Dear Mr. Dad: The ongoing financial crisis has been really hard on my family. We haven’t had a family vacation in several years, we had to get rid of one of our cars, and my husband and I always seem to be getting angry at each other or at our children. It’s pretty obvious that all the stress about money has affected us emotionally, but could it be affecting us physically too?
A: Absolutely. Stress can damage your immune system, making your more susceptible to getting sick. It increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. And it can make people abuse drugs and alcohol, which in turn does all sorts of damage to the body—not to mention the damage that’s done to others when stressed out people cause car accidents, get into fights, or shoot each other.