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Enduring extreme financial pressure is very dangerous, causing severe stress which in turn leads to serious health problems becoming damaging to all aspects of your life. It can damage your marriage, your relationships with friends and family members and even cause work performance problems. Some people have even lost their jobs due to the stress they are under from the financial pressure being endured. Let’s have a look at some important topics for you to consider that may help help your recovery.

YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH

Once you have filed for bankruptcy and extinguished your debts, you have dealt with the cause of your stress but not the health problems the extreme financial stress may have caused. It is important to remember that you are human and have been through a hard time. You need to make sure your health is ok for you to have traction to go forward.

Think of yourself as a footballer. With your filing for bankruptcy, the ref has blown his whistle and the game is over. Once the game is over, the footballers go back to the dressing room to debrief and get their injuries checked by the doctor and physio to enable them to recover and be ready to play the next game.

When you file for bankruptcy the full-time whistle has been sounded, the game has finished, and debts caught by your bankruptcy are extinguished. However it is important for you to know that filing for bankruptcy does not attend to your health needs and we recommend you have a check-up with your Doctor to enable you to recover and get going again. There is no harm in making sure your physical health signs are good. If you file for bankruptcy and do not make sure your health is ok, you are potentially only doing half a job. This may inhibit your recovery and options available to you in the future. Like a footballer, you cannot be carrying injuries into your next game.

If you google health problems that stress can cause you will get a long list of diseases. Examples of some of the diseases on the list range from obesity, headaches, insomnia, depression, diabetes and heart disease. We are not saying that you have these diseases or one of the other diseases on that long list. We are recommending that you make an appointment with your Doctor. You should tell your Doctor that you have been under extreme financial pressure, you have filed for bankruptcy and are now debt free. The cause of the stress has been removed and you would like to check for and address any health problems the stress may have caused.

YOUR LIFESTYLE

In addition to seeing your Doctor, we also recommend that you work on improving your lifestyle as this can help you to wash off stress. Have a think about what you enjoy doing. What helps you to relax and improve your quality of life. Start pursuing relaxing and enjoyable time in your life. This is something that varies for us all. For some its spending more time with family and friends, for others it can be reading a book or listening to music. Find your ‘thing’ and start pursuing it. Think about planning and saving for a holiday in say, twelve months’ time to give you and your family something to look forward to.

A lot of people say that physical exercise is good for your health and stress relief. If you intend increasing your physical exercise, make sure you mention that to your Doctor. Ask if you would benefit from a referral to an Exercise Physiologist to help you commence exercising and not cause health issues. A referral to an Exercise Physiologist may be covered by Medicare. Ask your Doctor about that.

YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Another very important topic we should address is your mental health. We all must watch out for and look after our mental health. You have been going through a very stressful time and now is the time to make sure that your recovery is not only financial and physical but most importantly mental as well. Depression and anxiety are very common in society and can have a number of awful consequences. Being subject to stress can lead to depression. We recommend that you talk to your Doctor about this and specifically discuss how you are feeling and what you have been through. You are not alone. Your Doctor will be able to help you through this tough time. It is important to do this so that you can progress your life happily and come out the other side of bankruptcy with your life complete. Your Doctor may suggest a referral to a Psychologist to benefit your recovery. Talking to a Psychologist can be highly helpful for your mental health and recovery. A referral by your Doctor to a Psychologist can be covered by Medicare, talk to your Doctor about that.

If you feel that the stress from your financial problems has put you in a dark place and you cannot wait to see your Doctor, we recommend that you call Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36 www.beyondblue.org.au or Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au

Depression is dangerous it has the potential to be life threatening.
On Lifeline’s website they have listed the following signs of depression and if you are experiencing a number of these signs, Lifeline have recommended that you visit your GP. Also, Lifeline and Beyond Blue are there for you to give them a call. You are not alone.

SIGNS OF DEPRESSION FROM LIFELINE’S WEBSITE

  • Feeling sad, ‘flat’ or down most of the time (for two weeks or more)
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy (for two weeks or more)
  • Feeling tired or lacking energy and motivation
  • Moodiness that is out of character
  • Increased irritability and frustration
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Changes in your weight or appetite
  • Having problems sleeping or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Feeling restless, edgy or slowed down
  • Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thinking repeatedly about death or suicide

If you are not feeling well and are unable to see your Doctor, do not wait, call Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36 These two organisations will help you.

YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Another subject we should quickly have a talk about is relationship counselling. We often get feedback from people considering bankruptcy that their stress and financial problems have impacted their family life badly. If your family life is not good, acknowledge the difficult time you have been through and talk to your partner about relationship counselling. This is something your Doctor may be able to help you with by giving you a referral to a creditable person that can help. Lifeline may be able to help you as well.

CHECKLIST

Ok, we are getting near the end of this article. To finish, we have created a checklist below with the aim of assisting you to navigate your recovery to a better quality and stress-free life.

Here a few things to think about;

  • How are you going to improve your relaxation and quality of life
    eg: spend more time with family, eat better
  • Have you started to think about and plan for a holiday in 12 months’ time
  • How are you going to increase the amount of exercise you do
  • Write a list of things you want to do to improve the quality of your life
  • Review the Lifeline list above and assess whether you have experienced any signs of depression
  • Make an appointment to see a Doctor for a check-up
    • Remember to tell you Doctor what you have been through and how you are feeling physically and mentally
    • Remember to ask your Doctor whether you need a referral to an Exercise Physiologist and/or a Psychologist
  • Talk to your partner, debrief and see if they also need to talk to a Doctor
  • Do you and your partner need counselling to help your relationship
  • Are your kids OK and if not would counselling help them?
  • Do you need to re-establish friendships

We hope this article assisted you. We are here to help you Understand Bankruptcy. If you would like to discuss your situation give us a call on 1300 794 492 or email hello@understandingbankruptcy.com.au.