These behaviours range from lack of exercise, poor diets, alcohol abuse, abuse of drugs of addiction to the most destructive being suicide. The adoption of any of these behaviour patterns is indicative of less than ideal mental health.
A major issue for veterinarians is isolation . This arises from working alone; think of surgery or consulting with no peer interaction, unsociable work hours, weekends or after hours on call duty. There can be isolation at home when spouses have little or no interest in your work environment. The time commitment can interfere with extended family and contact with friends. The opportunity for sporting activities is also reduced for many. Stress also has the psychological impact of reducing communication skills thus reducing the desire to contact others and maintain relationships.
The result is a profession with one of the highest suicide rates in Australia. the Victorian Coroner reports a rate of 36 per 100,000 which equates to a veterinarian ending their life every three months.