Mental Illness and Travel

With summer fast approaching, many of us are looking forward to time off–perhaps a break from school or work, or just a break from daily life.  For some, that means a “stay”-cation, chilling at home, maybe taking in local events.  For others, that means travels near and far, from across town to across the state, to across the country!

And for some, travel of any kind can be terribly stressful, due to the impact of mental illness.

The article “Travelling with a mental illness” posted on December 22, 2016, contains personal stories and information on what it can be like to manage mental health symptoms while traveling.

The post on PTSD is shared with permission of the author:

Leanna recognised the symptoms of late-onset PTSD a year after being attacked in the alley behind her apartment in October 2012.

“I noticed early on that shadows were a huge trigger. PTSD is like a shadow. It’s always there but not always visible. It’s easy to dismiss when you’re calm, but can manifest at any moment, and when it does, everything else disappears. Whether it’s a random spike of anxiety, uncontrollable shaking and crying, nausea, hyperventilating, elevated heart rate and trouble breathing or feeling faint, it overtakes every other sense in your body. You are trapped in this sensation, like being locked in a pitch-black room.

“I had to fight to travel again. It took two years for me to finally get the courage to take my first solo trip, but I was determined to move past my fear. The key for me was preparation. I learned to think about the situation practically. What were my options? What could I do immediately? How could I help myself feel safe? Sometimes, the smallest thing made the biggest difference – never underestimate the secure feeling of a fully-charged phone!”

– Leanna Johnson,


For the full article, please visit: