Mental health issues are something that affect everyone in some way. While mental illness has long held a stigma, recent years have started to change the public perception of conditions such as depression, anxiety, and more. With the change in perception, many more people have begun to open up with the struggles they face.
This includes truck drivers.
Depression is almost twice as common among truck drivers as it is the average American. With more than 17 million adult Americans dealing with depression, the situation is very serious. A study done on male truck drivers shows that they actually face a variety of mental health issues: 28% dealt with loneliness, 27% dealt with depression, and 14.5% struggled with anxiety.
What’s Causing the Problem?
Unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise can impact mental health negatively. The bigger issue, however, is isolation. Truck drivers often spend days on end alone in their cab. They may see a terrible accident or find themselves in a highly stressful situation with no one to discuss it with. Even when conditions are otherwise optimal, the loneliness can take a toll.
To make things worse, most are reluctant to seek help. Truck drivers can often feel a need to appear tough and unaffected by the things around them. Unfortunately pretending that nothing is wrong doesn’t make the problems go away. They simply compound.
Many are also afraid of losing their job if they report a problem.
Whether or not that would actually happen, a change needs to be made in how the trucking industry handles mental health. The transportation industry has the fourth-highest suicide rate among working Americans. Poor mental health is bad for drivers, their families, trucking companies, and industry as a whole.
What Truck Drivers Can Do About Mental Illness
When it comes to mental health, talking to someone is one of the most important steps. While a professional therapist is ideal, even talking to a trusted friend or family member can help immensely. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to share what you’re going through.
It’s also important to take care of yourself. Eating healthy and getting exercise are very beneficial to your overall wellness. It isn’t always easy keeping a healthy diet on the road, but it is possible. You might be surprised to see how much your physical health impacts your mental health.
For some, another critical step may be to get a better trucking job. If you find you receive a lack of respect while constantly being asked to meet unfair demands, it may be time to move on.
At Woodruff Enterprises, we make sure to care for our drivers. They’re not just a number on an employee sheet; they’re a part of the Woodruff family. In addition to quality pay and performance incentives, our drivers receive much needed at-home time and paid time off.
If you’re in need of a change in trucking jobs, Woodruff Enterprises is here for you. Contact us today for trucking jobs in Springfield, Ohio.