The emotional anxiety people feel caused by filing for bankruptcy protection may be greater than the anxiety resulting from their financial problems. They may feel grief, sadness, shame and other negative emotions. They often feel alone and isolated, and the stress can become circular, with financial problems feeding the stress on relationships, which can further undermine their economic situation.

One financial counselor says, “Oftentimes a person’s self-esteem takes a stronger hit than their finances.” In the U.S., a great deal of an individual’s self-worth may be measured by their job, their home, the vehicles they drive, and bankruptcy can be psychological painful recognition of not measuring up to some imagined standard.

These emotional issues have led to the development of a financial therapy industry to help people cope the psychological aspects of financial problems. The collection calls, the dunning letters reminding you every day how much further you have fallen behind in your debts can become overwhelming.

No matter what you have heard or read, if you are really being overwhelmed by your debt, speaking with a bankruptcy attorney can offer hope. The fundamental purpose of the Bankruptcy Act is to provide an economic fresh start. It does this by discharging most debt, allowing a person to begin again, debt free.

Whether a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 affords the most sensible solution to your financial situation is something you can discuss with a bankruptcy attorney, but both offer relief from your debts.

Many people fall into debt because of a job loss, medical issues or divorce. Bankruptcy can help in all of those circumstances, and there is no need to suffer because of difficulties beyond your control. Bankruptcy can help, and it can help today.

Source: U.S. News and World Report Money, “Surviving the Emotional Toll of Bankruptcy,” January 18, 2013