debt in the end.
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Postby JAKJRF » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:05 pm

Hi Paper

Take a careful read of Yellowcoaching's post. Many sham groups prey on those fears using the best sounding psychology. Again, re-read Yellowcoaching's post.

Let me add that you're not alone. I see the 2006 UK personal debt exceeded £1.25 trillion; like most debt, it may be higher in 2008. And in the UK and US, stats of those that fear debt as their greatest threat are similar and the threat level is higher than most other threats. There is no need, I think, to discuss the reasoning behind the high debt; most get those points already. Fact is we have to cap our debt, have to cap our rate of debt accumulation, so let's assume you take the previous poster's suggestion and install some personal management tools and technique to reduce debt growth.

My suggestion then is a cautious one, for psychology will give us the mental tools and strategies but will not tell us the exact limits of things or the precise directions to go, and for some, having better mental tools and strategies is like having a brand new credit card; the new addition just lets them crank up more debt. So with that caution in mind I suggest to you that some detachment and boundary setting is in order. Specifically, you must begin to acknowledge that "I am not my debt". This will take some practice, as most of us too often use the metric of money in every aspect of our lives. And more and more studies are revealing the neuroeconomics of our growing subconscious appeal of luxury products, designer labels and brand names that cost more but offer little extra quality; product cost even affects our taste. Clearly the marketers are fishing for our neuro-weaknesses and learning about these is generally all that one needs to limit the marketers effects... more on that at another time.

Back to "I am not my debt"... When the reality of debt sinks in, that sinking feeling, can devastate some, those too connected to the debt stream begin to feel and see themselves as that debt stream, imaging consequences of endings, feeling enforced by shames and broken futures; "I am not my debt". I am not that stream, I indeed sail upon that stream. And as the stream dries up, I may have to walk, but, be sure, "I am not my debt". Practice this technique of disassociation and boundaries, even lay those debts statements on the floor and walk on them; "I am not my debt". Put these under your feet and stand. "It is what it is"; a set of current financial tools, a set of current events if you will, that we now manage.

Above this we can play a million dramas and add extra things; we need not. "It is what it is"; a set of current financial tools, a set of current events, that we now manage; "I am not my debt".
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