Travelling / Taking a break from life as a way of treating depression
Replies: 30 - Last Post: Oct 24, 2012 5:25 PM Last Post By: Cosmicool
Jun 28, 2012 1:34 PM
Jul 6, 2012 3:32 PM
16@Paanwallah: OK, I'm pretty sure my depression is mostly circumstantial, and to help better illustrate, these are the things troubling me:
- I got bullied a lot at school, which really kicked at my self esteem
- I found my A Levels very difficult and did badly on them despite trying hard, so I couldn't go to uni
- I've applied to so many jobs but haven't been able to get one permanent full time job, which is really depressing me
- I've always been long term single and having a very hard time trying to get a boyfriend, which is depressing especially cos one of the things I used to be bullied about was how unattractive I was
- I don't have any close friends and I feel so lonely
- I have a feeling that the UK is too full of negative people and I'd like to get away from that for a while and surround myself with positive people
- I'm so bored of being at home right now and would love an adventure to liven me up
I was thinking a working holiday in Oz might be good cos not only do I get a job, I've always wanted to visit Oz anyway, I get a lovely adventure, might write about it to practise my writing skills, might meet some great new friends and even a boyfriend, and then just hope to come back home more refreshed. Plus, may as well take advantage of being single and young and free of responsibilities. Decent idea?
@kunmingirl: OK, where would you better suggest? I tried Google but didn't really get much answer.
Jul 6, 2012 10:15 PM
17Thats wht I say about slow, drifting, travel.
You can go back home a different person.
Why not go back home a little wiser than when you left.
That doesn't happen with tightly scheduled trip.
I also repeat ad nauseum on here,
"Don't ditch new friends (in your travels) too quick. They are our fun, teachers."
Jul 7, 2012 3:03 AM
18Cosmicool, I'm a 32 year old bloke, so you may or may not want to take this with a pinch of salt, but I'm really impressed. You've got some pretty poor circumstances and you want to take action to change them, and that's really good.
As I said before, travel is great for self esteem and confidence. Ideally yo might want to try a small trip first to see how you adapt to a new environment and interacting with new people (I know I would have found that very intimidating when I was younger). Moving half way across the world is a big step, but if you're confident that you can do it it would probably be a very good thing for you. if you make sure you have an open return ticket in your pocket (that bit is very important), the worst that can happen is that you end up having to come back home. But if the worst that can happen is that you end up back where you are, is that really so bad?
Take a good hard think about it and get all the advice you can get, but if you're motivated to change your circumstances like that, I think its brilliant.
Jul 7, 2012 6:58 AM
19The roughest part or maby second, is making reservations at a hostel, for your first coupla nights. The other one is plane with a gamble on the price. (they change all day long).
But the epiphany comes when you first screw up, on your trip. You want to sit on the curb and say,"Maybe I'm not cut out for this."
Then you pull up your sox and figure it out with help. Start with any hostel manager. Then chill and take step one.
Then the growth begins.
As we say in Houston AA,"Its an AFGO.Another frigging growth opportunity."
Jul 7, 2012 9:30 AM
Jul 7, 2012 10:40 AM
21I'm pretty sure my depression is mostly circumstantial
You said in the OP you had gone to a doctor several times. It wasn't useful for you but the doctor should have given you a diagnostic. If you have it (or if you remember it), you can know for sure if your depression is only dued to enviromental factors.
You want to change your current reality because you realize the current one isn't good for you. That's fine and a good idea but you have to think seriouly about the best way to make it successfully. It's difficult to provide advice without knowing the case but you should think in depth about the causes of your depression (each one of them) and if a trip (the idea you are considering to change your current reality) could change them. Some examples based on some of the info you provided:
I don't have any close friends and I feel so lonely
You have to think about the cause of it. Is it you? Is it other people? Is it a mix of both? Will you be able to make friends abroad? How could you make it? Why that way doesn't provide results in the UK? Why should it provide them abroad?...
then just hope to come back home more refreshed
Should you return to the UK? Why? Will your circunstances/enviroment in the UK change during your trip? Will you improve (or acquire) during your trip your habilities to deal with circunstances like those that are depressing you? What habilities would you need to deal with those circunstances? How can you achieve them when traveling? What could you do to make sure you really achieved them; i.e.: to make sure you'll be able to use them in a less favourable enviroment?...
Jul 7, 2012 10:43 AM
22You may start with a personal must see..That gives you a sort of trip theme. Piece of history. or ar era. Or furniture design like Bauhaus etc.
Then just digress and see what happens, as you learn more about the world.
In any case have a great growin' trip. Take your time.
Ask others, in hostels, why they chose their outfit.
Open jaw ticket evades expensive backtracking.
Jul 7, 2012 11:02 AM
Jul 8, 2012 11:30 AM
24[i]I don't have any close friends and I feel so lonely
You have to think about the cause of it. Is it you? Is it other people? Is it a mix of both? Will you be able to make friends abroad? How could you make it? Why that way doesn't provide results in the UK? Why should it provide them abroad?...[/i]
I think it's a bit of both. I happened to meet a bunch of people who I just didn't quite gel with very closely to stay good friends with them. Maybe going to a whole new environment will enable to turn over a new leaf and pretend I'm a different person in order to make it easier to make new friends. After all, people say the same thing about going to uni, but I'm just trying to find an alternative to that.
[i]then just hope to come back home more refreshed
Should you return to the UK? Why? Will your circunstances/enviroment in the UK change during your trip? Will you improve (or acquire) during your trip your habilities to deal with circunstances like those that are depressing you? What habilities would you need to deal with those circunstances? How can you achieve them when traveling? What could you do to make sure y[/i]
Well, for one, hopefully the job market in the UK would at least be a lil better. Not much point spending so many possible years depressed and unemployed in my home town when I may as well just go out there into the world for an adventure.
Travelling might give me a new outlook on life, I might even have better time to think about what I want from life in a happy environment, so that when I come back I can at least better put that into action. Though, maybe it could end up that I don't return home, that I emigrate instead, which is also fine if it's for the greater good.
Edited by: Cosmicool
Jul 8, 2012 11:36 AM
Jul 8, 2012 2:33 PM
26@Cosmicool (#24): You didn't need to answer in the forum the questions I made in #21. They were only some examples of things you should think about before deciding if a trip could be good for your depression. In any case (either if you decide to make that trip or not), I hope to read here (in TT) in an as nearby as possible future that you are happier and you don't feel depressed.
Sep 27, 2012 2:28 PM
27I'm a late comer to this discussion but thought I'd add my experience.
I'm just back in New York City from traveling in Asia for the last 12 months. Originally I had hoped to travel for 6 months but was fortunate enough to be able to travel in China and almost all of Southeast Asia for the last year.
I didn't chose to travel as a means of addressing depression but I had experienced a sustained period of depression prior to my journey abroad. One of the things that helped me up and out of my depression was realizing that I could do something that I always wanted to do -- travel. The trip wasn't to treat depression or avoid issues, it was a journey, an adventure. Many may think that if you experience a sustained depression you must be "running away" if shortly after it subsides you go abroad but I can say that is not necessarily the case. First, I worked in mental health services for the last 15 years so I have some insight into depression, the treatment of depression and helping others live with their depression. Second, I went into therapy prior to leaving and was cautious about embarking on my journey. Everyone I spoke to, the therapist, my family and my friends, all encouraged me to take this leap of faith. It was well thought out, planned and had proper preparation.
I would say, "to thine own self be true." I am not religious but the quote seems fitting. Search your soul, think it through, talk with those that know you and don't fear no matter the decision. Worst case scenario is you can always return home. If you have clinical depression there are great articles online that address traveling with the condition. If, like me, you had situational depression, my experience is that travel can be both a result of your recovery and an aid to your recovery.
There are some really simple facts about extended travel that help with depression. It is usually something someone chooses to do out of desire and passion. Engaging in passions and things that bring as sense of purpose and joy are important ways to speed and sustain recovery from depression. Life on the road calls for discipline, routine and regular attention to your daily life needs. All these also speed and aid recovery from depression. When you travel abroad you meet, interact and become friends with locals and other travelers. Regular social contact with those with shared interests is yet another proven means of aiding recovery from depression. A life of travel is an active life, up, out and about. Doing and experiencing. An active life is one more approach to successfully dealing with depression. I can continue on but as you can see, travel actually has many facets that help with depression. That isn't to ignore possible pitfalls like loneliness, feeling alienated, and separation from important supports to name a few. However, those pitfalls exist at home as well as abroad.
Whether you have clinical or situational depression the most important fact is you find ways to LIVE. The day and age of fear around a history of depression should be long gone being that empirical data tells us that it need not limit life's options. The real issue is dealing with fear, ignorance, and stigmatization.
By the way. I had the most amazing time during the last year. I've seen wonderful sights, eaten unforgettable foods, met and made friends with truly special people, and had the time of my life. I had no issues with depression during the trip, to the contrary it was simply a great adventure. Can't wait for my next trip.
I would say the question is not whether you travel but when is the time for you to travel and only you know the answer to that, depression or no depression.
Always enough the journey, here, there and everywhere.
Oct 3, 2012 6:31 AM
Oct 24, 2012 7:57 AM
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