Starting A Truck Career With Anxiety?

Topic 19090 | Page 1

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Thentair B.'s Comment
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hey all... I'm suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and my doctor wants me to put me on effexor but the problem is that if he puts me on that drug I can forget about trucks. I am not sure what to do... I've heard that driving on that stuff is against the law... true? is here someone else with anxiety and still on a truck? what you do to deal with your anxiety and still work? please?

Kammy R.'s Comment
member avatar

In the FMCSR, section 391.41 ( b) (9) it said anxiety is a possible reason for medical disqualification. I'm not sure you would even qualify for a medical card to drive. You should discuss this with a certified doctor. By that, I mean a doctor certified to do a cdl physical. Good luck! I wish you the best.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Blake W.'s Comment
member avatar

Might as well ask your doctor if there's a better alternative. Best of luck.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

In the FMCSR, section 391.41 ( b) (9) it said anxiety is a possible reason for medical disqualification. I'm not sure you would even qualify for a medical card to drive. You should discuss this with a certified doctor. By that, I mean a doctor certified to do a cdl physical. Good luck! I wish you the best.

Anxiety on it's own, untreated, could be a reason for disqualification - though not necessarily. Plenty of folks that have psych issues that are well managed by approved drugs, are working in the industry.

Properly treated, with a non-disqualifying med (and this may VARY FROM COMPANY TO COMPANY), shouldn't be an issue. The ISSUE IS, finding out from the company exactly which meds aren't allowed. It is STILL AT THE COMPANIES DISCRETION, for meds that aren't prohibited outright, whether or not to approve you to drive. Just because you are on a med and CAN GET A DOT MEDICAL CARD, doesn't necessarily mean the company will accept a particular medication for their drivers (insurance/liability issue).

Effexor is NOT A DISQUALIFYING MED for a DOT Physical - but may well be unacceptable for a company. We've seen many instances here, where a med is OK by DOT - but not by the COMPANY. Companies themselves WILL NOT DISCLOSE what meds they won't take over the phone - fear of being SUED FOR DISCRIMINATION. One enterprising member here, actually found out from the company where they did their physicals, then CALLED THEM and found out the med he was on wasn't acceptable, got OFF THE MED (and onto one that WAS), waited 30 days and then went into orientation (and physical).

At WORST - if the med you are on isn't a GO for the company, they will send you home and have you come back after 30 days of being OFF IT, to re-take the physical. Better to know AHEAD OF TIME (if possible) and save the trip home.

Typically, psych meds are "supposed to have" a statement FROM THE TREATING PSYCHIATRIST (not just a plain old GP), stating that the condition is being controlled well by the medication, that you are tolerating the medication well (as in, side effects - ALL OF WHICH for anti-anxiety are DROWSINESS), and that you are safe to operate a CMV.

More info on DOT Physicals from a DOT Doc that contributes here sometimes: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/preparing-your-dot-medical-exam-dr-michael-tigges

Best of luck, keep us posted...

Rick

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Seppo's Comment
member avatar

I actually just saw my doctor regarding this very issue last week. I've been on anti-depression medication for two and a half years now, including the entire time I've been driving. Wanted to address my anxiety as well, so I started taking Propranolol a few days ago. He was also concerned that my blood pressure was a bit on the high side, and the medication will address that as well. He's actually the doctor who did my initial DOT physical a couple years back, so I specifically asked if I'd be OK to take the med while driving a truck and he said it would not be a problem. I am currently between jobs, however, so we'll see what the new one says when I sign on.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Ryan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Back two years ago, I was on drugs for depression and anxiety. I had my doctor write a note that said I was safe to drive, and the possible drowsy side effects from the drugs I was taking didn't apply to me. I also called around asking recruiters if it mattered, and they didn't seem to think it did. A note from your doctor that oks you driving on the drugs is pretty important, I believe.

Thing is, if you have a lot of anxiety issues, learning to drive a truck is going to overwhelm you unless you have some sort of uncanny natural ability. If you're prone to panic attacks or anything like that, it's just a terrible idea to be driving such a deadly vehicle around. My anxiety is more of a social nature, but I still got so tense being thrown around in a truck with other new drivers, I couldn't even turn my head for a while.

Ryan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you tried hypnosis/meditation? https://www.liberationinmind.com/anxiety/

Seppo's Comment
member avatar

Thing is, if you have a lot of anxiety issues, learning to drive a truck is going to overwhelm you unless you have some sort of uncanny natural ability.

This is an incredibly broad statement to make, and part of the prevailing attitude that can make it difficult for a driver successfully treating anxiety issues to get on the road. Everyone's situation is completely different, and not everyone with anxiety suffers panic attacks. You said yourself that your anxiety is more social in nature. Mine is as well, and that hasn't stopped me from beginning a career driving a truck. As a matter of fact, I got into this line of work specifically because my issues made it difficult for me to function in a more "normal" workplace environment. I used to be in TV production and media, and have found that driving a 40 ton building on wheels and being directly responsible for the safety of thousands of people on the road around me every day is a MUCH less stressful way for me personally to make a living. I respect your opinion on the matter, but please try not to make assumptions that others might find discouraging. It's up to medical professionals to look at each situation on a case by case basis.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Hey Seppo, Ryan is actually trying to make a helpful post. His broad statement is still years ahead of his original postings. Good job Ryan for attempting to change your stripes.

Ryan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Seppo,

I didn't even imply that everyone that has anxiety issues suffers from panic attacks. I was just throwing out an example of something that can be a symptom to GAD that makes deciding to become a truck driver a very bad idea. Only Thentair knows if that hits him or it doesn't, and I'm not even pretending it does. It's not just up to medical professionals to make the decision on a case by case basis. Have you ever noticed how going to a different doctor always results in a different diagnosis, with vastly different ideas about treatment? It's also up to Thentair, and he has to be introspective and honest to himself. Because he most certainly will find a doctor that will gladly say it's ok, whether it's true or it isn't.

My current doctor is terrible, and even if he disagrees with me, he'll still give me an rx, while telling me he thinks it's a bad idea. I don't care what he thinks. I only made him my doctor because he was the only doctor that was easy to visit in my area. I could share some hilarious stories about how bad he is, but that's getting a bit too sidetracked. I used to have a doctor I respected, but I lost them when I moved, and I'll get a better doctor when I get better insurance. Anyway, my point is that such a doctor will say pretty much whatever you want them to, and they generally won't understand trucking any better than the average truck driver understands medicine. My doctor was actually disappointed I was becoming a truck driver because they felt it was below me - jokes on them, I failed at the dmv thus far. :)

Patrick,

Nothing about me has changed. My motivation for posting originally was from being provoked by a certain topic I still hold the same convictions over. Infact, the last time I touched the topic, I managed to be even more insulting than usual... to the point I actually felt kind of bad afterwards, and I don't look at the thread anymore because I don't want to say anything worse for now.

It's just that now that I'm paying attention to the forum, you're seeing aspects of me that are a little less at odds with the majority. Part of me likes you, and another part of me is more repulsed by you than you can ever imagine, and probably not for reasons you would ever guess. I have to avoid articulating these details since you remain civil with me. :P

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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