Youâve been looking forward to your vacation for months â but a few days into your trip, you find yourself feeling tired and listless, without the energy or enthusiasm to go out and explore. You donât want to do anything, you donât want to interact with anyone, and it takes everything you have just to get out of bed. For people traveling with depression, this scenario might sound uncomfortably familiar.
If it does, youâre not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This includes plenty of travelers. âMental health issues are among the leading causes of ill health among travelers,â notes WHO, âand âpsychiatric emergencyâ is one of the most common medical reasons for air evacuation, along with injury and cardiovascular disease.â
If youâre struggling with depression, it doesnât necessarily mean that you canât travel, but you may need to take a little extra care and preparation to ensure that your trip goes smoothly. The following tips can help make traveling with depression a little easier.
Assess yourself honestly before traveling with depression
Before you book any flights, take stock of whether youâre really ready to leave home. âMake sure your depression is well controlled,â advises Dr. Sarah Kohl of TravelReadyMD. âTypically this means no medication changes or flare-ups within the last three months.â If you see a doctor or therapist for your depression, he or she can help you assess your fitness for travel.
Know your options
Mental health problems are not handled the same way in every country. âBe aware of how…