According to a paper in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, between 75 percent and 90 percent of all visits to primary care doctors are for stress-related medical issues.
“Of the patients that I would attribute their medical problems to stress, the overwhelming majority have money at the root,” says Dr. Arta Bakshandeh, senior medical officer with Alignment Healthcare in Los Angeles. “Most commonly, these patients complain of headaches, elevated blood pressure, ulcers, depression and moderate to severe anxiety.”
Stress management is key
You might be able to cut spending or find a part-time job to help pay the bills, but with even high earners under significant financial stress, it isn’t clear whether these approaches will simply help your bottom line or truly benefit your health.
Bakshandeh recommends several stress management techniques to keep the effects of financial stress at bay. For those experiencing severe psychological distress, he often recommends a counselor to help patients deal with stress on an ongoing basis.
“I also recommend that patients exercise three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes,” he says. “Exercise releases brain chemicals called endorphins, which makes us feel good and lowers blood pressure and symptoms of depression.”