Most of our lives are a mix of good and bad. We have days where we feel our best and days where we feel our worst. And we have bad spells where sadness can last for an extended period of time. However, truckers in particular might notice themselves feeling down for weeks. This isn’t just sadness, it’s clinical depression. And it’s something which truck drivers are especially prone to. The duration of these emotions are one of the main symptoms which differentiate depression from sadness or blues. Some people also experience mood swings, loss of sleep, lack of interest in formally enjoyable subjects and a continual feeling of lethargy. There are steps which can truckers overcome depression.
1. Be alert for the symptoms of depression
One should take note of the previously mentioned symptoms of depression. It’s also important to note that others might note them before one personally becomes aware of the fact. Multiple people asking if one is feeling OK should make someone pause to consider whether he’s feeling depressed.
At this point one can often fight back depression by just taking a moment to really confront it. This can sometimes be done by listening to mental health related podcasts, planning for the future and just trying to stay ahead of the symptoms.
2. Try to avoid escalation
Many people simply try to fix depression by ignoring it. These people hope that by ignoring the problem that it’ll simply go away. If it doesn’t, they tend to turn to artificial escapes which usually make the problem even worse. It’s important that truckers understand that ignoring depression simply gives it room to grow and escalate.
3. Stay healthy in body and mind
Once one has started to make progress it’s important to keep up with it. Depression isn’t something that just goes away. In many ways one needs to treat mental health the same as physical health. Truckers can take time for physical exercise while on the road. And this will also help improve symptoms of depression. But they should also make time to work with their mental health as well.
Keep in mind that times are changing
There was a time when mental health issues were stigmatized. But today most people understand that mental health issues are a concern of humanity in general. Everyone has mental and physical issues to deal with. Likewise, nobody is immune to either atrophying when ignored. It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of depression. Not just in oneself, but others as well. And if one sees those signs it’s just as important to be comfortable talking about it.