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Thread: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

  1. #1
    I Am Rocking Now

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    Default PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    Drivers at Risk for Mental Illness? - All That's Trucking - TruckingInfo.com

    A fleet safety manager I interviewed once, talking about the problems with how the federal government doesn't take into account whose fault crashes are when rating motor carriers, told me about a recent incident where someone had committed suicide by leaping off an overpass into the path of one of his trucks.

    My first thought was how awful that must have been for the driver. But I admit I didn't think about the fact that he or she might actually develop post traumatic stress disorder.

    An article in The Atlantic, "PTSD in the Driver’s Seat," posted on its website this week, points out that PTSD and other mental issues can certainly arise from such an incident -- or even lesser crashes.

    "Around a third of the 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. will be involved in a serious road accident at some point during their careers," notes the article. "That’s a lot of people — more than a million — experiencing potentially severe job-related trauma."
    When Long-Haul Trucking Leads to Mental-Health Problems - The Atlantic

    Earlier this year, a truck driver known as “Maddog Trucker,” the owner of a popular trucking blog, took to his site to post some thoughts about road safety. This winter has been a particularly bad one for trucker wrecks, and Maddog was emotional:

    The sad reality some Truckers have witnessed, and live with, is the screams they hear every night in [their] nightmares. Those screams are from a young child much like your own, pulled from the wreckage beside her dead mother killed by an ignorant Trucker that couldn't stop in time and crashed. No freight is worth your life and regardless of any situation, it's not worth going home in a body bag.
    https://www.facebook.com/xti.php?xt=...cts=1459828045

    It's a scary topic often placed on the back burners of open discussion in an industry focused on the safety of the general motoring public. It's the cold reality that results in unforgettable traumatic events that seem to never fade from tortured thoughts. It's the faith to stay strong, stay focused, and complete the job against all odds even it means sacrificing our own mental and physical health. Truck Drivers are some of the most dedicated disrespected professionals that often prioritize work before family and leisure time.

    A fearful topic emerges through the smokescreen. A fearful topic that could possibly end a Truck Driver's career (depending on the diagnosis) marches forward to the front pages of the media. A recent article shared on Maddog Trucker Facebook page written by Anne Balay and Mona Shattell expresses concerns about the mental health of commercial drivers after witnessing traumatic events.
    Maddog has hit the whole damn thing on the head.

    Part of my retirement was brought on by my declining mental health. My wife, being a whole lot smarter than I, pushed be for some time before I figured it out. I am glad she did. In my case it was a double header of witnessing a bad crash caused by an extremely careless trucker as well as the constant exhaustion.

    These are excellent articles to read and well worth your time.
    Quad Box, fxstc07 and ABFwife like this.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    I have often told my husband I do not even want to know what he witnesses because he used to come home and tell me about every accident he had seen or every animal he hit. Me being the type of person that cannot get such images out of my mind, I cannot bare to hear about them either.

    The thing I think that has always worried me the most is how being a road driver affects his health. He has no work schedule being he is extra board for 10 years now. He has no regular sleep hours, no regular eating patterns. This has to take a tole on someones health! I and my daughter both have witnessed personality changes in him and his ability to communicate and his attention span are greatly changed. I don't know if it is job related but you absolutely have to wonder. And I totally believe that PTSD could occur after witnessing such a horrific accident.
    crazy, fxstc07 and 222lifer like this.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    Like Red mentioned, I too was affected by the job. The hours, lack of sleep and the constant thought of accidents. Many friends have told me I changed dramatically after I retired. My wife loves the change.
    It's a grueling and demanding job.
    I tell everyone the same thing now ... retire as soon as you possibly can, for your health and for your family.
    It's the best thing that can happen.
    crazy, ABFwife and 222lifer like this.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by fxstc07 View Post
    Like Red mentioned, I too was affected by the job. The hours, lack of sleep and the constant thought of accidents. Many friends have told me I changed dramatically after I retired. My wife loves the change.
    It's a grueling and demanding job.
    I tell everyone the same thing now ... retire as soon as you possibly can, for your health and for your family.
    It's the best thing that can happen.
    Unfortunately husband has several years to go before he can retire and he is not interested in learning a new trade and I don't think he could handle doing that anyway. I am not some well paid career woman as I took many years off to raise my daughter and have not even been able to get back into the secretarial field (which never paid me well anyway) so we just both have to deal with this.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by fxstc07 View Post
    Like Red mentioned, I too was affected by the job. The hours, lack of sleep and the constant thought of accidents. Many friends have told me I changed dramatically after I retired. My wife loves the change.
    It's a grueling and demanding job.
    I tell everyone the same thing now ... retire as soon as you possibly can, for your health and for your family.
    It's the best thing that can happen.
    Since I retired my blood pressure is down...Although I claim it is to eating correctly one does wonder how much the job was actually was the cause of it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazy View Post
    Since I retired my blood pressure is down...Although I claim it is to eating correctly one does wonder how much the job was actually was the cause of it.
    I hear ya. The last day I worked I was experiencing hot flashes ( don't laugh ) and some vision issues. I told the TM that I was going to the doctor. This was after a very heated exchange with a low life no nothing stupidvisor over my pay sheet that he wouldn't sign. I was about to blow up, in more ways then one. Anyway, my BP was high, very high. 180/100 and that was dangerous.
    I decided then I wasn't going back, unless I absolutely was forced. The doctor confirmed I needed a rest and everything else just fell into place.

    I know many can't do it, but I decided to learn to live on less. Money isn't everything. Of course I had my age and met the pension requirement.
    crazy likes this.

  7. #7
    I Am Rocking Now

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    Default Re: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    When I first started driving the first week I was out with an experienced guy and we witnessed what to this day the most horrific accident I have ever seen.. To this day I can still see it in my mind.. The other driver at the time actually said "Do not look at it" but dumb and young and I had to look anyway.. forever in my mind..
    ABFwife likes this.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: PTSD in the Drivers Seat?

    I have to say that as a wife of a driver, being husband had been on a set schedule for 8 years with the food service and only drove in NM, then going to ABF driving into several states and having this crazy lack of schedule, I dealt with super stress myself. I had to train myself to not think about him being out there because I literally could not sleep at nights worrying. The worry often starts to creep in now and I just have to think about other things to get my mind off of it. And this is exactly why I do not want to hear about the wrecks he sees, the animals he hits. Put that together with being the man and woman of the house and raising a daughter on my own up here in the wild country, well it is not easy being a trucker wife either, however I am at least not out there on the highway everyday driving for hours. I will be the first to admit I could not do it. If I thought I could, I would be doing it right now because it is the only thing besides nursing that pays a woman well.

 

 

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