Guilt ridden employees missing out on doctors appointments

eHealthForum advises that looking after yourself properly can help keep your job safe

A recent poll by one of the world's largest health sites,, shows that almost a third (30.22 percent) of people surveyed feel guilty about taking the time to attend a doctor's appointment during office hours. The results showed that 28.69 percent of people in the US felt mild to extreme guilt, 28.27 percent of Canadians and 35.4 percent of Brits followed suit.

There is a tendency to be competitive about being seen to be working hardest, longest and loudest in an effort to stay off the redundancy list. Sadly, taking the time out to visit the doctor all too often falls by the wayside. The effects of this are longer recovery times, potentially infecting your colleagues with viruses or in terms of mental health, a sharp slide into a debilitating depression.

Another recent stress poll - from the American Psychological Association (April) - found that three quarters of Americans are stressed about job and financial security. As the global recession began to reveal itself in September, nearly half of the respondents reported that the emotional strains resulting from financial stress were taking a toll on their professional and personal lives.

Hard times notoriously result in increased deaths from heart disease, cirrhosis and suicide; miscarriages rise and mental hospitals experience a sharp spike in admissions. Medical science has proven that poverty and unemployment are linked to higher rates of addiction, anxiety and stress, eating disorders, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, depression and a whole host of cancers. Some telephone support lines are reporting a 75 percent increase in calls related to stress and the economy in the last few months.

Help is at your fingertips!

Perhaps one of the most helpful messages that arise during hard times is that you are not alone. The fact that you can interact with thousands of others all over the world by using community sites such as eHealth Forum can be very comforting.

The good news is that there is free and independent help available for those who feel they need it. eHealth Forum has sections on its site that hold out an ear, a shoulder and the sharing of experiences in a helpful and supportive way. Now, you can find help in all manner of symptoms relating to work stress and the recession in one simple click: Recession Crisis Support.

The company has just launched a new way for people to seek help and advice relating to their work stress and recession problems in one location. Topics covered by the Recession Crisis forums include: panic attack, sleep disorders, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, acne and other skin disorders, colds and flu, migraine and headaches, and high blood pressure symptoms.

Mark Turkovic, co-founder of eHealth Forum said: "The results of this poll are particularly worrying as people are already stressed out about the global financial crisis. Add in that they are skipping doctor's appointments, or ignoring symptoms altogether due to work pressures, only makes matters worse in both the short and long term."

Dr. Nikola Gjzelov, attending online doctor at eHealth Forum advises: "The trick is to notice and act upon your ailments - both mental and physical - as soon as possible. By identifying the root of the problem and getting it sorted you stand the best chance of a speedy recovery. In turn, this will help you do your job more effectively and enable you to get out of bed with less dread about the working day ahead - thereby promoting a positive mental attitude."

Family households hit by the recession can suffer the most. The economic effects of a downturn potentially cause stress so severe it cannot be shaken off at home. Consequentially, this can affect parent bonding and consequently childhood development and security.

eHealth Forum offers top tips for beating the symptomatic problems of a recession

If you need help - get it - straight away. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll be back to your old self and ready to tackle other issues more efficiently.

Eat well and eat together. Take your time and spend at least 45 - 60 minutes at the table to promote healthy digestion. This extra time together both saves money on ingredients and the social element can be mentally and emotionally supportive through hard times.

Go to bed early. Cutting down on external socialising and stimulation via television or computer at least 2-3 hours before bedtime helps the nervous system relax. It is very important to rest your mind, body and soul, so take advantage of the winter downturn to get a full eight hours (or more).

Go for a long walk at the weekend and aim to exercise at least 20-30 minutes daily. Exercise is not only good for the heart, it is good for the brain and releases endorphins; all great factors to feeling better, fitter, fresher and ready to get to grips with the week ahead.

Take steps to prevent illness, such as taking daily multivitamins and/or immune enhancing supplements. Vitamin C, Echinacea, goldenseal and other natural products can boost immunity when taken in large enough doses during viral seasons.

The message is clear: If you need to go to the doctor then make an appointment - and keep it. One hour out of the office is just as long as a lunch break. By keeping your appointment you are not only helping yourself, you will be helping your colleagues by not passing on your germs or appearing mentally affected and less effective at work. Being more effective at work can help keep you out of the firing line during tough times.