More than a million Britons have been to see GPs over rent worries, says Shelter

Doctors treat stress and anxiety as more than half the people in England fear losing their homes

More than a million Britons have had to see their doctor due to the stress of keeping a roof over their heads, according to new research by Shelter, the homeless charity.

The figure is based on a national survey of people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, and has been estimated using Government population statistics. The number of those who have sought medical help is part of a wider problem, with more than three million unable to sleep properly at night, according to the research. Relationships are being put under strain too, with around 2.6 million people having argued with their partners because of the pressure to pay their rent or mortgage.

More than half of people (54 per cent) in England are either struggling or falling behind with their rent or mortgage, according to a survey of more than 3,500 adults by YouGov, commissioned by Shelter.

One in 20 (5 per cent) of those finding it difficult to make ends meet have been to see their GP because of the stress. More than one in seven (16 per cent) are losing sleep due to worries about being able to pay their rent or mortgage. And 13 per cent of those who are struggling say their financial situation is causing arguments with their partner. The figures apply to England but reflect the situation across Britain, according to the charity.

And a new report released by Shelter, based on detailed interviews with 19 individuals who have been, or are, in arrears with their rent or mortgage payments, warns: “People were very emotionally and mentally affected from being in housing and other types of debt and some felt this had led to physical illness too.”

It adds: “Some reported depression, an inability to sleep and panic attacks as a result of the stress and  some felt it had led to physical illnesses such as high blood pressure and strokes.

Read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/more-than-a-million-britons-go-to-see-gps-over-rent-worries-says-shelter-a6914301.html

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