‘Money Sickness Syndrome’ is causing mental health problems

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According to the results of a survey carried out by insurance company Axa along with mental health expert Dr Roger Henderson, almost 90 percent of adults in the UK are displaying psychological symptoms brought on by financial stress and anxiety as a result of worries about money.

They have dubbed the condition Money Sickness Syndrome, which apparently can trigger symptoms such as anxiety, depression, sleeping problems and weight gain, loss of libido, palpitations as well as lack of concentration and an increase in alcohol consumption.

It seems that the thing people are worried about most is how they are going to pay their bills and the cost of living in general.

The results of the survey showed that less than 40 percent have done something to try and sort out their financial problems and a quarter of all those surveyed haven’t bothered to do anything at all.

“An alarming number of people seem to have their heads in the sand about money matters” said Eugene Farrel, head of psychological health and wellbeing with Axa.

It’s not the lower paid that seem to be affected the most either, the report shows that it is the high level managers that are experiencing the most stress about their finances. Interestingly, it’s also the high level managers that are more likely not to take steps to address the problem.

The skilled manual workers, lower level managers and those working in admin on the other hand, are the ones most likely to turn to alcohol or to comfort eating to ease their worries.

Many believe that financial strain has increased over the past year and that it’s likely to get worse next year.

“People at all income levels suffer Money Sickness Syndrome and the research shows that two thirds of people said they felt their levels of financial stress had worsened in the previous 12 months and almost half believed this would deteriorate further in the next 12 months” said Dr Roger Henderson, author of the report.

“For some people it may be the issue of making ends meet that is the problem but for others symptoms emerge from worrying about how to maintain a lifestyle that includes school fees and several foreign holidays.  Either way they need to take control.  The more in control you are the fewer the symptoms you are likely to experience.”

Anyone worried about their financial situation should seek expert independent financial advice.

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