Whether you have considerable consumer debt, outstanding medical bills, student loans or any other financial obligation you cannot meet, you likely know how stressful debt can be. A recent study indicates that unmanageable debt may take an incredible toll on a person’s emotional and mental health. In fact, as many as 25% of cash-strapped individuals develop symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Depression, stress and PTSD may make you feel powerless. Still, to take control of your financial situation, you must deal with negative emotions effectively. Unfortunately, if you are experiencing an emotional drain because of your financial situation, you may not address your debt proactively. Here are some tips for managing financial stress:

Be honest with yourself 

If you go camping and find a snake in your tent, ignoring the animal may encourage it to go away. The same is not true for your outstanding debt. On the contrary, ignoring your financial standing may make matters significantly worse. Therefore, you must be honest with yourself about your financial situation.

Take time to grieve 

It is okay to feel bad about your debt. You should not, however, allow shame or other emotions to derail you from exploring bankruptcy and other debt-relief options. If you cannot manage your grief in a short period, you may need to seek counseling or therapy to help you gain control of your anxiety.

Look for the good 

Even individuals drowning in a sea of debt usually have some financial positives. Finding the good aspects of your debt situation may give you a solid foundation upon which to build your financial future.

While having more debt than you can pay is apt to make you feel uneasy or downright depressed, you likely have a variety of ways out of your current situation. Put simply, you must understand the emotional toll that your financial condition may take on your psyche. Then, you must work diligently to move your finances to a better place.