Financial stress really CAN kill you, as the prestigious medical journal The Lancet points out this month. A report released this week shows that nearly 1500 more people killed themselves annually in 2008, 2009 and 2010, than in the years BEFORE the recession. And it’s strongly tied to the unemployment rate, as the study discovered. Every time unemployment rises by 1%, suicide rates in the United States rise by 1%.

It used to be that money, sex, politics and religion were big taboo topics in “polite society.” Now, thanks to social media, like Facebook and Twitter, folks are sharing their thoughts on sex, politics and religion with abandon. But we still don’t talk about money. The last taboo. Why? Because we think “money” means something about us. We think what we earn or have makes us more lovable, better providers, more powerful, and more successful. So what happens when the money stops coming in? What happens when you lose a job, get laid off temporarily, experience a loss of income due to death, divorce or a health challenge? What happens when your credit score drops so low you become “credit-unworthy”? Or when your credit card balances get so big you can no longer juggle one bill to pay another? What happens when your home gets foreclosed on, your bills are all past due and your car gets repossessed? Or what happens when even the THREAT of this is happening in your life?

It takes a psychological toll because of what we think it means. And when we get depressed about our finances, since it’s not a topic we’re willing to talk about with others, we wind up talking to ourselves. And often one option we see is the final exit door of suicide. It pops into our minds how easy it would be to just take a turn to fast, or accidentally take too much of our medicine, or leave the car running while we’re in the closed garage answering our smartphone emails.

If you find yourself having even the most fleeting thoughts about checking out because of your finances, do me a favor first. Download this free report on How to Know if It’s Time to File Bankruptcy. It may just give you the breathing room you need to get through this financial challenge. You’re not alone. MILLIONS in the United States are going through this same situation. And even if you’re not a good candidate for bankruptcy, there are strategies you can come up with that can help you put together a plan to repay your creditors in a way that works for YOU first, rather than for THEM first. A session with me could help you gain some valuable insight, get clarity and put the plan into motion. And until November 15, you can get an entire hour’s worth of my time for $125 (and you can use it in 6, 15 or 30 minute segments if we work out a plan real quick for you!).

I KNOW that it seems like money is the be all and end all because of how we’ve intertwined our lives with our “stuff” – but it truly isn’t. Money is energy. It doesn’t mean anything about you – except for whatever meaning you’re giving it. Financial changes can be the start of something really new and exciting in your life if you give it room to grow rather than seeing it as something you’ve “lost.” Promise me you’ll reach out to me or someone else with financial knowledge who can help you set up a strategy to get out from under whatever financial mountain you find yourself buried in. Financial challenges are temporary. Suicide is a permanent solution to that temporary problem. Think about your 3 favorite moments in your life – and what would it feel like if you never got to experience moments like that ever again. That’s what happens if you decide to off yourself instead of giving yourself relief from your debts and creditors.

Do you really want to give your creditors that kind of life and death power over you? Bottom line: you kill yourself, and your creditors win – while you, your family and friends all lose. Do you want to choose to be their victim? Or do you want to make a choice to empower yourself and transform this situation so you can easily¬† move into a space where you’re at peace, with clarity and a sense of direction on how to move forward to create a financially secure future for yourself and your family. The choice is up to you. As I tell my 5-year old son “make choices that will help you succeed at being happy and healthy!” Get the free report; consider talking with me or another calm person who has some distance from your situation. Take back control of your finances, your life and your self-confidence. It’s easier than you think.