Maybe credit cards and depression are connected, though which comes first is an intriguing question, too. We’re here to tell you though, that nobody is going to fund a study of the two to find out. Such a study would be really hard to design. Problems of definition of terms alone would be a killer.
How about just holding the cards? What if there is too much debt and the card holder can’t get ahead of his/her payments? Would that make them depressed? And what about the depressed part – just a bad mood, or clinically depressed? You see the problems. Still this question bears thinking about.
After months of listening to Dave Ramsay, we’d say there is a great likelihood that people in over their heads on credit card debt are very likely to be seriously (not a medical term) depressed. You can hear it in their voices. They are embarrassed (they knew better). Then listen to the callers who are announcing they are debt-free. Total jubilation and pride in their ability to get a grip on their finances.
Almost worse is student debt. They were convinced by various nefarious people that getting (more) education was a path to instant high salaries/wealth. So they thought they were being smart, prudent, conservative. Of course, we have no doubt that some people were gaming the system. What about that Aurora CO shooter? He was getting grants.
We’d be willing to bet he had mountains of student debt and probably credit card debt, too. After all, you start learning in high school (!) that to become an adult you have to know how to manage your finances, which includes having one or more credit cards.
Imagine when these students finally get out of college and can’t find a job, can’t declare bankruptcy on some kinds of student loans, and are stuck, stuck, stuck. How smart do they feel now? Wouldn’t you be depressed? We sure would.
If you are being stupid and you know it, it’s one thing. But to think you’re being intelligent, then finding out you’ve been duped – how do you deal with that?