What is post tour depression?

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In this blog we will discuss what post tour depression is. 

We will also discuss why it happens and how one can cope with post tour depression. 

What is post tour depression?

Post Tour depression refers to mood changes, emotional distress, and behavioural changes that one experiences after being on the road for too long.

While post tour depression is not a real diagnosis nor is it a confirmed and recognized diagnosis of depression, it is often reported and experienced by people who are always on tour- entertainers and musicians are a common group that experiences this. 

Post tour depression include symptoms like jet lag, fatigue, low moods, hopelessness etc which might range from mild to severe however, if left ignored, these symptoms can snowball into actual depression and poor health conditions. 

Life on the road can be extremely stressful as well as isolating in the sense that when you are on tour for entertainment purposes, you are basically at work meaning that you have a tight schedule and stressful weeks ahead of you. 

Even if there are people around you, when you go on tour you are always on the move-

From the airports, the hotels, and continuously engaging in heavy work which can lead you to let your mind and body slip into decay.

Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts. 

Post tour Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives. 

People with Post tour depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.

This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts. 

While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death. 

Why does Post tour depression occur?

According to a report published in 2015 in The Age, it was found that the number of people in the entertainment industry with depression are higher than compared to the general population. 

The study found that the rate of attempted suicide in the industry is double the rest of the general population and this is often caused by a sense of isolation and emotional marooning that one can expeirnce when they are on the road. 

When on tour, you are essentially driving hundreds of miles, seated in the same positions, in a cramped van and eating unhealthy fast food everyday until the tour is over. 

At times, the stress of being on the road, with tight schedules, and terrible sleep patterns can lead to various conflicts between you and other people on board the tour vehicle. Being in close promiscuity with others during stressful times can also lead to souring of relationships which can all the more add to the mental distress. 

Usually when someone is done with the toru they can come back home, they carry all of that exhaustion, irritability, and poor health with them. 

They also have to deal with the stress of letting go of the times they had on tour- the good and the bad- as well as the stress of having to settle into a mundane life once again without the rush of meeting fans and creating music. 

It is also possible that once the excitement of being on tour, around the world, meeting people washes off you are left with your ordinary life with an ordinary schedule. 

Some artists who struggle also have to deal with financial issues since touring does not necessarily mean that you are able to make enough money from music to support ourselves yet.

In some cases, people might have to return to their nine to five jobs post the tour so that they are able to make their ends meet and moving from that tour high straight back to your day job really sucks.

As mentioned earlier, post tour depression is largely caused by social, mental and emotional fatigue due to the challneges of being on tour and this can cause intense distress when it comes to reconnecting with family adn friends upon coming back home. 

It takes time for a person to recover from being on the road all the time and this might lead them to isolate themselves and even lash out with irritation when friends and family try to reach out to them. 

When this happens, one might carry guilt and frustration at the thought of being unable to reconnect and meet the needs of loved ones all because they are just so exhausted. 

Being on tour is not all glitz and glamor.Life on the road can be extremely stressful as well as isolating in the sense that when you are on tour for entertainment purposes, you are basically at work meaning that you have a tight schedule and stressful weeks ahead of you. 

Even if there are people around you, when you go on tour you are always on the move-

From the airports, the hotels, and continuously engaging in heavy work and all of this can lead to depression and poor mental health. 

How to cope with post tour depression?

Here are a few things you can do to cope with post tour depression:

Seek professional help

If you have not been diagnosed, do not stick to self diagnosis based on your symptoms. Seek out professional consultations starting with your GP who can refer you to specialists in the field. 

Taking time to find a doctor who can help you with estimating the right dosage of medication and the right medical treatment can make the quality of your journey to recovery drastically different. 

Reduce stress

The intent here is to reduce or remove the things in your life that add stress. If it is a certain relationship, taking the time to set boundaries or communicate that you are taking time out can be one way. 

By reducing stressors, the thought of waking up and facing your day may seem a little less daunting, you might even look forward to it. 

Learn and apply coping skills

This can be learning how to tackle your anxieties and negative moods by regulating your breathing and engaging in deep breathing techniques. 

You can also try grounding techniques to help you cope with spiralling down a negative rumination. Make goals for each day and let your goals be small, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound, 

Make plans for your day that suit your pace- if today is especially difficult, make a step by step plan from your bed to the bathroom in the mornings. Reward yourself when you succeed and be kind when you slip up. Remind yourself that you are learning. 

Exercise

Engaging in exercise, even if it is only a 15 minute stretch can be a wonderful step towards loving yourself and caring for yourself. 

You can opt for joining the gym however, if this is too much you can consider yoga or pilates that you can start gradually; you can also go for walks or runs alone or with your loved ones. 

Getting out of your house and doing something that allows you to get your blood pumping in itself can be a great way of self care. 

Eat a healthy diet

Diet is an important aspect of overall health and is an important component of maintaining a positive state of mental health. 

There has been plenty of research studies that have been linked to what we eat and higher risks of depression. Research finds that well balanced meals with adequate intake of vegetables, fruits, grain, and healthy fats are related to lower risks of depression.

Sleep well

Take time to improve your sleep hygiene. Research has found that sleep disorders are also a core symptom of depression. Irregular sleep and not enough sleep can make your healing process difficult and can even heighten the risk of relapse. 

Some of the things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene are

  • Avoid substances that impact your sleep, this includes caffeine. 
  • Exercise daily
  • Avoid heavy dinners
  • Change your sleeping environment to be more soothing and sleep inducing. 
  • Make changes in your pre-sleep routine such as taking relaxing baths before sleep, avoiding gadgets two hours before sleeping time.

Connect with loved ones

Reaching out to people who love you and letting them know that you are having a hard time now, can bring you closer to people who truly love and care for you. Positive relationships help you discover joys and meaning to your life. 

You can also take the step to connect with other people who are coping with depression through group therapy or support groups.

Oftentimes, listening to other people’s successes can instil hope, it also gives you the opportunity to learn new perspectives of living and life along with new techniques to cope.

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed what post tour depression is. 

We have also discussed why it happens and how one can cope with post tour depression. 

FAQ related to Post tour depression

Why are you sad after vacation?

One of the main reasons people are sad after vacation is because they feel like there’s nothing left to look forward to anymore and that they have come back to their mundane life without excitement and fun. 

Do musicians suffer from depression?

According to a report published in 2015 in The Age, it was found that the number of people in the entertainment industry with depression are higher than compared to the general population. 

Are musicians mentally ill?

No, not all musicians are mentally ill; however, they are more porne to depression and mental illnesses. According to a report published in 2015 in The Age, it was found that the number of people in the entertainment industry with depression are higher than compared to the general population. 

References

Post-tour blues: On going home, anxiety and taking care of yourself. Alt press. Retrieved on 25th April 2022. https://www.altpress.com/features/post_tour_blues_op_ed/

Touring And Depression: It’s Time To Talk About It. Stephanie Jensen. OutBurn Online. Retrieved on 25th April 2022. https://outburn.com/all-features/touring-and-depression-its-time-to-talk-about-it/

Suzanne Paulinski. 5 Ways to Combat Post-Tour Depression. SonicBids. Retrieved on 25th April 2022. https://blog.sonicbids.com/5-ways-to-combat-post-tour-depression

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