The global credit crunch has sparked off high rates of depression and anxiety among Scottish people, according to experts. Escalating fuel prices and increasing consumer debt has spoilt people's peace of mind.
With more numbers rushing to hospitals to seek help for stress, anxiety and depression, the priority hospital in Glasgow has opened new consulting rooms to cater to the influx of patients.
The priority hospital which is known for its service to celebrities such as Kate Moss and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has witnessed a 20% increase in patients with mental health issues. An additional out patient service is being held once a week.
Elaborating on the increasing number of people suffering problems, Alex Yellowlees, medical director of the Priority in Glasgow, said, "In the last six to nine months, we have seen a noticeable increase in people referred with depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders. I think this is probably a reflection of the stress we are currently under, due to the economy and the pressures this puts on society. For some, it can just tip them over the edge and they can start to suffer with low mood, anxiety and depression."
Yvonne Gallacher, chief executive of Money Advice Scotland (MAS), an agency offering free financial advice said, "It is becoming a major concern for us. The problem is that it becomes a circular thing. People have financial concerns, get into debt and their mental health suffers. Because of their mental-health problems, they are less able to cope with financial concerns and get out of debt, so the problem goes on."
Explaining the fallout of debt and cash crunch on individuals, Chris Fitch, a research fellow at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said, "Being in debt can also result in people becoming socially isolated, because they can't afford to go out, strain being placed on relationships and cutting back on goods and services which can affect their health." Along with depression and anxiety, thoughts of self harm can also prevail, he said.