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Mental Health

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States, with over 40 million adults affected. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a great resource to learn more about anxiety disorders, their symptoms, and how to go about receiving treatment.

Anxiety Symptoms from NAMI

  • Emotional Symptoms
    • Feelings of dread
    • Feeling tense or jumpy
    • Restlessness or irritability
    • Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
  • Physical Symptoms
    • Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
    • Sweating, tremors, and twitches
    • Headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
    • Upset stomach, frequent urination, or diarrhea

Types of Anxiety Disorders from NAMI

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder produces chronic, exaggerated worrying about everyday life.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder causes intense fear about social interaction, often driven by irrational worries about humiliation.
  • Panic Disorder: This is characterized by panic attacks and sudden feelings of terror sometimes striking repeatedly and without warning.
  • Phobias can cause someone to have powerful reactions of strong fear to certain places, events, or objects.

Causes of Anxiety from NAMI

  • Genetics
  • Environment

Treatment for Anxiety

If you are suffering from anxiety, speak to a mental health professional. They will be able to diagnosis and direct you toward the best recovery strategy.


Depression is a common and serious mental health disorder. It can affect how you feel, think, and handle activities. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) has provided a guide that covers the symptoms of depression, the risk factors, and even some treatments.

Symptoms of Depression by the NIH

If you have been suffering from some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease with treatment

Risk Factors of Depression by the NIH

  • Personal or family history of depression
  • Major life changes, trauma, or stress
  • Certain physical illnesses and medication

Treatment of Depression

If you feel that you are suffering from depression, speak to a mental health professional. They will be able to diagnose and direct you toward the best recovery strategy.


Living on the road can be both physically and mentally challenging. Being able to recognize and prevent burnout is one of the best ways to look after your mental health. Burnout is described as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a decreased sense of accomplishment. Below are the consequences, signs, and preventative measures for burnout.


  • Feeling tired often
  • Headaches, back pain, or muscle aches
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits
  • Self-doubt
  • Negative outlook
  • Feeling helpless
  • Isolation
  • Procrastination
  • Withdrawing from responsibilities


  • Sleep deprivation
  • Increased illness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of productivity
  • Loss of enjoyment

Preventative Measures

  • Learn how to self-reflect
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take up a hobby
  • Make time for family

For more tips on recognizing and preventing burnout, check out these suggestions from Eastern Washington University.

Coping With Loneliness

It's important to stay in touch with your loved ones, especially when you're traveling. Deal with your loneliness by:

  • Having a good support network of at least three people you can talk to if you are feeling stressed or lonely
  • Offering support to other drivers, both in your fleet and on the road
  • Keeping track of your mood and stress levels
  • Letting someone know if you are struggling

Fend off your loneliness by checking out these additional tips by Prime Inc.!

Another option to consider is adopting a shelter dog. Mutts4Trucks is a program aimed at pairing truck drivers with shelter dogs across the United States.


Having confidence in yourself is critical to help you set your mind and career up for success. If you struggle with self-confidence, you may need to un-do self-biases that you have about yourself. Here are some tips that you can try out if you tend to struggle with your self-confidence:

  • Read about self-confidence and self-love. Examples of books that focus on self-confidence are:
  • Visualize and plan your goals
  • Improve your self-talk — be kind to yourself
  • Step out of your comfort zone

Learn more about improving your self-confidence from the Reach Out website!

Stress Management

Relieving Stress

Loneliness, long work hours, and the demands and expectations of your trucking job can be stressful! To de-stress, try to engage in some of these activities:

  • Listening to podcasts, books, or music that you enjoy
  • Adjusting your position in your seat
  • Finding safe activities that you enjoy
  • Keeping in touch with your friends and family when on the road
  • Pulling over, for your safety and the safety of others, until you can de-stress

Enjoy reading or listening to audiobooks? Libby is a free app that allows you to access books, magazines, and audiobooks from your mobile devices! All you need is a library card for your local library, or any library you want to have access to, to download audiobooks or borrow books!

Another great way to de-stress is to do breathing exercises. One example of a breathing exercise would be:

  1. Focus on your breath and consciously slow it down and deepen it.
  2. Breathe into a SLOW count of about 4, filling your belly and lungs. Breathe out to a slow count of about four (Repeat several times).
  3. Continue breathing in this way and redirect your mind.

If you're interested in learning more about breathing and relaxation techniques, check out these tips fromHarvard Medical School.

Stress and Your Body

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. Small amounts of stress can be motivating, but large amounts can push you beyond your ability to cope. WebMD and the Mayo Clinic provide some great ways to help you manage stress in your life. Some ways to help manage stress are:

  • Exercise
  • Keeping a healthy diet
  • Sleep
  • Relaxation techniques such as:
    • Yoga
    • Meditation
    • Deep Breathing
    • Spending time with friends
    • Be mindful of your behavior by avoiding stressful situations and finding ways to relax
  • Aromatherapy

Learning to Relax

It's important to find time for yourself. Making time to relax helps to keep your mind and body healthy. Here are some ways to relax given to us by Healthline:

  • Write down your thoughts about your day
  • Make a list about what you're grateful for
  • Visualize your calm place
  • Connect to nature

Benefits of relaxing from WebMD:

  • Thinking more clearly and making better decisions
  • Power to resist future stressors
  • More positive outlook on life
  • A healthier body, more relaxed muscles, and reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of health issues, such as heart attacks

Risks of Not Relaxing Enough

  • Headaches and pain throughout body
  • Sleep problems
  • Forgetfulness and confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Appetite change
  • Social isolation
  • Increased use of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol
  • Crying spells and feelings of depression
  • Loss of interest in appearance
  • Increased irritability
  • Poor performance at work or in school

Mental Health Resources