The Emotional Stress of Bankruptcy

Going through bankruptcy can be challenging because it requires work (e.g., completing paperwork, meeting with your attorney, meeting with the trustee, etc.), and money (e.g., paying the filing fees, paying for your attorney, etc.).  But most people don’t really consider how emotionally stressful the experience can be as well.  Filing bankruptcy is often a last resort for people because they are ashamed of declaring bankruptcy.  They may be afraid that their family or friends may find out and look negatively upon it.  It helps to take comfort in the fact that millions of people have filed bankruptcy—maybe including people you know. 

In addition, some of the most common causes of bankruptcy are: job loss, divorce, and large medical expenses.  These types of events can happen to anyone and sometimes there is very little that can be done to prevent them from occurring. 

It’s helpful to view bankruptcy as a stepping stone toward achieving a more financially stable life and not to let it affect your own self-esteem or feelings of self-worth.  Joining a support group for people also going through the process or seeing a licensed therapist can help achieve this goal.  

-A. Geving, Ph.D.

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