Doctors have seen a rise in the number of patients suffering from stress in the past 18 months due to the recession, a survey has revealed.
More than three-quarters of GPs have seen a rise in the number of patients suffering from stress or depression, data from the Post Office and the Family Doctor Association showed.
Patients are suffering from sleep disorders, diet problems and impotence due to money worries and fears over job losses, it found.
Money woes appear to be taking their toll on the under 30s, with almost half having suffered from sleep disorders, 16% receiving help for diet problems and more than one in 10 (12%) experiencing impotence.
A third of doctors (30%) said they were prescribing antidepressants to under 30s to help with stress, and four in 10 (39%) had referred their younger patients to counsellors.
Dr Peter Swinyard, Chairman of the Family Doctor Association, said: "Money worries have always been a major cause of depression and stress-related illness but there is no doubt that the events of the past 18 months have exacerbated the effect."
"I don't think there can be any doubt that money worries can cause considerable stress. It can make you feel physically ill and totally run down. The government should do more to help people suffering serious financial hardship" - Clare Duncan, Suffolk