Post travel depression

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/8/2006 2:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Since I was 14 I have struggled with anxiety and had been on zoloft which seemed to work really well except that it made me feel very numb and sometimes void of emotions. I was about to take a trip to south america and then start college in the fall and really wanted to go off my medication. I slowly went off of it and was doing really well for close to 3 or 4 months before I left the country. I spent a month abroad and had the best experience of my life, I can honestly say I had never been happier. When I returned I fell into a two week long spat of severe depression and panic attacks, I started on zoloft again and have been taking it for the past few months. My anxiety has left but I still feel very depressed. I have insomnia and have almost completely lost my apetite. I have never dealt with depression before and wonder if it is only due to the culture shock of returning home (I have been home for almost 3 months now). I feel like I will never experience the same happiness I did in south america and I am afraid that it will remain the high point of my life and thus have nothing to look forward too which scares me to death. If anyone has had any similar experiences I would greately appreciate some advice.

Carly J
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 12/8/2006 3:30 AM (GMT -6)   
The happiest part of your life (so far) coming to an 'end' combined with not being on the meds you are usually on, I would say, is bound to make you feel depressed.

" I feel like I will never experience the same happiness I did in south america and I am afraid that it will remain the high point of my life and thus have nothing to look forward too which scares me to death. "

I have similar worries and I think many people do, but the thing is, you WILL experience happiness/that happiness and higher happiness in your life. There are so many experiences to come! Most of which you would never even expect to happen to you.
And when opportunities come your way, take advantage of them (unlike myself for most of my life - major regret). And remember, you have more control over your life than you think. (*hint* You don't have to sit and wait for that happiness to come walking along again.)

I really hope you start to feel better anna (((((hugs)))))

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 12/8/2006 6:45 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Anna, I wanted to welcome you to Healing Well forum, we are happy to have you.  I wondered if you have spoken to your doctor regarding you recent feelings of depression.  Sometimes when we start an antidepressant it takes a bit of an adjustment for the right dosage to be found to keep depression at bay.  I found this to be true when I was taking Zoloft I had to keep increasing the dosage it certain intervals when depression started to return.  Please dont be afraid to talk to your doctor about these symptoms and feelings this is what they are there for and the medication is to help you. 

I can not answer the questions you have posed in your post I think that "finding happiness" is different for all of us and with depression it is difficult to reach that goal.  I can say that for me with the right medication and therapy to deal with and discuss some of my deeper issues I have been able to find some peace and happiness but I believe that always comes from within.

Take care

Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 12/12/2006 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Anna -

Welcome to the Healing Well forum. There are a bunch of wonderful, caring people here. I'm not on this site that often anymore, since I've been focusing on dealing with my anxiety, but I read your post and it really spoke to me. I spent 3 amazing weeks in Ecuador in 2004 - it really was a wonderful experience that I wouldn't trade for anything! But, when I came home - reality set in. I needed to finish my thesis (the trip was my last class for grad school). I needed to find a place to live and a full-time job (that paid reasonably well, so I could pay my student loans along with all my other bills) and I needed medical benefits. Well, all those things kinda added up and sent me on a dark spiral downward. (I had trouble sleeping, I didn't want to eat, and I didn't enjoy doing anything anymore.)

But, one thing I realized as I looked for housing and looked for jobs and tried to focus on writing my paper was that the medication I took for Malaria really had a negative effect on me. So much so that one of my friends suggested that I see a therapist. But, as soon as my prescription was done (it was one of those meds that you had to take for so many weeks before you traveled to a malaria infested country and so many weeks afterwards) the dark cloud began to lift. I found a woman who agreed to let me live in her cabin in exchange for chopping forewood. Soon after that I found a job in my field in the area and about a year later, I finally finished writing my paper. But the thing was - I should never have taken that medication, since there was a waring that clearly said "Do not take if you have depression." But, I was still in denial that I even had depression.

So, perhaps what you are experiencing is also due to several different things all acting together. I mean starting college can make anyone stressed and coming down from an enormous high like the "trip of a lifetime" can also make anyone depressed. It sounds like you are on the right track, since you are already looking for solutions. It just may take some time. I do hope you get a good night's sleep and your appetite returns. But please know that the odds of having another great trip are really really great. (I went to Alaska this past summer and it was incredible! I'm not sure if it beat the trip to the Galapagos Islands, but it sure gave it a ride for its money!) :)
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