Primary care staff have seen a “significant” increase in the number of patients with stress and depression since the financial crisis began in 2009.
An online poll of nearly 250 health professionals by patient.co.uk found 84% said they had seen a “significant” increase in patients with stress-related symptoms and 73% said they had seen a “significant” increase in patients with depression.
Nearly one in nine (85%) respondents said money worries and/or stress have exacerbated some existing medical conditions among their patients.
Almost 70% of health professionals also reported seeing patients that have refused treatment or a sick note because they were afraid to take time off work.
“This survey presents a worrying picture of the nation’s health,” said Dr Sarah Jarvis, a London GP.
“It is good news that people feel able to consult their doctor about their mental health – but of concern that some are too worried about job security to heed advice and take proper care of themselves.”
A separate patient.co.uk poll of 2,000 UK adults showed 36% feel “more stressed” as a result of the economic downturn, and one in five are sleeping “less well”.