When you get that foreclosure notice, times are already tough. You are having financial problems, and you can’t make ends meet. You wish you could pay the mortgage, but it’s just not possible. That brings on a lot of stress and takes an emotional toll.

It’s probably just going to get worse, according to researchers who looked at the toll a foreclosure takes on both mental and physical health. The results were very clear: In both areas, people tended to see a notable decline in health while going through a foreclosure.

Some of it is the stress and anxiety this situation can produce. You have a lot of things to figure out, you worry about your family not having a place to live and you know that your financial troubles are about to get a lot more public. You may have been able to hide things before, but people will know it’s not going well if you lose your home. It’s just one stressor on top of another, and the mental and emotional impact can’t be overstated.

To deal with it, researchers noted that people often engaged in health-adverse activities. For instance, they took to drinking alcohol to deal with the stress. These activities then led to poorer physical health. Excessive drinking can lead to weight gain, sleep problems, immune system decline, gastronomical issues and much more. It also drains the person’s finances to a certain degree, adding more stress to a difficult situation.

The key is to not let it spiral out of control. You have far more legal options than you may be aware of. Find out exactly what they are.