Talk:Travelling with a mental health condition

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Travelling with a mental health condition[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Fellow Wikivoyagers,

Noting a dearth of information on mental health-related travel advice at Wikivoyage, I have plunged forward and started this travel topic article. While it's certainly a sensitive issue, hopefully you'll agree that it's sufficiently travel-related to be helpful to our readers. For source material, I used a mixture of online resources such as this page (and indeed the odd sentence or expression might be identical to the source - sorry if these have been missed), as well as reflecting on my own experiences with mental ill health while travelling and trying to write advice that my younger self or people in similar situations would find useful.

While I have taken the liberty of giving the article usable status, please note this is the first travel topic article I have started, so forgive any formatting or style issues, should they exist and by all means downgrade to outline if that would be more accurate. I also hope none of the content is offensive or otherwise inappropriate to WV, although of course I have not written anything I believed was either of those things.

As the article has now been moved out of my sandbox into mainspace, all edits and comments from the community are encouraged. In particular, there are no images at present and just a boring old default banner.

Thanks for reading and happy Friday,

--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:12, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

I salute you for starting the article. At some point in the future, we may eventually want to split the article, because there are so many different mental conditions with radically different symptoms, but let's see how things go with this article, first. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:42, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for saying that. Splitting had occurred to me too, which is one of the reasons why I avoided naming any conditions in the article. Personally, I don't think we should get too technical, as this is after all a travel guide, not the DSM-V. We should tread very carefully with naming and advising on specific disorders, as we don't know who's reading and what they might do with a bit of bad 'advice' written by a team of travel writers pretending to be psychiatrists. Hope that seems logical; I'm quite tired. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:07, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Should similar articles be considered for other health conditions - ie. Handicapped or Diabetes etc. -- Matroc (talk) 01:14, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for creating this. I realise that this is a difficult topic to write about. For medical topics I think that we should provide some links to "official advice", such as the NHS site listed above, IAMAT mental health whitepaprers or this FCO site (in these topics having references might be appropriate, but that is not our style).

Major conditions[edit]

In ten years in China I twice helped sort things out & arrange medical evacuation for people working as English teachers who basically fell apart under the local stresses. One was a young man who'd been hospitalised as schizophrenic back home a few years earlier and went scarily paranoid after about a year in China. The other was an older woman who was bipolar and had been stable with medication for decades, but some combination of China & menopause put her right over the edge, & local doctors could not fix it. This was not at all a pleasant experience for anyone involved & might have been much worse.

I think we need a fairly strong warning for people contemplating long-term residence abroad, whether working or retiring. Pashley (talk) 19:02, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

I added Travelling_with_a_mental_health_condition#Living_abroad. Comment or contributions solicited. Pashley (talk) 20:11, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your additions to the article; the 'living abroad' is definitely worthwhile, as up until now it had just focused on short-term trips. But I worry about offering specific advice to 'neurotics' and 'psychotics', beyond simply recommending a visit to the doctor to discuss their plans and solicit an informed medical opinion. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:25, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Good point. I've removed the mention of neurotics. I put in the paragraph about psychosis because of my experiences described above & I'd like to keep it, but it may be out of scope for a travel guide. What do others think? Pashley (talk) 20:40, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

I think it's out of scope. However, I'm going away and won't be editing for at least two weeks, so the immediate direction of the article is up to you and others. Bye for now :) ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:45, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Change title to "travel and mental health"[edit]

I think there are mental health tips that even people not diagnosed with anything can and should keep in mind. Plus it removes some of the stigma unfortunately still associated with the topic. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:05, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Good point. Doing that well would be a lot of work, though. It would take not just a title change but a general rewrite to shift the focus of the text. Pashley (talk) 13:15, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Hobbitschuster makes an excellent point. A general article on mental health advice for everyone would be valuable to Wikivoyage, but conversely I'm not sure that should be this article, which as the title suggests, is intended to help people with mental health problems. People with a diagnosable condition require a different level of support than does a general readership. Though of course creating a whole new article on general mental health tips would be a hefty job too... --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:04, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I think people fall on a spectrum. Some have bigger mental health issues and some have smaller ones. But even for someone who is just this side of a diagnosable condition, taking care of ones mental health needs is a good idea. And I don't necessarily think the advice need be that different. Even for a person who is classified as mentally "normal" sticking to routines and avoiding stressful situations can be good ideas. As can be means of contacting loved ones or informing others of plans and so on. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:05, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
That's true. There would certainly be duplication of info if we created two articles. On the other hand, the general population probably doesn't need advice about medication, arranging health care abroad, or about how to cope in specific anxiety-inducing situations (e.g. sensory overload, heavy crowds in an airport - of the level experienced by sufferers of anxiety disorders, or of certain people on the autism spectrum). It's difficult one. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:58, 24 October 2017 (UTC)