Money worries are causing symptoms of stress in patients such as diet problems, impotence and sleep disorders, doctors said in a survey.
The stress-illnesses are being brought about by concerns over finances and job security, research by the Family Doctor Association and the Post Office found.
The number of patients displaying symptoms of stress or depression over the last 18 months has increased according to GPs, with more than three-quarters (78%) of those surveyed reporting a rise.
Just under half (49%) of patients feeling the pressure were suffering from sleep disorders, while 16% sought help for diet problems and 12% experienced impotence. Approximately one in three doctors (30%) reported prescribing anti-depressants to under 30s to help them deal with stress, while 39% had referred young 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.”