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Economy getting you down? You're not alone

The ride on Wall Street the past two weeks has caused many Americans increased stress. Stress because of finances that affects you both physically and psychologically. KLTV 7's Danielle Capper spoke to local experts today about that and what you need to know.

In California, 6 bodies were found inside a home on Monday after the father killed his family and took his own life. The reason, according to a note left behind, was financial difficulties.

East Texas therapist Toni Dowdy calls this case an extreme example of the domino effect economic tough times can have on people.

"Increased anxiety, more fatigue. People having this kind of financial stress effects everything in their lives," said Dowdy.

Sadly, this kind of stress is nothing new. During the Great Depression, suicide rates sky-rocketed.

"I don't think we've gotten to that point right now. The everyday man is going to deal with what's going on but it may take an extra effort to distress," said Dowdy. "Practice meditation, talk to their loved ones, talk to their bankers, talk to their financial counselors. Talk about what's going on and tighten their belt."

And the dangers of financial stress are not all in your head. Some potentially dangerous physical effects can occur if it is left unchecked.

"It can increase your heart rate, it can increase blood pressure."

Cardiologist Scott Lieberman says stress can also bring sleep deprivation and upset stomach in addition to heart conditions.

"You do get a sense that people are a little more concerned about things in general," said Dr. Lieberman.

Dr. Lieberman has these suggestions:

  • If you are on medications make sure to take them.
  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Don't make any rash decisions.

"Be aware that you are under increased stress, that your body is responding to it in a negative way. Those are really the first steps to cope and deal with it," said Dr. Lieberman.

Both Dr. Lieberman and Dowdy say lead a balanced life with time to relax, so the day's ups and downs don't get you too down.

Financial counselors often analyze spending habits, and teach how to pinch pennies and be more frugal during this time.

Danielle Capper, Reporting

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