Mental health problems become more and more common nowadays. This is due to constant stress, financial problems, quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and personal problems. According to Logistics Mental Health, truckers are about twice as likely to experience depression than other people. So why are mental illnesses and anxiety the top problems among truck drivers?
3 COMMON CAUSES OF DEPRESSION IN TRUCKERS
Loneliness. Truck driver life is a lonely life. Especially if we talk about OTR truckers, who spend too much time alone away from their loved ones. Their work schedule often becomes a reason for family problems and divorces. Loneliness can lead to hopelessness and severe depression.
Lack Of Sleep. Getting enough quality sleep at the right time can help protect a person’s mental and physical health. But truckers usually have sleep deprivation. So it is very important to try to keep a regular sleep schedule and use effective tips for improving the sleeping experience.
Stress from the job. It can be a misunderstanding between the trucking company or the dispatcher. Problems with jobs searching for owner-operators extended hours due to delays. And of course, money problems – especially when a trucker makes less money than he needs to pay his bills.
How to Prevent Truck Driver Depression
Keep in touch. Contact your family and friends on a regular basis using all these apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Messenger. Communicate with other truckers on truck stops. If you feel like you need someone who faces the same challenges, you may become a member of Truckers For Truckers (Fight Against Depression And Suicide Facebook group page.
Eat healthier. There is a connection between nutrition and mental health. Fast food and high-calorie snacks can lead to obesity and, as a result, to depression. That’s why it is so important to make daily meals healthier, drink more weather, and choose the right snacks like carrot sticks, beef jerky, nuts, dried fruits, and dark chocolate.
Adopt a pet. A cat or dog can help with loneliness on the road. Take a pet from a shelter, the driver will have someone to take care of. And if it is a dog, then the additional physical activity is provided. BTW it can improve your social life too because a lot of people are usually interested in pets and want to meet them. Trucking with a pet is easier than you think.
Relax. It is always important to take time for yourself, have a good rest, meet with family and friends. Even reading a good book or watching a funny movie after a long journey can help.
Find a new hobby. Find something that you really enjoy and just do this! Favorite activity will distract from worries and sad thoughts and add joyful moments. And don’t forget about physical activity – running or walking can completely change your life.
Unfortunately, truckers are among the eight most suicidal professions. So if no advice helps and depressive feelings do not leave, you need to consult a doctor. This is not a sign of weakness, but taking care of yourself. Depression is a disease and requires treatment.