Traveling With Depression: The Strategies That Help Me Make the Most of Every Trip

It was day three of our bucket list trip to the Red City Marrakesh. Since stepping down A Red eye, restless, sleeplessMy senses were overwhelmed by the incredible heat radiating from the mud walls and the chaotic crowds with vendors shouting at me in the city. I looked at my husband, struggling to put on my shoes to leave the room, and the tears started flowing as I cried, “I’m so tired. I don’t want to do this tour; I just want to go back to bed.” Internally, the exhausted and depressed part of me was fighting the part that was still thrilled to be in this city I had dreamed of traveling to for the better part of a decade. That part of me didn’t want to miss anything, which made managing emotions even more difficult.

This is what traveling feels like instinctively – stressors and things outside your comfort zone that throw you for a loop. However, those with major depressive disorder (also referred to as MDD or depression) are arguably more seriously affected by it.

“Depression affects every aspect of life,” says Dr. Therese Mascardo, a licensed clinical psychologist and CEO and founder of Physicians. Explore treatment. “One of the most challenging aspects of depression is that at any given time, symptoms can range from mild discomforts such as low energy or self-critical thoughts to completely debilitating, where the person cannot get out of bed or has suicidal thoughts.”

“Travel will inevitably involve a level of stress and unpredictability, but taking steps to reduce this can make the situation more manageable,” says Dr. Mascardo. As someone with depression, I’ve found that taking these steps makes it more fun, too.

Her biggest piece of advice is to give yourself permission to be sassy Pack everything you might needEven if it means… Check the bag. It’s hard to find things on the go, especially if you’re dealing with limited resources and mental health issues. She urges travelers to ask themselves: “What can I pack to set my future self up for success?” Focusing on four main areas: sleep, emotional support, immune support and movement.

For a long time, especially after my diagnosis, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to experience the glimmer of the world the way others can. However, over time, I realized that my depression was the reason why I felt and experienced a place so deeply; Honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. With the right advice, tools and support system – as well as therapy and medication – I can fully enjoy travel; Here’s what I found most helpful, as well as Dr. Mascardo’s tips that can be applied to other travelers with depression.

My best tips for traveling with depression:

Prioritize your sleep habits

According to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), There is a duality to sleep struggles for those with depression – it can manifest as insomnia or oversleeping.

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