Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Health Effects of IRS Collections

I put a lot of effort into writing about the financial consequences of unpaid tax debts on my blog. However, the stress of an IRS audit or the back tax collection process can lead to very serious health problems as well. To help the readers of my blog avoid a serious medical issue, I have put together the following list of common health effects of IRS collections. By staying aware of potential problems, you can establish a routine to properly manage your stress.

Chronic Stress

Dealing with the IRS can be stressful for any American. However, when the stress becomes chronic it can lead to a whole other set of medical issues. Chronic stress is the human body’s response to large amounts of stress for prolonged periods of time. If untreated, chronic stress can seriously inhibit both your mental and physical health in a variety of ways including headaches, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, depression, hypertension, hemorrhoids, and even varicose veins. In more serious cases chronic stress can develop into panic attacks, and eventually a panic disorder. All of these symptoms are difficult to live with, and impossible to ignore. If you are experiencing any signs of chronic stress, then I highly recommend seeking the opinion of a medical professional.

Eating Problems

As a response to insomnia, depression, or stress it is very common to unknowingly alter your eating habits. Disorders related to eating can develop quickly, and be hard to recognize. If you find yourself not following your usual eating habits because of stress, then you should try planning balanced meals a day ahead of time. That way you can stick to your plan, and ensure you are receiving proper nutrition. Additionally, having an eating plan can make it difficult to skip meals, or resort to only eating unhealthy fast food. If you continue to struggle with your eating habits then you might want to seek support from friends and family, or even a trained therapist.


Severe stress and mild to severe depression often go hand-in-hand when dealing with life changes and prolonged problems, such as IRS collections. Depression comes in many degrees of severity, but recognizing that you have a problem with depression is not always easy. Everyone feels depressed at times, but if your depression continues to last, and you become so unhappy that it is difficult to get out of bed then you may have a more serious disorder. Try spending more time with close friends and family, especially on your most stressful days. If this does not help then you may want to visit a doctor or psychiatrist to see if your depression is a problem that needs medical treatment.

Dental Health

Constantly worrying about a tax problem can also lead to dental issues, if you are not properly managing your stress. Studies show that individuals facing large amounts of severe stress for an extended period of time have higher chances of developing tooth or gum disease. It is also common for people to begin grinding their teeth while under stress, which can also lead to dental problems. Therefore, it is important to remember your dental health – and not neglect your teeth – while going through a stressful time in your life.


Once the IRS collection process is over and the weight is lifted from your shoulders, you should still monitor your health and mental well being for an extended period of time. Post-traumatic stress disorder can happen to anyone – and in varying degrees – that have dealt with such a stressful situation that their body could not handle it at the time. Common symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, lucid nightmares, sleeplessness, anxiety, and emotional numbness. If you experience any of these symptoms make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Other Serious Risks

The list goes on and on when it comes to the health effects of an unhealthy state of mind. In addition to the problems listed above, other serious risks include ulcers, obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe anxiety, hyperthyroidism, hair loss, heart disease, and even cancer.


Obviously the best way to avoid any of the aforementioned health problems is to remove the issue causing you stress. However, when it comes to tax debts simply removing the problem is much easier said than done. One option is to hire a tax lawyer who can handle your IRS back tax account. Once they have a power of attorney on file, you can forward your lawyer all letters and calls you receive from the IRS. Additionally, take active steps to keep your body relaxed such as yoga, meditation, or daily breathing exercises. If you are still having trouble dealing with the stress then you should consider seeking help from a medical professional as well.

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