Mental illness and over-indebtedness

H Ruger, I Loffler, E Ochsmann, C Alsmann, S Letzel, E Munster


In Germany, over-indebtedness of private households has been steadily increasing and is currently estimated to affect about 3 million private households. It is almost unknown in the German-speaking part, to what extent financial strain due to excessive debts is accompanied by mental health problems in affected persons. A cross-sectional study including over-indebted persons was conducted between July 2006 and March 2007 in Rhineland-Palatinate by an anonymously filled-in questionnaire of clients of debt counselling services. Altogether 666 persons (51% women) aged between 18-79 years took part (participation rate: 35.5%). 40% of the collective reported a current mental disorder. Especially persons experiencing over-indebtedness as a threat and cannot rely on a functioning social network are in danger of experiencing mental illnesses. When treating mental illnesses, the financial situation of the diseased person should be taken into account and the support of debt counselling services should be used at an early stage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPPmP Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 07.2010

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