What is Vacation Deficit Disorder
Feeling down in the dumps and depressed? If so, you may be suffering from vacation deficit disorder. Vacation deficit disorder is not a recognizable medical condition, yet is defined as “Americans who think that annual vacation is important, but who are not confident that they will take one this year.”
That definition seems to exclude people who don’t think vacations are important and rarely take one, and there are people like that. I know some and you probably know some who seem content to stay wherever they are and not venture out.
Vacation deficit disorder is based on study performed by the travel industry, specifically, Ipsos Public Affairs and Allianz Global Assistance. The study it performed identified vacation deficit disorder through use of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) which is a clinically validated screening questionnaire that measures levels of depression.
Vacation Deficit Disorder and Depression
In a 2023 Gallop survey 29% of adults reported being diagnosed with depression in their lifetime, which is a new high for the Gallop survey. The 29% represents a 10% increase from 2015.
Based on the Ipsos Public Affairs and Allianz Global Assistance study showed that nearly one-third of Americans with vacation deficit disorder show symptoms of mild to moderate depression and 12 percent show symptoms of moderately severe to severe depression. Those with signs of moderately severe to severe depression were less likely to vacation in the preceding two years. Those with vacation deficit disorder were nearly twice as likely to show signs of moderately severe to severe depression
The survey also found that an annual vacation is very important to 40 percent of those showing signs of moderately severe to severe depression while important to 30 percent of the general population. Twenty-four percent of those with depression were confident they would take a vacation during the year compared to 32 percent of the general population.
Why Vacations are Important
Vacations help to rejuvenate our minds and bodies. Vacations give us a break from our daily responsibilities and allow to get away, at least some, from technology. We can explore new activities, develop new hobbies or interests, be exposed to new cultures all which help recharge our batteries. Often when we return from vacation we can take on our work or careers with greater commitment and increased passion.
Vacations also provide a chance to spend more time with family both immediate and extended. They give us chance to reassess our lives and goals and get input from those who care most about us.
Now that we can work 24/7 due to technology, taking vacations may be more important than ever before. Work will always be there but the chance to travel and learn more about the world will not always be available.
Take those trips you always wanted to take as soon as possible. Traveling becomes harder the older we become and our health may not alway allow for vacations. Avoid vacation deficit disorder. Take the vacation – NOW!