The world of trucking is filled with many blessings such as a rewarding career, but trucking can also be dangerous for one’s mental health if it’s neglected. In this article we aim to help truckers of all kinds understand common mental health issues in the trucking world and how to overcome them.
* Please note that we are not licensed mental health professions and if you are facing a mental health emergency you should contact a licensed healthcare provider.
Common Mental Health Issues Truckers Face
Mental health is something that everyone struggles with and truckers are no different. Truckers tend to face similar challenges in their mental health, so it’s important to remember that you are not alone in this.
One of the first things that many truckers face on a daily basis is anxiety. Anxiety is a state of mind revolving around worry. Anxiety is a feeling that has no definite description as it varies from person to person. Anxiety is most commonly felt physically through symptoms such as chest pains, trembling and shortness of breath. Anxiety also comes with several mental-based symptoms such as the state of worry, fear, guilt, shame, sadness, emptiness and loneliness.
Again, please remember that each person is unique and what one may feel might completely differ from the other person’s feelings.
Another very common mental health issue truckers face is depression. Depression can be confused with anxiety and loneliness and while they may have the same traits they can mean different things for different people.
Truckers oftentimes face depression for a variety of reasons whether it’s missing family, stress from the job or even just the weather. Depression has no definitive reason for starting, and sometimes it may just start for no reason.
The most common mental health issue that truckers face is the feeling of being alone or feeling general loneliness. The reason that loneliness is so common in truckers is because 95% of the job is spent alone.
Loneliness typically contributes to both anxiety and depression and for many truckers it’s the primary reason many face both of these issues.
Why Truckers Mental Health Matters
Truckers are people with feelings and they’re all very valid feelings. A trucker’s mental health is no joke, and should not be dismissed. Truckers’ mental health is important because truckers are hero’s simply put. Truckers give us access to the things we use each and every day and mental health can make their lives much harder.
If you are a trucker facing mental health issues, please consider using one of the many resources available online for help such as an online therapy solution, or a free hotline.
Overcoming Mental Health in Truckers
Overcoming mental health issues for truckers, let alone anyone in general, is a tricky subject as it really does vary so much by the person. In this section however, we’ll take a look at the most common mental health issue which is loneliness and talk about how to overcome this feeling.
1. Stay Grounded
The first advice we can suggest based on research is to stay grounded in your life. This means that you should always remember who you are, where you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Being grounded and mindful in these moments can help bring clarity into your life and help you feel better about the situation.
2. Talk to Someone Over CB
It should go without saying that the feeling of loneliness is attributed to being alone, but when you leverage a CB radio and talk to other truckers, you may find that this feeling fades away as you build fun relationships with nearby truckers, or truckers around the world.
Talking to someone over a CB radio not only helps your loneliness through the feeling of not being alone, but it also helps ease anxiety and depression by offering a really healthy distraction.
3. Offload Stressful Tasks
The next advice we can offer is to offload any stressful tasks you may have such as back office work to a professional equipped to help. One such is us at OTR Solutions. Our dedicated operations team are on standby to help you with your daily office tasks such as accounts receivable, all the while offering cash flow solutions designed for carriers of all walks.
4. Build Financial Freedom
It’s certainly easier said than done. However, building a financial freedom plan can really help take away stress by giving you something to focus on with a positive reward.
One such way you can get started is by using a freight factoring company to gain access to quicker payments for invoices which can reduce the anxiety from non-paying customers. Essentially giving you the stability needed in these tough times.
You’ve Got This. You Are Not Alone.
You are valid and what you’re going through is temporary. Always remember that you are never alone and that someone else out there is facing something similar. Need extra support in your trucking ventures? Reach out to OTR Solutions and we’re glad to help you through the world of being an owner/operator/carrier.