Disclaimer: This content does not replace advice from a psychologist. Please seek help from a qualified doctor.
Going to college is tough. It’s worse when you shoulder the burden of student loan debt, which the majority of college students do.
Upon completion, the average student loan borrower will face over $ 39,000 in debt. When you’re trying to get through college, start your new adult life, and find a decent job, the stress of paying off student loans can be a lot to handle.
This stress can often lead to depression and, in some cases, thoughts of suicide.
Symptoms of Depression-Related Student Debt
It’s almost a guarantee that your student loan debt will make you feel stressed out. However, it can become a problem when the toll of that stress manifests itself in physical or psychological problems.
Student Loan Hero surveyed over 1,000 student loan borrowers. They found that the psychological effects – caused by stress related to student loans – ranged from insomnia to complete social isolation.
64.5 percent of respondents said they suffered from sleepless nights because they stressed out about their student loan debt. Insomnia can lead to more serious problems such as poor quality of life, poor job performance, and even mental disorders.
Physical symptoms such as headache, muscle tension, and upset stomach
The constant feeling of being overwhelmed and burdened by student debts caused fears in the respondents, some of which led to physical symptoms.
As a result of student loan debt stress, over 74 percent of respondents said they often shut people out of their lives. Respondents cited several reasons for this, from having to work all the time to pay off debts to being embarrassed about their debt burden.
Seeking help with depression-related student debt
You can seek help with student debt-related depression in a number of ways. One way is to use financial instruments to support student loan payments. Another is to improve your overall mental health through free or inexpensive resources.
Student loans make people feel like they have lost control of their finances. Get back in control by taking over your monthly student loan payments.
- Refinance your student loans.
Refinancing your student loan at a lower interest rate will reduce monthly payments and could even shorten your repayment period.
- Sign up for an income-based repayment plan. You must meet certain requirements to qualify for this option, but you should be able to qualify if the student loan debt is a significant portion of your income. With an income-based repayment plan, you pay a lower monthly payment even though your payments are spread over 25 years.
- Pause payments with a deferral or deferral. Available on both federal and personal loans, you can temporarily suspend payments due to hardship with a forbearance or forbearance. This can save some money if you get into a difficult position such as: B. if you lose a job or have a medical emergency. However, this option should only be used as a last resort.
- Call your lender. If you’re not sure which option to turn to, give your lender a call. Student loans are managed by student loan service providers who want you to keep up with payments. When you are at the end of your rope, your lender should be able to refer you to someone who can help you.
Free or low-cost mental health resources for students
Looming debt on student loan can be so stressful that some people become suicidal.
Suicide is never the solution and there are affordable ways to get help. Here are 11 free or inexpensive mental health resources.
1. National lifeline of suicide prevention
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in need around the clock, as well as resources for you or your loved ones. Call 1-800-273-8255 to speak to someone for immediate assistance. They can also connect you to a local therapist or support group, depending on your personal needs.
If you don’t feel like talking to someone on the phone, they also have a self-help page on their website. It provides helpful links to find local mental health services and suicide prevention therapists, as well as content that teaches you how to build a support network and identify personal warning signs.
2. Local psychological training clinic
Psychological training clinics are usually close to or integrated into universities and offer an inexpensive option for therapy sessions. While the graduates who conduct the sessions are still in training, they are mentored by a licensed psychologist.
These sessions are either charged on a scale that can start at $ 0, or you pay a flat fee. Check with the Association of Psychology Training Clinics to find one near you.
3. YMCA Behavioral and Mental Health Services
YMCA offers low-cost psychological counseling to individuals. It is available to adults with difficult life problems that are hindering their well-being and personal growth.
The price varies but follows an income-based scale. Find your local YMCA and check their website to see if this service is available.
4th line of crisis text
Crisis Text Line offers free support to people in crisis around the clock. You don’t have to think about suicide to cause a crisis – you can reach out when you’re dealing with painful emotions that need assistance.
Write HOME on 741741 and within five minutes you will be connected to a trained crisis advisor. The goal of the conversation is to get you to a quiet, safe place, whether it’s to have someone to talk to or a referral to seek additional help.
5. School services
Many colleges and universities offer some kind of psychological care on campus. See if your school has a campus counseling center, health center, or wellness group.
AffordableCollegesOnline provides a helpful resource on how students can get help both on and off campus. In addition, Active Minds is a nationwide non-profit organization with chapters at universities. They enable students to speak openly about mental health and seek helpful support.
National Alliance on Mental Illness is another organization that works with colleges to help students. They have chapters in colleges across the country – find your school here.
6. American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association has helpful content and resources to help students learn about depression and find local help. Use the Psychiatrist Locator, Support Group Locator, or see the expert Q&A section that focuses on depression.
7. Anxiety and Depression Association of America
The ADAA connects students with psychologists to treat anxiety and depression. Use their ADAA Therapist Directory to find a specialist near you or check out their website’s content.
They have a page that will help you with anxiety and even break it down into details such as: B. How to deal with exam anxiety and how to deal with stress in severe storms.
8. National Institute of Mental Health
The NIMH provides comprehensive information on common questions college students may have about depression. They cover everything including what depression is, what the symptoms are, how it is treated, and what you can do for yourself and others.
They also have a resources page full of national institutes and federal agencies that can help you find affordable mental health services.
9. Clinical studies
Participating in a clinical trial is a free way to get help with mental illness. Sometimes the medical company conducting the study will even pay you to participate in the study. The clinical trials are usually conducted by a university, medical center, or medical research facility.
The National Institute of Mental Health has a site devoted to clinical trials for adults with depression, though their trials take place locally in Maryland. To find clinical trials in your area, use the trial finder ClinicalTrials.gov. Here you enter keywords in the “Condition or Disease” field. For example “fear”.
10. Anonymous debtors
Debtors Anonymous is a non-profit organization that aims to bring hope to people who are suffering from their debts. Not sure if DA is right for you? First, look at these questions.
Find a local anonymous debtor meeting here or join one of their internet groups here.
11. Affordable therapists through Open Path
Open Path is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find affordable, high quality psychotherapy services.
They will connect you to therapists who cost between $ 30 and $ 50 per session. You pay a one-time, lifetime membership fee of $ 49, but that fee gives you access to a myriad of affordable, highly qualified therapists.