Depression in retirement

by Paula

Please comment below and help Paula past this! Thanks! Wendy

I had a job that was fast, furious and lifesaving.

I was a Adult Protective Service worker. Peoples lives lay in my hands more often than I would like to remember. Even with arthritis on every joint bone to bone I kept on going.

I reached 62, My father left me a little money. Enough to pay all the bills... Boom I retired.

I hurt constantly. I need 1 hips and 2 knees and both feet. I can not do anything pleasurable.

I have ridden horses all my life that and my dogs were my tranqulizer. I can not even get on my horse. I have no way to relax.

I show and train big dogs Rottweilers. I can not even work my dogs.

On top of all that I have a special need grandson.

The last antidepressants I was given make me mean... ha heck.

Is there any one out there going through what I am ?

I hate my life.... Paula

Comments for Depression in retirement

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by: Marge

Thanks for mentioning that my message helped. I would be happy to hear from you anytime, Paula.

I suppose we all have those days when we would like to go back to what we enjoyed doing. We just have to accept those things we cannot change and do the best we can with what we have.

How interesting to have a dog to train to be a help dog. I know I get a lot of pleasure out of our old Shih Tzu Willie, who isn't much help with physical things but is great for my morale. Pets seem to understand and accept us just the way we are. We also have two cats; one is a year old and very clingy. She is my "wheel chair" cat as she learned early on to jump into the seat and go for a ride while I pushed the chair from behind. I have a soft cushion on the Rollator walker seat because that is another favorite conveyeAnce.

She picked it up so fast. When I turn off the TV in the study, she knows I am getting reading to move to another part of the house. She comes running in to take her seat and ride with me.

Pets can't change the physical pain level, but they sure can make me smile and laugh. It's a wonderful life really when you can focus on something other than your pain and lack of mobility.

Keep on keeping on.


Health, feeling worth and retirement
by: sandy


I've worked in the helping profession doing similar jobs like you had. Protective service jobs can be stressful, but because there is something going on all the time your mind is often pre-occupied.

It may be that your job enabled you to forget about your health problems. But I can understand that attending to your health while working as an APS worker would have been difficult.

My suggestions to you: 1) separate the idea of "retirement" from the health issues. You may be experiencing health issues which were forming while you were working. So I suggest you look at "retirement" as a time to focus on your health, keep doctors appointments and follow treatment recommnedations.

Just think, if you were working it would be even more difficult to keep the pace of work and attend to your health. So reframe retirement as a time to "attend" to your health.

Also, I found that once you retire many people start to exhibit bodily pain because their home environment is not equivalent to their prior work environment.

I realized myself that back pain was aggravated because there was much more bending than I was use to in my home environment, due to low tables, cabinets etc. It may be that your body hasn't adapted to the new home environment.

I address this by being aware of this and "warming" up before doing any serious bending over in the mornings. Many household tasks need to be put on hold until your body has warmed up. Investigate and research exercises and stretches you can do comfortably. There are websites with exercises for those who "sit" more.

Also as far as mental depression discuss this with your health professional. I found that one has to get use to less interaction in the home environment than what you had as a government protective service worker.

It may be that you need more stimulation for the brain, through discussion opportunities. If this is the case then research things you can do part time which involve human interaction activities.

I think if you begin with just these suggestions: reframing how you think of retirement and seeking more conversational outlets you will be fine.

Don't be so hard on yourself because adjusting to a new stage in life is just like starting a new job. Don't set "priorities" so fast. Just go with the flow, narrow your focus to attending to health needs and finding opportunities to talk to people.

You will be fine.

Wishing you the best!

Just a thought... motorized scooters
by: Len

I am sorry that your retirement has not turned out as you had envisioned it to be.

I have no comment to help with the physical pain that you must face every day. There is probably nothing I could suggest that you haven't tried or been given advice on but I do have a suggestion about your dilema with Prince Valiant.

Before my wife passed on she had suffered for a long time with COPD and found it extremely difficult to walk any distance without gasping for breath. We also have a dog that required exercise and she dearly missed being able to walk with him.

We were fortunate to find a used motorized scooter with which she was able to take the dog for a brisk walk as it could reach about 6 or 8 mph.

It also enabled her to meander around the large malls and stores to her hearts content. It was a real blessing for her and she made a lot of use of it until she was hospitalized.

Please consider this idea because it could change your way of life.

Depression in retirement
by: Paula fly

I would like to thank Marge for her comments. I think a sense of humor, however warped it may be is all I am holding up with.

I find ice and heat probably as good as drugs. I have pain medication but don't take it unless I just have to and it really doesn't make the pain go so I can get on my horse or run my dog.

I have joined a local rescue here and now have 7 puppys here to keep poop free. They are all sweet pups and will make life long companions. I am trying to make one of my own pups a Rottweiler a pet therapy dog. I have to be able to walk about a mile to complete his training. Can't do that yet.

I recently lost my father. He had a ceberal hemotoma about a year before he passed and my pup started him talking when he got out of the hospital. The pups name is Prince Valient.

He was sent by God to be a therapy dog it is just me not doing my part. I want him to go to the VA in honor of my Dad. He will help those boys coming in all broken up.

Hope to hear back from Marge. Thanks for writing.


by: Marge Sallee

I detect a sense of humor buried in your message, Paula. Keep fanning that fire. Your health issues may not improve a lot, but if you can find something to joke about, you can handle this challenge.

My life changed before I retired also, and I am not living the good life I imagined I would. Wheel chair needed, I go from one problem to another, but my ship hasn't sunk yet. Enjoy that grandson as much as you can. Get out as much as you can, and when you can't, remember all the good times you had. I pass a lot of time here at the computer writing letters. If people don't come to me, I can get to them.

Hopefully the doctor can give you something for pain if not cure your problems. Keeping mentally busy helps a great deal, too. Buy a good heating pad and get a fleece lap robe or throw to keep those sore parts warm. I have a little quilted pad with Velcro straps on it that I strap onto those sore limbs that are subject to frequent leg cramps. It works better than pills and unlike the heating pad, it goes where I do. It's simple, two pieces of flannel with kapock inside and machine quilted in strips. You could even make your own.

I hope you find some good advice from the readers. Keep your chin up.

Marge Sallee

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