Kako živeti s potovalno tesnobo

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No need to tell you again I suffer from travel anxiety related to physically moving away from home and being in an unfamiliar, uncomfortable place. The moment I wondered how to turn my blog into something different, I thought: I need to write about something I reaaally know. And that’s mental health. So in this post, I’ll talk about how it looks like living with an anxious mind. The fact is-it will never go away-I just have to learn how to walk with it hand in hand.

What is travel anxiety?

It’s a type of anxiety that occurs when thinking about traveling or actually traveling and includes symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, etc. It can occur while thinking about traveling, when flying or traveling by car, staying in an unfamiliar place, etc.
Although travel makes great stories and it should be a pleasant experience, this type of anxiety can do otherwise.

Why does it happen?

It can occur in the once unpleasant experience that causes trauma, for example, car accident-people can develop travel anxiety while traveling by car. There are about 60% of these cases. Other people’s experiences are also important: if they report negative experiences at a particular place, illness or eventual plane crash in a place, people can develop panic attacks or travel anxiety while traveling there. The third important factor is genetics. General anxiety disorder has a medium genetic risk (around 30%) and may be associated with separation in childhood, social phobia, and panic (source)

How to we feel it?

We can feel travel anxiety in a form before the actual travel. It can occur while planning a trip, thinking about the itinerary, buying airline tickets, thinking about packing and leaving home. Before the actual journey, we can feel travel anxiety as restlessness, insomnia, irritability, accelerated heartbeat, mild nausea. I fell it the exact way as described.
The most common type of travel anxiety is fear of flying. On the first flight, I experienced this fear myself, and it was the biggest one ever. It almost prevented me from leaving that day and it originated from all the stories I heard from others. The next flight was more pleasant and I can’t say I developed flight anxiety. The biggest problem for me is leaving home (and this way comfortable) environment. It starts with before mentioned symptoms and continues with severe nausea and vomiting, tingling in the knees, indigestion, and headache.

So what’s living with travel anxiety like?

Quite difficult when it’s tied to any move from home (going grocery shopping, visiting friends, traveling with my parents to the sea,…). These cases are severe, so the appropriate psychological (and medical) therapy, support from the loved one and appropriate psychological education are most appropriate. To anyone interested in how I feel at that moment, I explain: “Try to imagine that you have such a strong homesickness you can’t get out of bed and you cannot conquer the day at all”.

Ever since I was in the dark anxiety tunnel, I have managed to :
– attend therapy sessions once a week, where I learn about grounding and mindfulness
– have a daily log of thought and anxiety progress
– talk with my friends about my exact problems and have them by side 10000%
– educate my parents, who weren’t really supportive at first because of the unawareness of the severity of the problem
– meditation strictly every day
– Being present (with the exercise: What I hear/see/smell/taste at least 5 times a day)
– reading and educating myself

So what’s really like to live with a travel-anxious mind?

– constantly canceling trips
– struggling with thoughts and tears and endless homesickness all the time
– canceling meetings with friends
– often disliking outdoor places with tons of people
– preferring to drive a car than being a co-driver
– packing and planning everything to the point
– fighting with the symptoms mentioned before.

That doesn’t mean I don’t travel. And it doesn’t mean I don’t love traveling. I adore it. The anxiety is just something that is packed inside me and it’s not wrong to have it. Or right. Does any of your experience travel anxiety? How do you manage to still go places?[:si]

Verjetno ne potrebujem na novo oznanjati, da imam potovalno tesnobo, vezano na premik od doma oz. biti v neznanem, “neudobnem” okolju. V trenutku, ko sem se vprašala, kako naj svoj blog končno obrnem na svoj mlin, sem pomislila: piši o tem, kar ti je znano. In to je duševno zdravje. Zato bom v tej objavi podrobno predstavila, kaj pomeni imeti potovalno tesnobo in kako to vpliva na moje življenje. Dejstvo je namreč, da nikoli ne bo izginila – naučiti se moram samo, kako jo zmanjšati do te mere, da lahko dejansko odidem na potovanje.

Kaj je potovalna tesnoba?

To je vrsta tesnobe, ki se pojavi ob misli na potovanje ali dejanskem potovanju in vključuje simptome, kot so hitro bitje srca, potenje, slabost, bruhanje, prebavne motnje, ipd. Pojavi se lahko ob premišljevanju na nek odhod, pri letenju ali potovanju v kakšnem drugem prevoznem sredstvu, bivanju v novem in neznanem okolju, ipd. Čeprav so potovanja smiselna za pozitivni duševni razvoj človeka, lahko ta vrsta tesnobe zelo poslabša sicer zelo ugodno izkušnjo.

Zakaj se pojavi?

Pojavi se lahko ob nekoč neugodni izkušnji, ki povzroči travmo, npr. avtomobilska nesreča – razvoj potovalne tesnobe pri potovanju z avtom. Takih primerov je nekaj čez 60%. Pomembne so tudi izkušnje drugih ljudi: če bodo ljudje poročali o stalnem nezadovoljstvu/negativni izkušnji na določenem kraju, boleznih ali morebitni letalski nesreči, lahko osebe, ki tja potujejo, doživijo panični napad ali razvijejo tesnobo, ki je sicer ne bi. Tretji pomemben faktor je genetika. Generalizirana anksiozna motnja ima srednje genetsko tveganje (30%) in je lahko povezana z ločitvijo v otroštvu, socialno fobijo in paniko (vir).

Kako jo čutimo?

Nekatere vrste potovalne tesnobe lahko začutimo še preden dejansko odidemo na potovanje. Pojavi se med planiranjem potovanja, razmišljanju o poteku potovanja, kupovanjem letalskih kart, razmišljanju na pakiranje in odhod od doma. Pred dejanskim potovanjem jo lahko čutimo kot nemirnost, nespečnost, razdraženost, pospešeno bitje srca, blago slabost. Tako jo čutim tudi sama, začne pa se približno en teden pred potovanjem. Najpogostejša vrsta potovalne tesnobe je strah pred letenjem. Ob prvem poletu sem ta strah izkusila tudi sama, bil je zeeeeelo močan in intenziven (skoraj mi je preprečil odhod), izviral pa je iz vseh zgodb iz okolja. Drugi let je bil veliko prijetnejši, tako da ne morem reči, da sem razvila tesnobo na letenje. Večjo težavo imam z zapustitvijo meni domačega (in udobnega) okolja. Začne se s prej omenjenimi simptomi, nadaljuje se v močno slabost, ki ji skoraj vedno sledi bruhanje, mravljinčenje v kolenih, prebavne težave in glavobol.

Kako je torej živeti s potovalno tesnobo?

Precej težko, ko je vezana na vsakršen premik od doma (trgovina, obisk prijateljev, potovanje s starši na morje,..). V tem primeru je najbolj primerna ustrezna psihološka (ali medikamentozna-če je res zelo slabo) terapija, podpora bližnjih in ustrezna psihoedukacija. Vsakomur, ki ga zanima, kako se v tistem trenutku počutim, mu pojasnim: “Poskušaj si predstavljati, da imaš tako zelo močno domotožje, da ne moreš niti iz postelje, ob tem ti je slabo, neskončno nekaj pogrešaš, vendar ne veš kaj in ne moreš 100% operirati v dnevu”.

Odkar sem bila sama v tako temnem tunelu glede tesnobe, sem do sedaj uspela urediti slednje:

  • enkrat tedensko obvezna psihoterapevtska pomoč, kjer se učim tehnih čuječnosti in groundinga-“prizemljenosti”
  • dnevnik misli in tesnobnega napredka
  • prijatelji točno vedo, kakšne težave imam, in so VEDNO zame tam, ko jih potrebujem
  • starši so na začetku bili precej odlonilni, saj se niso zavedali pomembnosti in jakosti težave, sedaj so ustrezni psihoeducirani in v težkih trenutkih (čeprav tisoče kilometrov narazen) znajo pomagat
  • včasih je dovolj, da družina in prijatelji vedo za težave, in da so samo ob tebi, ko je hudo, brez da bi kaj posebnega naredili
  • meditacija strogo vsaki dan, če le uspe!
  • Biti tukaj in zdaj (Vaja: Kaj slišim/vidim/voham/okušam vsaj 5x dnevno)
  • Branje in izobraževanje

Torej kako je živeti s potovalno tesnobo? Tako, da velikokrat prevzame pobudo in odpovem potovanje, da se na potovanju vsak dan borim z mislimi in solzami in neskončnim domotožjem, da včasih odpovem druženje s prijatelji, da pogosto ne maram na zunanje prostore z veliko ljudmi, da raje vozim avto, kot pa sem sovoznik (ker mi to pomaga), da morem sama vse spakirati in splanirati do podtankosti, ipd., ob tem pa se boriti s prej omenjenimi simptomi.

Ima kateri od bralcev podobne izkušnje? Kako se soočate s tem?

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