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Don’t neglect your mental health after filing bankruptcy

The decision to file bankruptcy is a big one. It’s often the best way to get your finances back on track. You may feel a sense of relief once you’ve made the decision and started the process.

However, don’t be surprised if that initial sense of relief is followed by a wave of negative emotions. It’s essential to recognize those and take steps that will help you feel more positive and empowered.

Many people who file bankruptcy are consumed by blame. They often blame themselves for making poor decisions. They may blame their current or former spouse for racking up thousands of dollars in debt. They might blame their former employer for laying them off.

The sooner you stop blaming yourself and others, the sooner you can begin taking charge of your future. People can and do recover from bankruptcy, but you have to be strategic and smart about it. You have to be patient and realize that it won’t happen overnight.

Find out what kind of financial products you qualify for that will help you rebuild your credit. A savings account is a good place to start. You should be able to get a checking account and secured credit card as well. Managing these responsibly will help you rebuild your credit — and your self-esteem.

Don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed by sadness or anger. You likely can’t afford large therapy bills right now, but find out what your insurance covers and where you may be able to find free or low-cost counseling or even perhaps an online support group.

Sometimes just focusing on something other than yourself can be healthy — like volunteer work. It can help you feel needed and productive, which can go a long way to rebuilding your self-esteem. It can also help you put things in perspective. Many people are dealing with much worse things than bankruptcy.

Whether you need advice on what financial steps to take or help finding a support group or counseling, don’t hesitate to talk with your bankruptcy attorney. They’ve likely helped many people through the process and can provide valuable guidance and information.

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