OCD sufferers are ‘six time more likely to have serious money issues’

Analysts estimate 1.5 million people In England are struggling with mental health and debt issues at the same time

 

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We all know that financial issues can have a detrimental impact on mental health, but new research sheds light on just how connected the two could be.

According to a new report from the charity Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, people living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are six times more likely to have serious money issues.

The study involved the institute analysing data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, which had responses from 7,500 people in England.

It found that nearly a third of people (29 per cent) with OCD in England have problem debt — when someone becomes unable to pay their debts or other household bills — compared to just five per cent for people who do not have a mental health problem.

OCD is a “common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder” in which a person has “uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviours” that they feel the urge to repeat over and over, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH).

The research reveals for the first time the extent to which experiencing some mental health conditions in particular can dramatically increase your chances of facing financial difficulties

The report found that people with mental health issues are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems and nearly half (46 per cent) of all people in problem debt are also experiencing a mental health problem.

Analysts estimate that 1.5 million people In England are struggling with mental health and debt issues at the same time and that the link between the two is even more apparent for certain conditions such as bipolar disorder and depression.

The findings showed that people with bipolar disorder or depression are around five times more likely to be experiencing serious financial difficulty than people without mental health problems.

Meanwhile, one in four people affected by these conditions are in problem debt, compared to one in 20 people who do not have mental health problems.

The analysis said symptoms of depression such as low moods and poor concentration, could affect people’s ability to manage their finances.

Speaking of the results, Helen Undy, chief executive of Money and Mental Health, tells The Independent: "Being in problem debt can make recovery from mental health problems harder, and take much longer - yet it's rarely considered by mental health services.

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“We'd like to see the government fund a trial of money advice that's routinely offered to people as part of their mental health treatment. It would save costs for the NHS, but most importantly it would give people the space to recover without the fear of debt hanging over them.”

Earlier this month, a study commissioned by Lloyds Bank found that a quarter of British adults have lied to family and friends about their personal finances.

A poll of 2,806 adults also found 11 per cent have lied to their partner about how much debt they have.

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