I think I need short term disability leave for mental health

em1984

Active Member
Hi everyone, basically I'm a local truck driver and I work nights. Sometimes I work only 8 hours and other times I work the whole 14 almost. I have always had problems sleeping but lately they are out of control. I have had to call out several times due to being too tired to safely deliver a load. Recently I started seeing a psychiatrist. I have been diagnosed with sleep shift disorder, insomnia, OCD, anxiety and depression. Due to recent events in my life all of those problems and sleeping problems have gotten much worse. I have been with this company for 2 years and it's a major company. I have always been a good employee until the past few months. I want to be honest with them but fear I will lose my job. I have been searching for a job during daytime hours but none of them pay anything close to what I make now. I have been trucking for 3 years now and think maybe I should just get out of it. Ever since I started my health in general has just gotten worse and worse. I'm only 30 and have all these problems. Will I get fired if I admit mental health problems or take a short term disability leave to get treated? If I even qualify for a short term disability leave I'm not sure if I would or not.
 

Rigjockey

I am don't know.
Supporter
Don't say anything about this to your company. Go see your Doctor, If your Doctor thinks you need time off they will issue you a note. There is nothing your company can do about it but give you the time off. The company is not allowed to ask what is wrong with you. Just tell you company you want to keep it private.
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
Yep. What rigjockey said.

They hear "insomnia" and they think "OMG OMG OMG HE'S GONNA FALL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL & TAKE OUT A SCHOOL BUS FULL OF KIDS" and they'll find any excuse to fire you, like you forgot to write the trailer number on a paper log from 3 months ago.

If they hear "depression" they think "OMG OMG OMG HE'S A TICKING TIME BOMB! HE'S GONNA DRIVE THE TRUCK OFF A CLIFF & WE'LL HAVE A BIG CARGO CLAIM".

Depression is diagnosed way too often. I'd bet only 10% of the people diagnosed with depression are actually depressed. Actually most of the stuff you listed is a quack diagnosis (pun intended) to appease the prescription drug companies who will kidnap the shrinks & force them to work as a slave in the prozac mines if they don't write that prescription.

Before going to a doctor who might also be a slave to the drug companies, I'd take a look at a few other things like what else could be causing insomnia. Like if you've been smoking a lot more than usual in the past few months, compensating for fatique with large amounts of coffee too late in the day (night) or eating foods with large amounts of salt like Beefaroni & stuff.

Another thing you oughta try is since you're probably sleeping (or trying to sleep) at home in the daytime, try blocking out all of the light in the bedroom if you can. It's not really a "too much light" thing, it's just the simple fact that even with regular blinds pulled you can still tell that it's daytime. It's a subconscious psychological thing.

I'd get a material that's totally opaque such as the cheap vinyl (fake leather) they used for Japanese car seats in the 1980's & use a staple-gun to staple it to the trim around the windows on the inside. You'll fill the wood trim full of little holes but whatever, .. your ability to do your job is more important than the cost of a little jar of wood filler & some stain if you had to fix them.

You can get that vinyl fake leather stuff at fabric stores. When I was 14 I had a dirt-bike & it's seat was falling apart. The cushion stuff was ok but the vinyl was falling apart. I took the seat off & noticed that the rice factory in Japan had simply stapled the vinyl through the plastic on the bottom of the seat so I asked my mom where to get new vinyl & she took me to a fabric store & I got about a square yard of it & made a new seat cover. (Don't worry - as long as you don't stop & check out all the purty pink silks with the flowers & the hearts all over it, you can walk through a fabric store without having to forfeit your man card.)
 

Rigjockey

I am don't know.
Supporter
Get to the doctor ASAP! Most likely they will give you the time off while they give you some small dose of med. The time off is allow the mads to take effect and see how you will react to them. During that time you can do like @Duck says and look toward more natural solutions. Like cutting out salt and caffeine and regular bed times. Blocking the light is a good idea. I have a neighbor that put up that solar looking insulation in his windows. Block out all light.

If you find something that works and do not need the meds, You doctor will not be insulted. They will just be happy you found a solution.
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
The dox might prescribe meds that we're not allowed to have in our system. Clonopin or Xanax for example. If the company gets suspicious they can send you for a "random" drug test. Even if it's prescribed they don't care, they'll treat it no differently than if you had weed in your system.
 

Rigjockey

I am don't know.
Supporter
The dox might prescribe meds that we're not allowed to have in our system. Clonopin or Xanax for example. If the company gets suspicious they can send you for a "random" drug test. Even if it's prescribed they don't care, they'll treat it no differently than if you had weed in your system.
Well then you got to tell the doc you a driver subject to random tests. They cant make you take a **** test when you are absent due to illness.
 

em1984

Active Member
Thanks y'all. I have a appointment the day after tomorrow. I'm worried because I have my longest run tomorrow night and I had to call out for it last week due to lack of sleep. They send me in a day cab and it's about 5 hours each way. With getting unloaded and everything it's really stretching the 14. There is not really time to stop for a nap. I imagine there is a good chance the Doctor is going to shut me down for a little bit until this stuff is under control. If I had a regular job it would be different. If I do get shut down I'm going to do everything I can to find a job that is not at night and preferably not in trucking.
 

Rigjockey

I am don't know.
Supporter
Yes a person that is going through a tough time does not deserve the right to defend themselves. Their home or Family. According to the powers that be.
 

8978

** Commie Express **
Supporter
I was told by my police friend a long time ago never to tell a doctor you own a gun. That info gets passed around to any other doctor you see.
 

krelithous

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Yep. What rigjockey said.

They hear "insomnia" and they think "OMG OMG OMG HE'S GONNA FALL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL & TAKE OUT A SCHOOL BUS FULL OF KIDS" and they'll find any excuse to fire you, like you forgot to write the trailer number on a paper log from 3 months ago.

If they hear "depression" they think "OMG OMG OMG HE'S A TICKING TIME BOMB! HE'S GONNA DRIVE THE TRUCK OFF A CLIFF & WE'LL HAVE A BIG CARGO CLAIM".

Depression is diagnosed way too often. I'd bet only 10% of the people diagnosed with depression are actually depressed. Actually most of the stuff you listed is a quack diagnosis (pun intended) to appease the prescription drug companies who will kidnap the shrinks & force them to work as a slave in the prozac mines if they don't write that prescription.

Before going to a doctor who might also be a slave to the drug companies, I'd take a look at a few other things like what else could be causing insomnia. Like if you've been smoking a lot more than usual in the past few months, compensating for fatique with large amounts of coffee too late in the day (night) or eating foods with large amounts of salt like Beefaroni & stuff.

Another thing you oughta try is since you're probably sleeping (or trying to sleep) at home in the daytime, try blocking out all of the light in the bedroom if you can. It's not really a "too much light" thing, it's just the simple fact that even with regular blinds pulled you can still tell that it's daytime. It's a subconscious psychological thing.

I'd get a material that's totally opaque such as the cheap vinyl (fake leather) they used for Japanese car seats in the 1980's & use a staple-gun to staple it to the trim around the windows on the inside. You'll fill the wood trim full of little holes but whatever, .. your ability to do your job is more important than the cost of a little jar of wood filler & some stain if you had to fix them.

You can get that vinyl fake leather stuff at fabric stores. When I was 14 I had a dirt-bike & it's seat was falling apart. The cushion stuff was ok but the vinyl was falling apart. I took the seat off & noticed that the rice factory in Japan had simply stapled the vinyl through the plastic on the bottom of the seat so I asked my mom where to get new vinyl & she took me to a fabric store & I got about a square yard of it & made a new seat cover. (Don't worry - as long as you don't stop & check out all the purty pink silks with the flowers & the hearts all over it, you can walk through a fabric store without having to forfeit your man card.)
INSURANCE WON'T ALLOW HIM TO DRIVE will be the companies excuse!!
 

DrDaliah

Well-Known Member
Supporter
You guys hit it on the head on so many levels. Here is what I recommend first. DO NOT GIVE YOURSELF A DIAGNOSIS. Many people do not have "depression" or "anxiety" but think they do because they read up on the symptoms. If you label yourself before you walk into the doctor, many of us docs (I love dox......I'm going to use it) are forced to inquire about suicide, homicide, guns etc. But if you tell the truth about what's going on, you feel sleep deprived, have difficulty concentrating, dealing with a lot on your plate, dry spell with the babes, money issues, TIVO not working, cat crapped in the living room, etc, you may be actually a healthy adult dealing with a lot of crap and need some time off. And if you do have the criteria for depression, then let the doctor treat you and ask for a therapist in the mix so you have a few options of treatment. And if you do leave the Trucking field to find something where you will be happier, let me just warn you that healthcare will be a huge disappointment. :)
 

em1984

Active Member
Thanks for the reply Dr. Daliah. Unfortunately, I am diagnosed with all of the stuff I mentioned. I did not self diagnose. I went to the doctor yesterday and it was not very helpful at all. They prescribed me trazodone to help me sleep and from what I've heard from other people that is going to mess me up to bad to wake up and drive safely. I have to find a job where I can sleep at night instead of driving at night. As far as health care if I left trucking, I actually had to buy my own health coverage because the coverage my company offers is complete garbage. It's a major company I work for too.
 

Rigjockey

I am don't know.
Supporter
Thanks for the reply Dr. Daliah. Unfortunately, I am diagnosed with all of the stuff I mentioned. I did not self diagnose. I went to the doctor yesterday and it was not very helpful at all. They prescribed me trazodone to help me sleep and from what I've heard from other people that is going to mess me up to bad to wake up and drive safely. I have to find a job where I can sleep at night instead of driving at night. As far as health care if I left trucking, I actually had to buy my own health coverage because the coverage my company offers is complete garbage. It's a major company I work for too.
How do you know that? I know people that take trazodone and it helps them sleep. Sure it takes a bit to shake out you head in the morning and be ready to roll!
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
How do you know that? I know people that take trazodone and it helps them sleep. Sure it takes a bit to shake out you head in the morning and be ready to roll!
1 Unisom does nothing to me. 2 will put me to sleep only if I go straight to bed right away & don't watch 3 pre-recorded episodes of The Simpsons first. But it takes about 6 hours of coffee drinking to counter the effects in the morning.

So I take one Unisom & one melatonin. Works ok most of the time. Unless whatever it is I have to do in the morning is important, then it won't work.

It's that Murphy's Law thing. We need to impeach him.
 

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