Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tips for Travelling with Bipolar Disorder

I recently went on another cruise for a week and I thought I’d share some travelling tips for people with Bipolar Disorder.

Bring your medications in your carry-on

If you’re flying, make sure to bring your medications with you in your carry-on. If you have any liquid medications, as long as they are 3 ounces or less, you can take them with you on the airplane in your carry-on.

I always keep them with me in a clear plastic bag that way they are all in one place, and if security should need to look at them, I can easily take them all out without having to dig around in my bag. The bag I use is actually a cosmetic bag I got from target. You can find it here.

If you get nauseous easily from flying (or being on a ship on a cruise) I found that Bonine worked much better for me than Dramamine. I hardly felt any drowsiness from Bonine, whereas Dramamine made me feel loopy and groggy. You can find the generic brand of Bonine called “Rugby Travel Sickness” which gives you 100 pills for only $7.50. These worked just as well as Bonine, and tasted pretty much the same. Also, it seemed to last 24 hours, so I only had to take it once a day. You can find it on amazon here.


Bring snacks

Some airplanes give you as many snacks as you want on a 2 hour flight like Jet Blue. But most flights just give you cookies or peanuts, or nothing at all. I can start feeling gross if I don’t have enough to eat. I like to bring granola bars, or snack crackers. I always bring a pack of gum to help my ears pop from flying.


Bring something to do on the plane and during your trip

I like to journal, so I always bring a notebook with me on trips, as well as my ipod so I can listen to some music. Music helps calm me down during plane rides, because I can sometimes get a little anxious during take offs and landings. Also, it’s nice to have something to do during downtime on your vacation. You can get one from Barnes and Noble here.

I recommend that you bring something to help you sleep, just in case you have trouble sleeping. You want to try and keep your sleep schedule consistent. My psychiatrist recently recommended something that she calls “a natural Xanax,” called GABA. It’s very mild, but it helps me relax and makes falling asleep easier. Another plus is I don’t feel groggy or tired the next morning. You can get this on amazon here.


Know your Limits and Triggers

If you don’t like huge crowds and loud music let the people you’re travelling with know this. You can always skip the night that everyone goes out to a loud bar or club if that’s something that is going to make you anxious. It’s okay to take breaks, too. If you need to lie down for 20 minutes after lunch, do it! Better to be taking care of yourself rather than be cranky and exhausted the rest of the day.

And Finally: Have fun!

Enjoy your vacation, you deserve it.

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