Traveling when you have a Serious Mental Illness


“travel to unfamiliar places, can lead to an increase in general arousal
and the exacerbation of psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia.”

This makes sense…more transient stimulation.

I avoided travel for YEARS since I was diagnosed schizoaffective but in May I went to Seattle, Olympia, and Portland…I’m from Connecticut …all by myself and it was a very successful trip. I suggest doing one thing at a time, plan out your trip by the hour and check it off in your mind, try not to think ahead or else you’ll get anxious. Also helped going to a place with much less stress than where I’m from…I’m used to stress and the NW was less stressful than here.


If you throw alcohol into that mix you can create a real emotional catastrophe. I remember one trip in particular that was a real nightmare for me. I’ve also made a few shorter trips when I was off my med’s that were pretty arduous too. I’d like to do some travelling when I am sober and stable on my med’s. I used to like to backpack, but the med’s have since made that impossible because they ruin my body’s ability to handle very much heat or cold.

i can do it, first time i went i was very scared but i had my friend and family going with me, after that first trip we went back to the same place just me and my friend the second time and it was a bit easier, you need to be stable enough for it though,


My delusions are non-existant medicated, nothing exascerbates them, they’re just gone. Interesting, that’s what predominantly negative symptoms entails then, guess a lot of people still struggle with the positives.

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I last travelled abroad to see my father in 1995. I had my mother to accompany me to the airport and get through the check ins. The journey out was ok but the return was a nightmare. I discovered I had been robbed just after take off and didn’t have my ticket to get home from the airport. I spent the flight in a state of high panic.
When I stayed with my father and stepmother I only went where they went as I was too scared to go exploring on my own in case I got lost.
Nowadays I very much stick to the small area where I live as I get very nervous about unfamiliar areas unless I’m accompanied.
There is no way I could cope getting to an airport without a lot of help.

This is a very big part of why I ditched the I.T. career. Continually having to fly to Tampa Bay and Chicago to care for our co-located servers was killing me.

Since I have left home after 18 years old and I am stable now. So I think I can travel now. But I never left China. I need to travel to another country to make sure I am Ok with traveling.

I can love and truly enjoy travelling.
can… :slight_smile:

I have travelled and been pshychotic .
Once I travelled to Scandinavia pshycotic from a far distance. Over 24 hour journey and many hours flying and airport stops.
I was travelling from summer climate so was wearing open shoes and kneelong skirt and singlet and was not prepared like usual.I felt i was ot in my body and somewhat confused etc.
In Vienna it was so cold in the airport while waiting and no one wanted to help me.
Everyone else at the airport was wearing thick winter jackets and winter clothes and i was the only one dressed in summer clothes and so cold and alone.

On the plane i could use a blancet but the flight attendants were not very nice n helpful and refused to let me lend the blancet till i gt to my luggage where i had jumper.
A gorgeous guyon plane who overheard this, smuggled /stole a blancet and gave it to me as soon as we had left the plane.He gave me his phone number but i was to paranoid or unwell to meet or call him i think.

Ive travelled a few times while unwell.
Some how managed to eventually get to the destination.

Travelling can be so exciting and enjoyable and i can be so happy when travelling and truly get a kick out of it and meet or see different people etc.

But im afraid of roller coasters and also of the feeling if the plane drops far.(hate the falling feeling in stomach but am not afraid of heights)
Once our plane dropped so far a air hostess through him self to ground screaming . I was young then though. still a child.

I no longer have a valid passport but am permited to travel with in my country with a licence.
I would not mind travelling with in my country even a few days here and a few days there but cant afford even a few days get away at moment. Not in person. :slight_smile:

It can be a delight staying at a hotel or even just a pub room can have its excitement and joy and coziness to it even though they are usually pretty simple there can be a thrill to it.
Ive stayed in variation of places.
Been a while for me.

I would travel with a letter in my wallet that says im disabled and what symptoms i may get and what action could/should be taken. (sleep , food, home).

I do have limitations with travel.
I can travel but what i mean is it is not easy for me.
Its a big deal for me to travel alone.

Some how i managed to travel by myself to get my passport renewed. No longer valid now but i did it.
Some how i managed to arrange ticket, hotel, taxi all by my self.
Not sure if or how i now could do that or similar . :slight_smile:
I have done such before also even with over seas travel I managed to book own flight etc.
Maybe depends on how one is feeling and what point in time one is organising travels etc.

I think it could be wise for disabled people to use helping aids when travelling alone.
Or keep a letter on them that explains situation.
One should have money. At least enough to get home, make phone calls etc. and preferbly even enough to stay at a motel or so.

“Travel when you have a mental illness could lead to an increase in general arousal”.

Yep. When I flew across the country to W. Virginia to visit my 40 year old step-sister I was sleeping on the couch one night and I was wakened by my drunken step-sister laying full length on top of me wearing nothing but a t-shirt. This led to an increase in general arousal in my pants.

True story.

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well that’s west virginia for ya…


We had booked a trip to Europe last year then I entered psychosis and we couldn’t go.

I am ok travelling interstate to see my parents. We have a cweek long holiday booked for september to the gold coast and it should be ok.

I honestly don’t know how I would go with international travel. It scares me but it’s something I still want to try.

And I have a good partner so he makes travel a bit easier. I’m very lucky.

I found traveling, after my diagnosis, extremelly benefitial. Took my mind off the constant obession over the illness, saw new things, experienced new culture, met new people. Makes me walk a lot, too.

Things that sucked: Anxiety on the plane. Getting sick, I always get a bit delusional when I have a fever, happily it doesn’t last more than day. PTSD symptoms out of nowhere, but that happens at home too.


Yeah no â– â– â– â– !

I travelled after diagnosis to a relationship and move cross continents. Married someone crazier than myself…who’d have thunk it! lol . If you can afford it do it! Broadens your horizons!

I still dream of the burger king breakfast menu…we have nothing that compares to a sausage and egg crossanwich…gawd damn…Australia is so healthy compared to those American folk!

Travel if you can,



Have travelled with the illness and love every second. Went from Aus to California. It did wonders for my confidence and I can’t wait to do it again.