How to Keep on Top of Your Finances If You’re Suffering from Depression
For those living with depression, it can be a hugely debilitating disease that stops them from enjoying even the simplest everyday activities. Depression can cause you to pull away from those closest to you, stop you from taking an interest in hobbies and activities that you once enjoyed, and make it difficult for you to earn a living, which often serves as an extra source of stress and worry for many people living with this mental illness.
If you are currently dealing with depression, then the good news is that financial help is available for you, which can ease some of the stress and enable you to fully focus on getting well. Here’s what to do if your financial situation is making your depression worse.
#1. Sick Time
If you are already in paid employment, then your employer will be able to help you get through this tough time in your life. Most employers will offer sick pay for those who are suffering from depression, providing that you are able to give them a sick note from your GP. Mental health awareness is increasing amongst employers today, so speak to your GP, who will be able to help you determine how much time off you will need.
For some people, a few weeks to get used to a new course of treatment and forget about the stresses of work is all they need. However, if your depression is more severe or requires more intensive treatment, your doctor may be able to give you a sick note for longer. Don’t forget that you can always go back and ask for a new sick note if you don’t feel that you have had enough time off to recover. Your employer should offer you statuary sick pay during this time.
#2. Explore Benefit Options:
If you do not have a job and are unable to work at the moment due to dealing with depression, then you might want to look into the option of claiming welfare benefits. For UK citizens, benefits such as the employment and support allowance (ESA) or personal independence payments (PIP) are available to help you financially whilst living with depression.
If you feel that you are able to do some part-time work, then you can look into claiming Universal Credit (UC), which is available for both people who do not work and people who are on a low income. To ensure that you are eligible to claim ESA or PIP, you will be required to attend a Work Capability Assessment meeting where you will be asked questions relating to your illness and capacity to work.
#3. Budgeting and Money Management:
Many people suffering from mental health conditions such as depression find it difficult to budget and manage their money, which can lead to worsening of the condition or even symptoms of anxiety. Since running out of money can be one of the biggest causes of stress, having a plan in place to manage your money better can help you with controlling anxiety, which can make it easier for you to fully recover.Depression Doesn't Have To Break The BankClick To Tweet
If you are currently receiving counseling treatment for your depression, it may be a good idea to speak to your therapist and ask for advice on better money handling. Another good idea is to ask a trusted friend or relative to help you; they may be able to help by putting some money away for you. If you are dealing with debt, this can also hinder your recovery and worsen your symptoms.
Charities such as Stepchange are there to help you deal with your creditors and eventually become debt-free. For everyday expenditures, this budget planner tool can help you see where your money is going.
#4. Cost of Treatment:
Although the NHS provides some mental health treatments such as counseling free of charge, many patients decide to go private for a variety of reasons. For example, if you feel that you are unable to wait for treatment and need to deal with the mental and physical symptoms of depression as quickly as possible, you might want to consider booking sessions with a private therapist instead.
If you are on a low income or claiming welfare benefits, many private counselors will offer discounted services to help you afford the treatment. If you need medication to help deal with your depression symptoms, then you may be able to reduce the cost of your prescriptions, or even get them for free.
If you are claiming welfare benefits such as income-related ESA, you will automatically be able to get your prescriptions free of charge. In the UK if you need regular prescriptions, then you can save money by purchasing pre-paid certificates, which cost £29.10 for three months or £104 for twelve months.
Keeping on top of your financial situation will help reduce stress and make it easier for you to recover from depression.