Depression in Retirement
is not Normal

by Thomas P
(California)

There are many stresses in life that may lead to depression, and growing old can be a key one.


One very important for those suffering from depression is to know that it is not normal, and rarely will they come through it without professional help.

In older people, one trigger for depression is difficulty in the transition from a productive working life to retirement.

As we age we experience many disappointments: the death or illness of friends and family, loss of mobility, uncertain financial security, medical bills and so on. These events can lead to depression.

Most people can overcome these obstacles, but for others they may be more significant and, especially if they are compounded, they may seem insurmountable.

While a 'sadness' may pass following an event, depression is very deep-seated, and can leave you feeling down, unable to make decisions, with a general feeling of malaise. It affects you both physically and mentally.

Clinical depression is a psychological problem that should not be ignored, but treated as soon as possible with counseling or psychotherapy.

While most older people are content with their lives, as many as three percent of over-65s experience clinical depression. On the bright side however, around 80 percent of them can be successfully treated with psychotherapy.

For some medication gives excellent results.
Antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two are the usual methods of treatment, depending on the severity and nature of the illness. Family doctors, clinics and family medical centers can provide diagnosis and treatment for depression, but a consultation with a psychologist should also form part of the treatment process.

Do remember that feeling depressed, especially in persons retirement, is not normal and that any pessimistic or 'empty' feelings that persist for more than a few weeks should be investigated by a health professional.

Comments for Depression in Retirement
is not Normal

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Loss of Belonging...
by: Cybele

Loneliness is a real factor - not just one of perception or attitude. I am no longer a priority in anyone's life, nor do I feel I "belong" anywhere.

It is much more difficult to make new friends and have meaningful relationships when you are older. At least that is my experience. Most folks already have interests and commitments to work, family, organizations and are just not looking for new relationships.

John Cacioppo, Ph.D. (U of Chicago) has many years of studying the effects of loneliness. He states "love, intimacy, an social affiliation" contribute to happiness even more than wealth, fame, health. I agree. Loneliness has twice the impact on early death than does obesity.

He identifies 3 core types of connection:

--intimate connectedness, which comes from having someone in your life you feel affirms who you are;
-- relational connectedness, which comes from having face-to-face contacts that are mutually rewarding;
--and
collective connectedness, which comes from feeling that you're part of a group or collective beyond individual existence.

1 and 2 are more meaningful for me - and harder to come by.

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