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The bailiff: Debtors live with increased mental illness

A life with debt can have far-reaching consequences not just for the wallet. Debt is a contributing cause of poorer quality of life, mental illness and an increased risk of further gambling-related indebtedness, shows the Enforcement Officer’s survey, which is based on 1,614 questionnaire responses from indebted people.

– We hear this when we talk to customers on the phone and when we meet them in their home. The most important insights in this study are that debt is so closely linked to mental illness. That you can feel depressed, sleep problems, social isolation, says Amanda Vargensten Westerström at the Enforcement Officer’s prevention section.

At the turn of the year, 402,205 people had debts with the Enforcement Officer. Although the figure, apart from 2019, is the lowest in 29 years, many are drawn into debt for several years.

Nima: “Becomes like paralyzed”

Nima, who is actually called something else, had millions of kronor in debt for eight years; a time when he also lived with a gambling addiction.

– You almost become paralyzed, you try to isolate yourself. You are afraid that others will interfere in your life. As long as you have not understood that you need help then nothing happens, he says.

Gambling-related debts are increasing

A larger proportion cite gambling as a direct cause of the financial difficulties, compared with previous surveys.

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– It is starting to appear more and more in conversations with customers. It appears that the debts are linked to gambling, says Amanda Vargensten Westerström at the Enforcement Officer.

Nima says that the mechanism of gambling is treacherous. At first it goes well, then it mostly goes downhill.

– When you start playing then you win but then comes the crash and you lose all the time. To be able to compensate for the losses that you have caused through gambling, then it is necessary to raise money. Then you turn to loved ones. When you have lost that money, you turn to all these loan companies that exist, says Nima.

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