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Stressed out over money woes?

October 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
With today's economy have affected nearly everyone's pocketbooks. Mental health experts say it's so pervasive most people may not realize how much it's seeping into the rest of their lives. A local psychologist shows us how to keep our "mental" checkbooks in balance.Credit card interest, retirement fund, food prices -- nothing seems be heading in the right direction. So we asked people, "How much are you in debt?"

"I am in debt $180,000," says Andrea Khosropur.

Khosropur says most of her debt is in student loans. When asking her how she dealt with the pressure she said it can be difficult.

"I actually try not to think about it," Khosropur says.

Distraction has its merits, but experts say you can't ignore it forever.

"The financial stress is going to compound whatever other stress that we all have going on," says Dr. Suzette Glasner-Edwards.

Dr. Glasner-Edwards is a UCLA psychologist and she says keeping emotionally centered is challenging when your finances are out of balance.

"When we perceive something to be unpredictable that can certainly exacerbate stress," explains Dr. Glasner-Edwards.

But avoidance will only make it worse.

"Face the problem and start to take gradual steps toward solving the problem," Dr. Glasner-Edwards adds.

Open up those bills, talk to a credit counselor or financial planner. Just taking action will bring about positive change. And so can finding healthy ways to deal with stress.

"Like exercise, seeking out social support, spirituality is a positive and healthy outlet for a lot of people," says Dr. Glasner-Edwards.

While James Goodyear says he's got a lot of financial stress, he focuses on all the positives in his life and says the rest will follow.

"Sure we all need money. I'm working overtime. The money will come. If I get myself together right here in my mind and right here in my heart I'll be fine," says Goodyear.

Before you can take your finances, take charge of your health and recognize the signs of stress.

Dr. Glasner-Edwards says physical signs include headaches, digestive problems and rising blood pressure. Emotional signs include anxiety, depression and fatigue.

 

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