Money worries, long hours at work and family pressures are driving up stress levels across the country, a report says today.
Half the population say they feel more stressed now than five years ago and more than 10 per cent say they have felt suicidal, twice the level in 2003.
The findings, from a survey commissioned by the Samaritans, confirm Britain as one of the most stressed nations in Europe.
Research published last month showed one in five Britons felt their life was out of control, the highest proportion in the nine industrialised nations studied.
Nearly one in three Britons hits the bottle to deal with stress, it has been claimed.
A study by The Samaritans says 32% of those asked admitted to drinking to cope with pressures in their lives – compared to just 23% in 2003.
Almost seven in 10 people said they were irritable through stress, and more than half said it kept them awake at night.