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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Can't Afford To Go To The Doctor?

By June 22, 2009

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Americans are finding that money is tight in this recession, and many are discovering that even necessities like healthcare are difficult to afford. A recent study by Thomson Reuters' annual Pulse survey collected data from 100,000 homes found that 25% of those surveyed had difficulty paying for healthcare expenses, with 40% expecting to put off healthcare in the coming months, including routine doctor visits in some cases.

This is a troubling situation, of course. For those who need care, time is often of the essence, and can be a factor in one's health. Additionally, some health conditions can worsen and become more difficult and costly to treat if not caught and treated early. And it's unfortunate that those who those who may need healthcare the most--those who may be experiencing a greater incidence of health issues due in part to financial stress and lowering socioeconomic status--may be at a disadvantage in finding treatment for these health issues, perhaps compounding the issue. (For more on that, read this article on stress and socio-economic status.)

This study also highlights the value of stress management. Because stress has been linked with many health issues (read more about stress and health), stress management can be seen as a tool for preventive health maintenance as well as emotional wellness. Investing time and energy into stress management can potentially prevent or reduce the severity of many health issues that may require care. (Note: This is not to say that it's unnecessary to see a doctor when you are facing symptoms or suspect a health issue; I'm just highlighting the connection between stress and health, and the value of stress management.)

The following resources can help you better understand the link between stress and health, and stay healthy with effective stress management.

Stress and Health Resources by Elizabeth Scott:

  • Stress and Your Health
    Read more about the different types of stress you may experience, and some of the symptoms that stress may bring. See what stress can do to your body, and what you can do with your stress.

  • Stress and Health Self Test
    How might stress be affecting you? This quick quiz is designed to give you an idea of whether your level of stress may be impacting your health, and to what degree. More importantly, after completing this quick 15-question self test, you'll find information explaining how stress affects health, and important resources for creating a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

  • Chronic Job Stress
    How does chronic job stress affect one's health? Here's an interesting study that links chronic job stress to a cluster of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome. Find out if you're at risk, and what you can do to stay healthy.

  • Cortisol, the Stress Hormone
    Find out how cortisol plays a role in your body's stress response and overall health.

  • Cortisol, the Stress Hormone
    Find out how cortisol plays a role in your body's stress response and overall health.

  • Create a Low-Stress Lifestyle
    Get ongoing support in lowering your stress levels and finding techniques to cope, with this free e-course.

  • Stress and Health Quiz
    Rather than assess your stress situation, this quiz tests your knowledge about stress and health. At the end of the quiz, you will find your score along with the correct answers and resources where you can learn more and use this information to become healthier and happier.

  • Sources:
    Chandola, T., Brunner, E., Marmot, M. Chronic stress at work and the metabolic syndrome: prospective study. British Medical Journal. January 20, 2006.
    Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Baum A. Socioeconomic status is associated with stress hormones. Psychosomatic Medicine. May-June 2006.

    Image from iStockPhoto.com

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