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Family debt push many into depression, suicide

The toil caused by increasing expenditure, while incomes remains constant is driving many to the edge, driving a wedge between loved ones and becoming a health burden

Sandra Wekesa @Andayisandra

With forecasts of rising inflation while income remains constant, the outlook is challenging for families who are, at best, only just managing to make ends meet.

Gladys Chania, Child and Adult psychologist, says with people striving to live a life they cannot afford, it becomes emotionally draining and stressors kick off. “When as a human being you fail to afford a comfortable life for your family and yourself it takes a toll on your happiness, and lack of it becomes depressive. That’s why when people are not happy they become short tempered. This hot temperedness, when triggered by stress can be fatal either through murders or suicides,” she says.

When one cannot support oneself and their family, worry and anxiety sets in. All of these things cause stress that can drive a person into depression. “Seeing one’s family go without their needs while still breaking a back working could drive anyone into a depressive state,” Rebecca Mutinda, a neurologist says.

Loss of a job or business, marital breakdown or illness trigger extreme financial stress because of generally high-levels of household debt and rising costs. Capacity to cope with crisis is also low.

However, the rising cases of femicide cannot be wholly connected to high cost of living since  as Chania says, it has a myriad of causes. The struggle to get money and failure of appreciation from your significant other or misuse can lead to femicide, but it’s on a lesser level. “The bottom line is high cost of living and lack of alternative way to cope is depressive,” she adds.

On her part, Immaculate Kerubo, a psychologist, says most of the time, cost of living play a major role in family relations. “You find that financial issues, become a leading cause of argument for couple,” she says. These arguments can lead to decreased libido and at worst, separation and divorce.

Also, you might find that getting lost in work, as people struggle to earn that extra coin might create a drift in most families. Wives and children may feel neglected, while the breadwinner may feel unappreciated.

“Absent parents tend to act out of control because on many occasions they might not know how to handle their children, as the two become strangers,” Kerubo adds.

Having to deal with poverty isn’t the only problem that families may incur. Health implications may be a contributing factor and this could be as a result of too much pressure.

Mutinda confirms that if a person is earning minimum wage or in some cases higher, but the cost of living is steadily rising they will develop a deficit in funds.

“This means that they will have to result to seeking funds from other sources and even go to an extend of getting loans to pay bills.”

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