Travel addiction and dromomania: is it really there?

It is possible to find signs on many Internet portals to know if you are suffering from travel addiction. Some of these portals even qualify this concept as pathological and an uncontrollable urge to flee the place where the person lives.

Some of these websites they use the term addiction to travel under the name of “dromomania”. However, scientific studies seem to indicate that traveling is closely linked to happiness, as it helps us to have pleasant memories and to have new and exciting experiences.

So, does travel addiction really exist? Is it the same travel addiction as dromomania? In this article, we’ll answer these questions.

    Dromomania: what is it?

    Some people confuse travel addiction with dromomania, but they have nothing to do with either of these concepts. Being addicted to travel, like any addiction, would have more to do with over-stimulation of the strengthening zone and therefore the release of high amounts of dopamine in the brain. Today there is no evidence that travel addiction is a disorder and, as I mentioned, travel promotes people’s well-being.

    Now, when we talk about dromomania, that some sites they cite these phenomena as traveler theft or dissociative theft. This is called a serious disorder, which is included in dissociative disorders in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

    Dissociative disorders are pathological characterized by disturbances or failures of memory, consciousness, identity and / or perception.

    In other words, that is to say these disorders affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions, Who may suddenly feel unbearable sadness, for no apparent reason, which lasts for some time until it goes away. Or, on the other hand, an individual may find themselves doing something that they would not normally do but are unable to stop, as if someone is forcing them to do it, and as if the no one was simply a passenger in their own body, unable to control the steering wheel to steer it in the direction they wanted.

    Given what is stated in the DSM-V, dissociative flight would refer to travel, in which the patient moves away from his home and does not remember the events of his life. He may end up letting go of his own identity and taking on a new reality.

      What is travel addiction

      As you can see, Dromomania is very different from what many people consider to be travel addiction. We all know these people who, when given the opportunity, go far from home. They get on the plane and the train and get to know the world. Whether it’s skiing in the mountains, soaking up the sun in Punta Cana, or walking Thailand on your journey to explore Asia.

      But … is it really that bad? These people may want visit unfamiliar places, listen to other languages ​​and discover new cultures. Logically, there is nothing negative about having this mentality.

      In fact, there is no proof that travel addiction exists and there is nothing wrong with wanting to travel the world and know the most beautiful and impressive corners of our planet: the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China. , the Taj Mahal or the Niagara cataracts …

        When is traveling a problem?

        Traveling is not a problem, the problem arises when the person traveling is uncomfortable with themselves and uses the trip to avoid the reality around them. When a person dislikes their job or daily life, or dislikes pleasurable activities in the place where they reside, they may experience stress or depression and embark on trips that allow them to escape from its reality.

        Being on vacation can be the oxygen a person needs for what he considers his sad or bitter life. Traveling in these cases is an attempt to reduce the discomfort and anxiety that the person may be feeling.

        In this regard, psychoanalyst Magdalena Salamanca, comments in Elle magazine, “the problem arises when the individual does not connect with himself and feels dissatisfied with his life. He thinks that in this way he will feel better.” taking refuge in their travels, in which outside expectations can keep them motivated despite their bitter everyday life, but the return can lead to post-vacation depression as it brings them back to the place he hates.

        The psychologist and editor of this magazine also explains to Elle: “Virtually any hobby or activity can become addictive. However, in DSM there is no mental illness or travel addiction as such. . “. He also adds: “It is likely that someone wants escape your daily routine or leave a traumatic experience, Which can lead to abandon situations or places that evoke painful memories. However, traveling is by no means a problem in itself, but an avoidant behavior that aims to reduce pain. “

        In these cases, it is necessary to seek professional help to improve those areas of the individual’s life in which the individual is uncomfortable or uncomfortable.

        The advantages of traveling

        So traveling is not the problem and, in fact, a lot of research concludes that it is essential for our mental health. One of them was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

        • If you would like to take this study further and learn more about the benefits of travel, you can read the article “The 11 Psychological Benefits of Travel”

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