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The Connection Between Student Loan Debt and Mental Health

The rising cost of pursuing a college education and the mental health consequences that result is something on the minds of many college students today. I can certainly say for myself that choosing to pursue a postgraduate degree is a decision that is both exciting and terrifying. The looming thought of simply borrowing a lump sum of money and knowing I have to pay it back can easily make me lose sleep at night. As a graduate student, I realize that I put so much academic pressure on myself to succeed because I know how much financial stress I am under with using student loans. In terms of mental health and substance use, a study published in the Journal of American College Health states that women report more mental health problems and lower levels of substance use compared to men. From a gender phenomenon, this study also highlights that women are more likely to borrow student loans and borrow a larger amount of student loans compared to men. This research shows that women are more likely to experience mental health problems related to student loan debt. The student loan debt crisis is a continuing topic of debate in economic, political, and educational arenas. It undoubtedly affects the mental health of young adults today.

Cognitive and Emotional Burden of Student Loan Debt

How do students feel about their student loan debt and how is it affecting their overall mental health? A study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work sought to understand the natural mental health expressions of student loan debts using data collected from Reddit and Twitter. The data from Reddit showed that users expressed not only doubts and insufficient knowledge regarding their student loan debts, but also expressed thoughts of self-harm, hatred, feelings of entrapment, and not knowing what to do about their loans. Users from Reddit also expressed mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. The pattern of cognitive and emotional burden was reflected on Twitter as well. With users expressing feelings of stress, depression and the need for mental health treatment options. Students wished someone had told them about student loans. This study demonstrates how student loan debt affects the mental health of college students and shines a light on the underlying symptoms of anxiety and depression that many individuals experience.

Lessening the Burden

It is no secret that the growing economy demands higher-order skills in the job market and points out the causal relationship between education level and income. This demand, coupled with the rising cost of receiving a college education, has forced many individuals and families to rely on student loans. While seeking out student loans can be necessary, the impact it can have on one’s mental health is something to take seriously. Seeking social support, psychoeducational resources, and mental health treatment during a stressful financial time can help tremendously and start to ease your burden of student loan debt.

Are you looking for a safe space to discuss decisions regarding student loans and education? Together, we can provide you support and guidance.

Contact Us at Here or call us at 917-526-0766 and start your journey today.

An experienced counselor specializing in Anxiety Treatment or Depression Treatment can help.



Qian, Y., & Fan, W. (2021). Student loans, mental health, and substance use: A gender comparison among us young adults. Journal of American College Health, 71(3), 930–941.
Sinha, G. R., Larrison, C. R., Brooks, I., & Kursuncu, U. (2023). Comparing naturalistic mental health expressions on student loan debts using Reddit and Twitter. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 20(5), 727–742.

Is Seasonal Depression Real? How Do I Get Help?

Often times, the holiday season can be filled with feelings of sadness or despair. What some don’t realize, is that this is just the beginning for others who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD frequently begins around the holiday season because this is around the time that the weather begins getting colder and less accommodating to spending time outdoors. This slightly isolative change may not seem like a big deal right away. As time goes on, the cold weather can force people to abandon their community. This leads to feelings of isolation, which makes socializing feel impossible. Without knowing why, you may start to feel a disconnection from the world and even yourself. This slowly happens as you continue to stay inside of your home.

Is Seasonal Depression Real? How Do I Get Help

This emotional reaction can be frustrating and may lead you to feel helpless and alone. Thus, leaving you to ask yourself “what’s wrong with me?”. SAD is much more complex than the occasional feeling of depression during the winter. It is a serious disorder that one needs assistance to deal with. Roughly 5% of adults experience SAD in the U.S. Being able to take control of your emotions and change your mindset when you are feeling sad is not a depressive characteristic. Struggling to, or feeling like it’s impossible to have any control over your emotions on a frequent basis is considered to be depressive behavior.

How can you help this?

The hardest part of improving your well being for many people is admitting
that they need help. Accepting that you may have issues that are going
untreated is scary. Some of the symptoms might be ones that your friends
and family will not be able to recognize. Acknowledging your issues is often
thought to be a sign of weakness. What people don’t often consider, is that
many others around them are also facing their own internal struggles. The
stigma around struggling with mental health is a major reason that people
do not get the help they need. In reality, acknowledging your issues is the
first step towards feeling better.

Having the ability to meet with a professional psychologist without leaving
the comfort of your home, is an amazing feature that is offers in our private
practice. Teletherapy with Apple Psychological, LLP allows you to have
someone to talk through your emotions with which can significantly help you
develop a more stable and emotional mindset.

Talking through your emotions is especially beneficial when you feel you have
no one you can turn to and might feel all alone. If you’re finding yourself
having an annual struggle getting through the winter and your mental health
is at a constant low, then reach out to our therapists for help. The support you
receive can be life changing.

Together, we can help you get through this difficult time.
Contact Us by Booking An Appointment or call us at 917-526-0766. An experienced counselor specializing in Depression Treatment can help.

Why Do I Feel Sad All The Time?

When you no longer have excitement for life, this can be exhausting when you do day-to-day tasks, such as driving to work, preparing dinner for yourself, or doing laundry. These moments can feel much more challenging and unattainable when this weight is on your shoulder. Did you know 264 million people worldwide live with depression? Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44. 

What Does Depression Feel Like?

Some people describe depression as feeling like a heavy weight or a deep sense of sadness that they can’t shake. Others may feel empty, numb, or hopeless, and may have difficulty finding pleasure in things they used to enjoy. They may also experience a lack of energy or motivation, and find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions. 

Physical symptoms may include changes in appetite or sleep patterns, aches, and pains, or fatigue. Some people with depression may also have thoughts of self-harm or suicide. 

Am I Sad or Depressed?

Feeling sad and experiencing depression are two different things, although they can share some similar symptoms.

Sadness is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their life. It’s usually triggered by a specific event or situation, such as the loss of a loved one, a breakup, or a disappointment. Sadness is a temporary feeling that usually fades with time and can be helped by support from friends and family.

Depression, on the other hand, is a mental health disorder that involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Depression can interfere with daily life, making it difficult to work, socialize, or take care of oneself. It can also cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and physical pain. Depression can be a chronic condition that may require ongoing treatment, including therapy and/or medication.

While feeling sad is a normal and temporary part of life, depression is a serious mental health condition that should not be ignored. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you are experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or a loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed.

5 Steps To Live A Happier Life

1. Talk to your doctor: Start by scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician. They can help determine if your symptoms are related to a physical health problem and may be able to refer you to a mental health specialist.

2. Find a mental health professional: Look for a therapist or counselor who specializes in treating depression. You can ask your doctor for a referral, search online, or contact your insurance company for a list of providers in your network.

3. Consider medication: Your mental health professional may recommend medication to help manage your symptoms. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed for depression and can be effective in conjunction with therapy.

3. Get support: It’s important to have a support system of family and friends who can offer encouragement and help you stay motivated in your treatment. You may also consider joining a support group for people with depression.

4. Take care of yourself: Self-care is an important part of managing depression. This may include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

5. Seeking help is the first step toward feeling better. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, and don’t give up if the first treatment you try doesn’t work. With the right help and support, you can recover from depression and lead a fulfilling life.

Together, we can help you get through this difficult time.

 Contact Us at or call us at 917-526-0766. 

An experienced counselor specializing in Depression Treatment can help.