Farmers – the Unspoken Depression
Did you know that on average over one farmer commits suicide every week? Depression in farming is becoming a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Because of the intense and unpredictable work, workplace isolation and the worrying financial problems that can occur, farm work should not be regarded without concern. These various factors can profoundly impact mental health, and if left untreated, it can lead people into a deep depression that can have fatal consequences.
Read on to learn more about how farmers, and perhaps yourself, can suffer from depression as well as how seeking counselling can help you to improve your mindset and make more social connections that can bring you out of the depths of depression and towards a better, brighter future.
Damaging Issues like Weather and Disease
Farming can be unpredictable, and regardless of how farmers may try to prepare and prevent issues from weather and animal diseases, sometimes they are simply unlucky, and one or both incidents can happen to their farms. Issues like bad weather or disease can cause a hiccup in their production, leading to a loss of earnings over time. Worrying over money, their minds can be working on overdrive – thinking about how there are going to make that money back and try to prevent this from happening again. The disease can even lead to a loss of animals, meaning they have a long road of financial recovery ahead. With all of these concerns dominating their mind and time, it is no surprise that they can face mental health issues like anxiety and depression, leading to physical symptoms like insomnia and fatigue which would only impact their work even more.
One of the most significant reasons farmers can develop depression is due to the immense amount of isolation they can feel on the farm. Depending on the farm, its size and other various factors, often a farmer can be working alone for considerable periods or with only a handful of people. This lack of social connections can make farmers feel very lonely, leading to depressive feelings and thoughts. With no one to ease their loneliness or support their mental health recovery, they can spiral further into depression, making it much harder for them to see a way out.
Lack of Respite from Work
Farming isn’t an easy job. There are late nights and early mornings with near constant work throughout the day. Apart from the physical aspect of the job, you could be working on the marketing, selling, distribution, and branding of your business as well, making you feel both mentally and physically drained. This can be linked to workplace isolation, especially if you are handling all of the work on your own. It can be a considerable feat to undertake daily. The effects on mental health are easy to imagine: mental drainage along with the physical tiredness, as well as stress and concerns that you aren’t doing everything you need to do in a day or concerns that you can’t continue this job on your own. Soon enough, you could find yourself with constant anxiety about the job as well as the depression already settling in.
Seek Help Today
Don’t let issues like these cause you unwanted mental health concerns. Whether you are feeling isolated, overworked or anxious over issues that you can’t control, these are all symptoms that can be tackled with the right help. As a farmer, you might be cut off from the world, with no one to support your mental health journey. However, some counsellors these days can hold sessions over the phone or via Skype which allows them to carry out their sessions as usual and hold intimate, personal conversations with you in the safety of your own home. However travelling away from your farm for therapy may seem daunting especially with the huge workload, but leaving your comfort zone and getting away from your workload could actually help you. Taking a step away from the troubles you face daily and talking about them openly for an hour in a safe, new place can help to speed up your recovery.
The figures surrounding farmers suffering from depression keep rising, but don’t let yourself become another number in a statistic. By seeking help from a counsellor, you can gain expert advice and tips surrounding your concerns, emotions and thoughts as soon as possible. To learn more about my services as a therapist, contact me today.