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Author Topic: Anxiety when traveling  (Read 151 times)

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Offline Jmg218

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Anxiety when traveling
« on: July 07, 2014, 07:50:11 PM »
Hi, I'm a 23 year old male who has been suffering from GAD for the past 10 years, on various medications since then. The last time I went away from home (2 years ago on a ski trip about 1.5 hours away from home) I had a terrible panic attack, I may have messed up my medication in the time before going but am not totally sure if I did. I have not travelled since, and anytime a trip gets brought up amongst my friends I cannot go, and I get anxiety even thinking about it. When I travel with my parents I am fine, it is only my friends. I am so tired of missing out, and do not want to be like this for the rest of my life. I am seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist, and am currently on cymbalta twice daily. I need some other ways of helping, this is a crippling fear that I need to get over. Please Help Me!!!
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Anxiety when traveling
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 07:51:14 AM »
Hi,

Great that you came by the site . . . . I have a suggestion . . . it appears that you are fine traveling with parents but not without them . . . .have you and your psychiatrist explored the reasons why this might be? perhaps some other event in your life? In the meantime, here's a thought . . . .do you have a good buddy? one who knows about your anxiety and who you can trust? If so, what about just short mini-trips with him/her building up to something longer? For example: you and the buddy just go some place close by but go for a half day . . .then gradually extend the "trips" both in distance away and time spent away until you feel comfortable about being away for a longer period of time . . .this would be a gradual process but it may be one that would help desensitize you to be away from home base (i.e. parents) for longer periods of time.

You have come to a great forum because together we have had so many experiences and I am sure that others will provide you with additional super suggestions so please check back frequently . . . let us know how you are doing and thanks for coming by and sharing your experience . . .take care, kc
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Anxiety when traveling
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 10:40:51 AM »
kc has excellent suggestions. Mine is....well.....unpopular, maybe defeatist.

Travel has been a bane of my time on earth from the beginning. It followed me throughout my life outside the US, inside the US. In short, I detest it. So I'm a content armchair traveler, accept what I cannot change, and leave the travel to those who like it. Must everyone like it? Just a contrarian view.
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Offline Louve

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Re: Anxiety when traveling
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 06:55:25 PM »
Hey there,

I find this topic interesting because I had anxiety during a trip recently. I felt safe when traveling with my parents just like you, because I can totally go to them and tell them I'm having a panic attack or something related to anxiety. I travelled with a friend and told her about my anxiety too. It helped for a bit and stopped the panic attacks... but eventually the anxiety was stronger than my will to continue the trip.

I'm not too sure, it happened recently... but I think I know the two reasons why I got anxious about the trip. I think I just was blind about it but my mind reminded me of that with the panic attacks.

This is how I lowered my anxiety and stopped having panic attacks during the trip, in believing in these points:

- Every experience is different.
Maybe it didn't work on different occasions to travel with friends... that doesn't mean it is going to be the same next time. Think about it: every love relationship is different even though sometimes you think the next one is going to be the same. Same goes for every experience.
Anxiety make us worry about the future. But it is not the ability to predict future, otherwise this wouldn't be called a disorder but a gift from god lol :)

- You can consider that your anxiety is the representation of your mind when it disagrees with your actions.
When you have a panic attack, a big anxiety moment, your mind is ringing the alarm system. It's telling you you're putting yourself in danger or in an unpleasant situation... well, it's not all wrong. Your mind is talking with you in a way, and if you find what message it is trying to convey then you will relax a bit, your anxiety will lower.

- Accept what your mind really wants :
There may be something you're not fully aware of, that your mind is asking, but you behave on the opposite of it? Like maybe going on trips with a group of friends? Or going on trips with a group of friends that have habits you don't like to have to put up with for longer than a day? (I'm just giving example: drinking / getting wasted / having too many activities and no rest / being always together with no privacy...)

P.S. pardon english mistakes, english isn't my first language
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Anxiety when traveling
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 06:53:58 AM »
Hey, Tinam,

I think contrarian views are great . . . just illustrates that we are all different . . . . I do not particularly like to travel myself and people are astounded at it . . . part of it has to do with the fact that for many years I had to travel a great deal and, quite frankly, I hate being in line ups, in airports, dealing with cancelled flights, inclement weather and what not . . . . I much prefer to explore around home base . . . a good friend is simply astounded that I am not going to Europe, Latin America, Africa, etc. as she loves to travel and, I think, would live in airports if given the opportunity . . . . so, keep up with the contrarian views . . . . all voices should be heard :) Take care, kc
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Anxiety when traveling
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 08:32:49 AM »
Am sitting her smiling, kc, thanking you for your post. No doubt it is true that travel broadens us, can teach us much about the world, other people, other cultures, and can be enjoyable.

But if agoraphobia is lurking in us, a host of insecurities and worries, it is better to go easy on ourselves, avoid judgments, look for understanding and insights, as Louve suggests too.
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