My CPTSD Has Left Me Making Poor Choices About My Student Loan Situation


Dear Steve,

Married with kids. A masters degree in Urban planning. Long story

Since I have trust issues and self-worth issues that come from untreated and misdiagnosed CPTSD I attempted to bootstrap myself into a better situation by getting a lot of education.

Now I have a lot of education and a ton of debt. Like 200k in addition to a mortgage and some consumer debt.

I am not making 6 figures so don’t feel like I will ever get out of debt or retire even without the student loan problem that is growing.

I know I am avoiding it but have gotten some really shit advice and have no idea how to kill this elephant and start eating. It terrifies me to even think about money much less talk about it.

You are the first person that has ever aligned money avoidance to the PTSD framework this way. Are there people that actually get a handle on this kind and scale of the problem?



Dear Steve,

Financial PTSD is a real thing. CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) can certainly suck in the issues caused by the debt.

It seems you are astute and aware to notice your debt is the symptom of the underlying decisions you made. The problem was the need to complete expensive education that may never generate the return you had hoped for. However, chronic education did address the issues caused by the CPTSD and negative self-perception you may have been feeling.

What kind of student loans do you have? Are these federal or private loans? Post your answer in the comment section below.

While I can help you to deal with this symptomatic debt from the CPTSD, I hope you recognize you seem to be a screaming candidate for extensive psychotherapy and probably medication to assist you to tackle the root causes and deal with ongoing symptoms.

Ultimately your situation will need to be tackled in tandem. Both the problem debt and the mental health issues will need to be dealt with to get you through to the other side. Dealing with one or the other but not both is not going to do the trick.

See also  I'm Thinking of Killing Myself Over My Debt. - Yvonne

You may not love my answer but it is both accurate and honest.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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