Always Depressed ... But More Depressed after Retirement (as well as working from home, that is)

by Deborah A. P.
(Bensalem, PA, USA)

A Selfie!

A Selfie!

I have suffered from depression for most of my life, but was able to (mostly) handle it by keeping busy being a wife, mother, workaholic, student, divorcee, always-there-for-you friend, wife (second marriage), workaholic, student, and always-there-for-you friend. I hope you get the repetition here!

Now I'm retired since 10/23/13 and working as a freelance writer, proofreader, and editor from home. The only problem is ... that since the Great Recession, my work has dwindled down to less hours, even though I get a new client from time to time.

Yes, I'm back into watching General Hospital (which I stopped watching for more than 20 years) and I'm doing mixed media art when the inspiration hits ... but the anxiety and depression are consuming me.

My husband is almost eight years younger than me and is still working at a job that he is less than happy about. I really appreciate his stick-to-itiveness, though. We haven't had a vacation (even a long weekend together) in years, so life just doesn't hold much excitement (although I know that excitement isn't really what we're looking for).

Any comments or observations that would help me/us?

Wendy: My question is: WHY haven't you had a vacation? I just returned from a weekend website conference and I am completely remotivated and renewed.

Getting away does wonders! Whether you choose a conference for freelance writers/editors, or a weekend trip (even just an hours drive from where you live). Get out, go exploring, learn something new, it's a great time to reflect on life and just renew yourself!

Comments for Always Depressed ... But More Depressed after Retirement (as well as working from home, that is)

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Feels like I hit a stone wall!
by: Mindy/ Nazareth

Hi, Deborah. I retired about the same time you did, Sept. 2013. For several years, after working 60-70 hours a week, I really enjoyed being retired. I knew having retired at 57 I'd have to work, I took one year off and then found a seasonal job that I love, with PennDOT. ( I'm from Pennsy too, not really that far from you in Bensalem. Lehigh Valley here.)

In the last few weeks, I just hid a roadblock! Have a lot of ideas of things to do but no ambition at all. I believe it's because in the last 8 weeks 8 people I know have passed away. Only two were ill before hand. I also found my ex husband deceased in early December of '18. (WE were separated for 29 years and I'd just received a divorce two months prior to his sudden death.) I only divorced because he was 12 years older and I wanted to protect my assets in case he went into a nursing home in the future. He understood that and we obtained a No fault.

Maybe because I was working at my seasonal job during all of that, I was able to keep busy through all of it. And now depression, anxiety had time to fester to the top. Not sure what to do...….I have tons of friends, volunteer at our public library, but everything seems so BLAH! Not to mention a rash of home repairs that cropped up. LOL....I guess reading your post and others this is maybe natural.'s to us, Deborah. Let's get ourselves moving. We are so lucky in many respects compared to others. We are? I'm thinking so.

I think we need to go sit in the sun......lack of vitamin D in PA I think might be a common ailment for many of us!!! Love ya'

Completely understand......
by: Jezebel

I too have suffered anxiety and depression since retirement (I was also a legal proofreader....and subsequently worked at a very upmarket auction house....meeting lots of celebrities).

I worked until I was 65 and decided I had better go then...but little did I realise how awful I would feel with so much time on my hands.

I had worked for 50 years (haven't married or had children...and was an only child). It wouldn't take a brain surgeon to realise that I would have trouble...but it has really brought me down.

I try and keep busy with occasional voluntary work, seeing friends, joining a Choir, keep fit...the usual options....but it is not WORK and, boy, do I miss it!

me too
by: Barbara

I went through the same thing when I was first retired and working from home. Finally made a job shift where I am working with other people, and it really helped. Get out with others, volunteer, work with a church or community group.

Staying at home all day by yourself is not good for you!

by: Margaret

Hi, sorry to hear of your challenges. Have you tried the Bach Flower Remedies? They work fantastic but sometimes take a little while to do a complete job. Hugs to you and cheer up as better days are always forth coming.

Count Your Blessings
by: Carrie

I've been semi-retired for almost a year now, and I do sometimes start to get depressed. But, when I feel it coming on I stop and count my blessings, and think about those who have it worse than I do.

Then I get outside and take a walk and enjoy nature. If that doesn't help, I write in my journal. Try to find a penpal online, too. It helps to have other retired friends who know what you going through.

You can easily find friends here on this website! Hang in there!!

Join Us
by: Anonymous

Click "Friendship Here" on the right side of this website and you will find lots of nice folks who understand. Hope you will join us soon!

by: Sharyn~~~CANADA

Dear Deborah A P

My heart goes out to U. What can l say been there done that.

lm 66 female been fighting the same situation for 10 yrs. still trying to sort IT out. Wish l could say some words to comfort however, l am not a $100 an hour get into your head analyst!

I live on pension so can't afford the really good guys that could possibly HELP.

Maybe u & husband could make a date night, go for dinner forget everything else? He could start with flowers - you could finish with DESSERT.

Wish u guys all the BEST*** 2014

exercise for depression
by: Lynn


I know it sounds simplistic but movement:

yoga,dancing,just walking outdoors if the weather allows will keep your body and mind in healthier states: try a gratitude list every night too: the little things you are grateful for that day and read them over before you sleep.

You can be grateful for your husband as living with someone provides a person to bounce ideas off, you can be grateful you can still do some work, heck you can be grateful you didn't have an accident or auto accident that day.

God bless you. and good luck

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