Depression is one of the most popular problems of the 21st century. It can bring you down faster than an elevator in the biggest mall of Dubai and you won’t even realize what’s happening to you. Normally doctors recommend antidepressants and lots of pills that can fight against the episodes of depression which make your life impossible to live. But are there any other ways to cure depression? Can traveling be one of them? This question had me wondering for quite a while now.
For a couple of years I have been dealing with anxiety, panic attacks and bouts of depression. I’ve tried many remedies, from Xanax to teas and praying. Some have helped, others were a complete waste of time. So when I had to decide if I want to live abroad for a few months I was extremely ….”high.” I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I must admit I had a dose of recklessness for which I am completely thankful now. I couldn’t have done it without it.
Since then I have lived abroad three different times and I tried to overcome my fears every single time. Sometimes I succeeded, other times I had panic attacks in supermarkets and it’s still a nightmare for me go on a 20 minutes bus ride.
Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans
But I have also improved spectacularly in this time. I became more energetic, more grateful and more aware of the fact that life happens whether you want it or not. My need for control is still active but through traveling I learned that you cannot control life. Unspeakable things will happen and you will not be able to stop them. So you have to learn how to continue despite these things.
In an article published a couple of years ago Dr Steve Ilardi claims that “the brain mistakenly interprets the pain of depression as an infection. Thinking that isolation is needed, it sends messages to the sufferer to “crawl into a hole and wait for it all to go away”. This can be disastrous because what depressed people really need is the opposite: more human contact.”
And traveling does not only forces you to interact with people but it also teaches you how to appreciate what you have in life. It might sound like a cliche but there are people in the world who struggle to live from one day to another and still don’t manage to make it through. There are people who would love to be able to walk but can’t and there are others who wish to have more time to do the things that you don’t feel like doing.
I know depression. It drains you of energy and it kills any desire you might have to live. But try a different approach: think about the fact that depression will pass and you will get better. And when this happens you will regret not visiting the places you wanted to visit when you had the opportunity.
The world is beautiful and it will help you understand that you are very lucky for being alive and for your chance to experiment all this beauty. I wish you the strength to get over the bad things in your life! Have a blessed weekend!