Episode 27: Packing, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Mellinda Cromeens, tells the story of her depression, and how medication and her love of dance helped her be able to find acceptance and a sense of wellbeing: Sunday, May 29, 2016
“I get ideas about what is essential when packing my suitcase.” -Diane von Furstenberg
Traveling With Depression: What to Expect
Travel, according to Philip Muskin, MD, can affect people in different ways. Muskin is a professor of clinical psychiatry and chief of consultation-liaison psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He tells WebMD, “On one hand, being in a fresh setting may be very beneficial. You’re in a new location, on vacation, and you don’t need to get up at 6 in the morning for the daily commute. In this fresh environment, stressors are reduced, and you feel a heck of a lot better without the pressures that the holiday blues have been magnifying.”
On the other hand, Muskin says, travel is far more stressful than it used to be. “We like to think of it as over the river and through the woods,” he says. “But it’s not. It’s more like eight hours in traffic on the Jersey turnpike or long, seemingly endless lines in the airport.” He points out that there are fewer, more crowded flights and far more airport congestion now than in the past.
“Travel can be very stressful,” he says, “and if you’re depressed, your frustration tolerance doesn’t have that roll-with-the-punches resiliency.” As a result, when something happens like your flight getting delayed, you are less likely to tell yourself, “It’s no big deal.”
“Preparation is essential any time you travel,” says Helen Grusd, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Beverly Hills, Calif. and past president of the LA County Psychological Association. “Preparation is your best inoculation against stress.”
The preparation Grusd is talking about isn’t deciding what clothes you are going to take. “You need to prepare yourself emotionally. How are you going to empower yourself?”
Yeah, how am I going to empower myself?
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” –Gustave Flaubert