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Debt and our Health

It’s easy to  imagine how debt can effect people’s health directly – sleepless nights and ulcers due to worry – but there’s more to it than that. A recent study by CAB (Citizen’s Advice Bureau) has found some alarming statistics on the impact debt can have on people’s health.

Citizens Advice found that 74% of respondents said debt had impacted their mental health, while 54% said their physical health had been affected, adding that of those experiencing health problems, 51% had experienced a panic or anxiety attack, and 79% were losing sleep most nights because of debt.

Furthermore, 56% of respondents said that worry about debt was affecting their relationships, while 51% of those in employment and struggling with debt said that their work performance was suffering.

Another interesting angle is what people do to try to cope with the pressure – drinking, smoking and eating too much. They found that 29% of respondents said they tried to take their mind off their debt problems by drinking, 24% by eating, and 29% by smoking, while 35% were taking no action about their debts and hoping the problem would go away. The chart above also shows that debt can lead to illness when people turn off their heating to save money or eat lower quality food to economise.