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Practices seeing more patients with depression

1 February 2012

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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 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 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”.