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Bankruptcy and mental health: how to cope with the aftermath

Bankruptcy can stop creditor harassment and allow you to reset your finances. However, its implications can be equally emotional as they are financial.

According to the National Institute of Health, bankruptcy can directly affect your mental health. After people file bankruptcy, the shame and stress that often stem from financial hardship can leave people feeling anxious and depressed.

Why bankruptcy can leave people feeling down

For many, mental and financial health go hand-in-hand, and filing for bankruptcy can represent a loss of security, freedom and autonomy over one’s life. Our society tends to deem those with a good job and minimal debt as responsible and successful. When people fall into tough times and lose that sense of financial stability, it can negatively impact their self-esteem and self-confidence – even when their circumstances are out of their control.

If you’re experiencing any of this after filing bankruptcy, know your feelings are normal and valid. It can be one of life’s most grueling hardships and the scars that come with it can run deep. If you need help after filing, there are tools and approaches available that can set you up for success.

Addressing mental health challenges associated with bankruptcy

Repairing your mental well-being can be just as crucial as repairing your finances. If you’re emotionally struggling after bankruptcy, here are a few things that can help you cope:

Reach out to your support network

Your friends, family, and loved ones can help you put things into perspective during financial hardship. Sometimes, it takes someone who sees your situation from the outside to help you move on. It can also help you realize that money can make life easier, but it’s not the only thing that matters.

Speak with a therapist

While some may be able to rely on loved ones, others may value help from a licensed professional. You may already be involved in credit counseling, but that doesn’t always address your feelings surrounding your situation. Plenty of therapists can help you work through your emotions and find different coping strategies. If you worry about being able to afford therapy, there are numerous free and low-cost options across East Texas.


Exercise can be an effective way to boost your mental health. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can help you manage stress, sleep better and reduce symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Plus, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits – for many, a ten-minute daily walk or a game of catch with loved ones can do wonders. When you gain the confidence and the energy you need, you can shift your focus to getting your finances and your life back in order.

Rebuilding your life after bankruptcy is possible

While bankruptcy can allow you to reset your finances and your life, the mental anguish that can come with it can be hard to shake. However, you’re far from alone in your struggles. And when you have the right support, coping strategies and resources, you can find the courage to move on and move forward.


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