Mental health is an issue that is not discussed enough in the trucking industry. Truck drivers are perceived as tough and manly. Therefore, the topic of mental health is often overlooked.
The truth is, truck drivers are human. They have their emotional and mental struggles just like every other working American. The only difference is that truck drivers face unique factors that put them more at risk for depression and other serious mental health issues.
According to the Transport Workers’ Union, one in five truck drivers have experienced mental health issues. Depression and anxiety are the top mental health issues that truck drivers face.
Why are so many truckers depressed and anxious?
Well, the amount of time that truck drivers spend isolated in their truck away from their friends and family is a huge contributor to depression. Also, truck driving is not an easy job. It requires a lot of emotional and mental strength. The stress from truck driving, especially for new drivers, is one of the main reasons truck drivers have anxiety.
Another reason truck drivers are depressed and/or anxious is that they are more likely to not receive the proper care to treat their mental health issues.
Studies show that men are far less likely to seek help for their mental health struggles than women, and with men holding over 90% of trucking jobs, this is why mental health is such a serious issue in the trucking industry.
Drivers also fear losing their medical certificate, which would result in losing their job, if they seek help for their mental health struggles. The FMCSA has medical requirements in place to ensure that all drivers can safely operate a heavy-duty vehicle.
These medical requirements are not only to ensure you are physically capable but also mentally capable.
Tips for struggling with mental health
If you feel like you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health-related issue, here are some tips to follow that can boost your mood.
- Stay in touch with your loved ones
- Find a new hobby
- Get enough sleep
- Eat healthily
As stated above, many drivers today are suffering from mental health issues. If you feel that you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other mental health-related issue, we encourage you to take the necessary steps needed to be happy and healthy.