Current Economic Climate can Elevate Some Individuals Stroke Risk

by Hannah Punitha on Nov 29 2008 5:47 PM

The current economic situation can elevate some individuals' chance of suffering a stroke, a leading expert has said.

According to the psychologist, who will tell the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development meeting about the finding, watching coverage of the credit crisis on the evening news can add to the risk of suffering real mental and physical health problems, including stroke and suicide, reports the Telegraph.

Dr Aric Sigman, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, will say: "During the last two recessions, we didn't have the abundance of dedicated news channels and websites we're able to 'enjoy' today.

"This background music to employees' lives has become faster and louder at a time when they also have the greatest level of personal debt in history.

"Now, many employees are experiencing a state of 'learned helplessness' as the result of too much insurmountable news of changes affecting their job security."

"Learned helplessness" is a psychological condition in which people behave as if they are helpless in certain situations even when they have the power to change their circumstances.

Sigman will also tell the conference that it is important that people feel confident that they can predict what will happen in their future.

Losing this "sense of coherence" can lead to an increased risk of stroke and even injury, Sigman said.

He said that the companies wishing to survive the credit crisis should offer their staff financial education and comprehensive redundancy packages.