Depression Community
10.5k Members
Avatar universal

Help! Depression, credit card debt and overall health spiraling downward

I'm hoping someone here can help me in getting answers to my situation.  Does anyone know if it is possible to have a primary care physician write a letter to my creditors stating that the stress due to my bills is so overwhelming that it is affecting my health both mentally and physically?  Hopefully working something out with my creditors to where payments are with held or extremely low until I regain my health and become more financially stable.

I honestly feel like I'm about to break soon.  

So a little over 2 years ago I graduated from college with my bachelor's degree in nursing.  At the time everything was perfect and I began working as a graduate nurse at a children's hospital starting at $22/hour.  I was also in great shape, workout often and I was able to spend time with family and friends.  I should also mention that a graduate nurse position is someone who graduates from nursing school and can perform all the duties as the registered nurse with the exception of medication administration and the position only lasts 16 weeks at which the GN must have complete the state board nursing exam.  While working as a GN I take my nursing exam and fail.  This was a very frustrating time however I was still able to work as a GN and I was allowed to retake the test in 45 days.  I studied and took the exam again only to find out that I failed agian.  This was also right at the end of my 16 week period so I could no longer work as a GN.  I was now stuck with finding another job at the hospital in order for me to keep my benefits and insurance.  

Having failed for the second time and not being able to work at the best job I ever had forced me into many sleepless nights and depression.  I ended up finding a job at the hospital before losing any benefits/insurance however it was only $11/hour and only 20  hours/week (employees still get benefits at 20hours).  I took this position basically not having a choice and I began to use credit cards just to help pay for everyday expenses/necessities.  My rent was $700/month, monthly car payments $400, student loans $400/month, gas nearly $4/gallon at the time, etc all while working at half the hourly wage at my previous position and half the hours.  I took the exam again for a third time and failed which everything worse.  

It was here where my health really took a noticeable decline.  I would wake up in the middle of the night and gorge on junk food and I would wake up in the morning not motivated to get up and go to the gym.  I started taking trazodone to help me sleep and I switched from both prozac to zoloft.  

I finally saved up enough money to retake the nursing exam again only to find out that after 3 attempts I now had to take a refresher course before approval would be granted to take the exam.  Refresher courses must be approved by the state and ranged in price from $500-$1000.  This was just not feasable.  After months of working at that job I landed another one at the same hospital.  The pay was $16/hour and required a bachelor's degree.  Although I had more income to start chipping away at the debt, the debt seemed to be growing more overwhelming since some of the bills were past due and interest rates and late fees were accruring.  I also tried looking for a second job on weekends such as a nurse aide or medical assistant since I have 4+ years experience.  I must've applied to at least 200 jobs to surrounding hospitals and I only had 1 interview that I couldn't make because at the time I couldn't afford to pay gas for the hour drive.  

I also began a debt management plan which seemed to help at first however their negotiations didn't really lower my monthly payments.  Also every month for the last six months I've had to use Check n Go just to help pay bils.  Usually in the amount of $350.  

Everything's seemed to become so overwhelming.  After paying my bills I have almost no money for groceries, no money for gas.  I've gained almost 100lbs, I now have obstructive sleep apnea, and hypertension.  I now can't afford new work clothes since gaining all this weight.  The depression has been so bad I don't have the motivation to workout and on weekends I can easily sleep until 4 or 5PM.  I've been so ashamed at putting on this weight that I've kept distance among family and real close friends.  I've also had to end a couple relationships since I wasn't financially stable.  Although I don't have much money for groceries I somehow find a way to gorge myself with terrible food usually on weekends.  

I seriously can't take this anymore and I need help.  Is there any way to get a letter from my physician stating that the stress due to my debt has had such a negative overwhelming impact on my health that payments are to be with held or extremely minimal until I can regain my health and become more healthy at which I will resume my payments?  

Please any help would be greatly appreiciated.
7 Responses
730465 tn?1281613518
I'm sorry you went through all of this and I know it's hard to pay bills, and food. My boyfriend lost his job cause the business wasn't working and now he's unemployed, looking for jobs and it's very hard to find one these days.  Anyways Yes you can get a letter from your doctor stating that the stress due to your debt that has a overwelming impact on your life and the payments are minmal until I regain my health and then I'll resume my payments. Let me know on updates.

Avatar universal
Thank you so much for responding.  I greatly appreciate it.  I will contact my primary care physician on Monday to see if he can write this.
Avatar universal
I went through similar things, pretty close. I gained a ton of weight in my early 20's due to stress and anxiety. Sometimes we feed those feelings with food, we also do that with binge spending/shopping. It give you a temporary "high". I also isolated myself for a good 10yrs. Anxiety/depression  itself is horrid, but when you are taking exams without treatment, it's really hard to pass your courses/exams. I ended failing 2 courses one semester, hadn't failed any before that and I was asked to "leave" the program, basically I got kicked out!

  If you have insurance, I suggest you get a referral to a psychiatrist, there may be something else going on. I had my diagnosis partly because of my actions of binge spending/eating/poor mangement ot my life/anxiety and depression.  I can't diagnose you, but I strongly feel what your potential diagnosis may be.

I ended up filing bankruptcy because of school and a couple of small debts, I was 62k in the hole, with no possibility of getting out of it.  In my bankruptcy the included the fact that I was dealing with mental health issues, and it made it a lot easier to get approved. You aren't automatically approved for bankruptcy, 90% of thet time you are, but your debtors could challenge you.

On top of that I'm a credit counselor as a profession, so I know what people are doing, and I can sympathize completely.

Keep in touch, let us know what's going on, hang in there, it will get better!
Depression Co-Community Leader
Avatar universal
Thank you for your insight.  I am only 27 years old and the weight issue along with depression is getting worse.  A little over a year ago I was built like a linebacker in the NFL.  I was 6'2" 250lbs and I ran 3 miles every day.  Now I can barely run 3 minutes and my waist line has gone up almost 10 inches.  It's been very frustrating.  

In terms of what I owe, I have roughly $40K in student loans and $10K in credit cards.  I get paid every 2 weeks and after I pay my rent, gas bill, student loans and car insurance I'm barely left with anything and my biweekly credit card payment is $125.  And when that is paid off I typically have about 50-$60 to try and stretch for 2 weeks.  I also have a gym membership but since I'm so depressed and under a lot stress it's hard to find the motivation to go.  I feel as though if I could some how temporarily hold those biweekly credit card payments, even if interest accrured until my health is back up, I think I could become more healthy rather quickly.  I'm not so much worried about the student loans now because I found out that once I pass the nursing boards I can work for Indian Health Services and work at one of their reservation facilities and they will pay off student loans in the amount of $20K/year as long as I fulfill a 2 year contract.  

I do have very good health insurance.  Do you think that if I see a psychiatrist that they would provide some kind of recommendation letter similar to the one I'm requesting?
Avatar universal
umm i can't answer that, but what i can suggest to you is make a budget. Chances are pdoc note will do nothing, you owe money and you can't get out of it unless you file bankruptcy OR you go into credit counselling, both will affect your credit, BUT it's i'm sure it's  down the toilet right now anyways if you are carrying a high debt load and only making min. payments.

How I work in credit counselling is such:
Add up your total monthly income from all sources, down to the last taxable penny.
Add up all your min pays for your debts, including car, mortage/rent, any insurance, child support,anything that can legally and/or affect you credit wise, even Sear's or Home Depot Cards.

If you pay out more then 40% of your net income, your are way over your head. You may not be able to file bankruptcy because of your contractor student loan there, I know in Canada, you have to wait 10yrs before you can attempt that. . But no credit card company is going to accept a doctor's note to get you off the hook of any pymt or reduce your % rate. You got yourself into the debt, agreed to the contract. At that point, consolidate your debts, or go to those credit counselling services where the put everything together and have a much lower amount that you pay every month. You will lose all of your credit cards. Get rid of your frills, like your Gym membership. Set up a monthly budget for everything, and I mean everything.  They may demand you get rid of certain things, if you have any stocks/bonds/401k's ( i think that's what they call them there), they will request you liquidate all to pay your debt first. I recommend you do that anyways, you may be able to if you have a large sum, negotiate with some creditors.

I do suggest you see a psychiatrist, as you know GP's are very limited with their ability to treat you and diagnose you. Pdocs are well trained to do the diagnosis and in pharmaceuticals. I would also suggest getting a full physical, who knows, you may have a hormone imbalance.
585414 tn?1288944902
There may be some benefits you could be eligible for to pay for certain expenses such as food and utilities depending on income. Or other forms of support. You might want to speak to your local independent living center. They don't offer counseling as regards credit card debt but there may be other forms of assistance you qualify for. There's one in every county of every state. Here's a list:
671435 tn?1230880128
Well..I have four children, My husband lost his job, I was forced to move in with my sister and her family, I cant even afford to send .50 cents to school for my sons friday popcorn money....it *****...you do have it pretty bad, but what Im trying to say is there are people that have it way worse...I hope everything gets better for you,  what I tell myself in the morning when I wake up, is that Im going to do the best I can do, with what I got..well good luck to you......
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.