The psychological and physical consequences of over-indebtedness

Financially, our society is defined as a consumer society. A constant evolution of our society over the past 20 years has made our social and personal recognition more and more important through the act of consummation. Every individual in our society is caught up in a network of influence that puts temptations on its way that are hard to resist.

All of these social factors make it possible for individuals to find themselves in difficult financial situations that have developed over the course of many years without much of an accountability.

Difficult financial situation

Difficult financial situation

The pressure that drives some of us to consume more than their income allows, comes from the influences of our personal history, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers and more broadly our society and the evolution of our society . For those who are swayed, whether out of concern or need for belonging, comparison, imitation or other psychological reasons, the influence may be such that a difficult financial situation, or even irrational, can in result.

These difficult financial situations have a significant impact on our lives and our families. The constant quarrels in the couple over monetary issues are just one example of the significant impact of financial difficulties on our daily lives.

It is therefore becoming more and more important for individuals in these situations to recognize the situation and to ensure that they regain control in order to be able to decide for themselves what actions should be taken and to be able to consider all the options that can be offered to them.

The consequences of over-indebtedness

Over-indebtedness has social and family consequences that can, on occasion, be dramatic.

Individuals experiencing a situation of over-indebtedness are regularly in a state of fear and apprehension. These people are powerless in the face of their creditors and collection agencies representing the creditors, who use all the tactics available in the legal arsenal to recover the maximum debt, if not all.

Over-indebted individuals generally experience the burden of over-indebtedness in loneliness, anxiety, guilt, shame, and more often than not, psychological depression. All of one’s emotions create a level of stress that prevents those individuals from seeing a positive outcome to their problems.

The phases of over-indebtedness are:

  1. Period of denial
  2. Awareness
  3. flight
  4. For the lucky ones, the solution

The consequences for these individuals are as follows:

1. Loss of self-esteem

  • Feeling of failure;
  • Feeling of inequality
  • Feeling of no recourse or resources available to help them;

2. Loss of the ability to recognize that they have rights (as a consequence of asserting them)

  • Many individuals with financial difficulties think they have lost all their rights;
  • Loss of their self respect that lead to situations where these individuals will let some people abuse them or disrespect them.

3. Permanent fear

  • Fear of answering calls;
  • Afraid to open the mail;
  • Fear of losing his job.

4. Self-blame

5. Difficulty in their state of health (they and their families)

  • Reduction of the available sums thus reduction of the food expenses which lead to a less healthy food;
  • Reduction of sums available for social, cultural and / or sports activities for all the family;
  • Social and family isolation that leads to solutions such as alcohol, drugs, etc.

6. Causes a permanent state of poverty that becomes for the individual, over time, easy to accept.

The state of poverty becomes almost generational for a family when the following points are taken into consideration:

  • Lack of resources for schooling;
  • A child starts working part time more quickly during school;
  • A greater abandonment at the level of higher education for the children of these families;
  • A desire to leave this family environment can be pleasant for children or young adults;
  • A lack of education means that children born to these families have fewer, less paid job opportunities and much less opportunity for promotion;
  • A containment at the bottom of the worker ladder, which makes them more vulnerable to job losses, frequent wage cuts and dependence on society.

How to get out of over-indebtedness?


People struggling with these difficult situations do not know what to do to get out of this spiral. A family facing over-indebtedness is in a constant state of stress, considering the heavy burden of responsibility it must bear.

The goal is to find a sustainable solution to the over-indebtedness that guarantees a life in keeping with human dignity while allowing the individual (or family), as far as possible, to pay their debts.

The first step is to regain control of your financial life. The resumption of control of our financial life means first of all to conclude and to realize our difficulty. Subsequently, that the individual has recourse to a third person (professional specialist) the following points must be covered:

  1. Establish a list of revenues
  2. List the expenses necessary to enable a life in keeping with human dignity, namely the essential expenses of the household;
  3. Establish a list of debts and check to ensure the amounts;
  4. The remaining amount tells us the amount available for the payment of the over-indebtedness and will give the possibility of preparing a debt repayment plan.

As part of a debt repayment plan, it is important that the amounts that are set aside for repayment be a logical amount vis-à-vis the total debts. Otherwise, the repayment will be perpetual and without issue for the individual or the family.

In these situations, an individual will need to consult an insolvency practitioner to help him or her consider all of their options and start a financially sound and logical life.

It is important to remember that it is important to find a solution to the complete problem and not just the symptom.