Family History of depression and suicide. I retire in 4 years

by Rob
(Benton, Illinois)

My father always dreamed of retiring and when he finally did he committed suicide a year later. He could not adjust to staying home and doing nothing. He became very co-dependant to his wife who still worked.

When my dad was very sick with depression he told me there is only so much TV you can watch. My dad never had a post retirement plan and never did much to take care of his depression which he suffered from most of his adult life.

I will retire from my job as a correctional officer in 4 years at the age of 50. I've also dreamed of this day for a very long time.

I don't feel like I get much socially or fulfilling from my job, its just 8 dead hours a day that pays the bills. The only thing I feel that I will miss from job after retirement is the appreciation of coming home each day.

My oldest of two children joined the Air Force recently and left home. The depression I felt from this was incredible. This loss of not having my son in my household was and is very hard to deal with. I never factored that my children will be grown and moved out at about the same time I retire.

I've been much more of a family man then a
a career man and I believe that is where my true identity and self worth comes from.

I always thought I would be fine because I would retire from a unpleasant job and then have more time with my family. I guess I was just oblivious to the fact that children grow up, move out, and sometimes move away.

This has made me re-think everything about retirement and life.

Comments for Family History of depression and suicide. I retire in 4 years

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Don't Leave
by: Dave D.

I really can relate to the concerns that you have raised.

I retired two years ago from a police lieutenant job; the almost 27 years on the job were stressful, and I made a decision to leave at the age of 58 (2 years earlier than I had planned).

Now at 60, I realize that this loss of career has become somewhat overwhelming; moreover, with no real goals or daily direction, "happy hour" comes earlier on numerous days.

I would advise you to stay at your present employment, and if possible, make some attempt to move up to another position.

by: Loyce!

My father was a hardworking longshoreman--two fisted drinker--and when he retired, he drank and became severely depressed and said goodbye.

We make our choices and live or die with same. I choose to continue to challenge myself and maintain an upbeat attitude as I navigate the challenging landscape of a solo life

Find a sport that you like and start playing!
by: Anonymous/Canada

From your letter, Rob, I gather that you must be in decent physical shape (as you are still working as a Correctional Officer!). You are a 50-year-old guy, still in your prime!

Pick up that baseball bat, football, hockey stick, etc. and start playing! If you need to learn the game, so be it! Join the many leagues and teams for adults/ old-timers where you live and let the game begins! By the time you retire in 4 years, you will be too busy playing or coaching the newbies/ youngsters that you will have no time left for anything else!

You've done your job raising your kids and it sounds like that they turn out just fine, so you must learn to let go and find your own fun! The worst thing you can do is cling onto them and make them worry.

I'm a retired mom of 60 who is very close to my 3 grown kids and it was hard to let them be. But you know: we must and find our own paths in life.

I live on fixed income and spend my time looking for cheap, last minute deals to enable me to scuba dive everywhere. I'm going to the Red Sea in 2 weeks...solo. So, just do it!

by: Joe W.

I'm seeing this movie play over & over again. In most cases men don't have as many quality support groups that women have. Women congregate in small or large groups from birth to death. Whereas men who have worked in a traditional job for 30-40 years have their identity taken away from them after retirement.

Maybe the spouses of these confused men can play a bigger role to help their husbands find themselves before retirement begins.

There are many retirement lifestyle options to choose from. Just forget the past and be re-born with new enthusiasm and a renewed purpose.

kids left home
by: Anonymous

I also felt terrible when my grown children left home. We see each other and have a fine relationship but it is definitely not as satisfying as having them with me.

But you can fulfill that nurturing by getting a pet, especially a golden retriever or lab, or by rescuing older dogs who are hard to adopt out. You can foster chidren too especially teen age boys who you probably know how to relate to.

But 50 may be too young to retire, perhaps you can get a nonstressful job, grocery store or part time at a fast food restaurant.

Retired w/depression and suicide
by: Sherry/NC

FREEDOM IS WONDERFUL!!! There is much volunteer worik to be done in America. Find some; you will be needed.

God gives us children, these souls, to raise and care for; they do not belong to us. Yes, they grow up and leave home and if you have a good relationship with them they will continue to visit you when their
time allows.

They are starting their careers in the USAF!!! I thank them for their service to America.

You can go to a community college and take a course. You can get outside in the sunshine and it feels so good on your face; go for a walk in the park everyday, you will meet people. In volunteer work
you can meet people, also. There is much to be done; just do get out and do it.

The power is within you!!!! Good luck!!!!

Recalculate Your Attitude Regarding Retirement
by: Patricia Murphy

Well, here's a thought. Check your paper or on-line and discover how many, many opportunities there are out there for volunteers. You think of a subject, there's likely a need for a volunteer there.

Anything you're interested in, they're probably going to be interested in you! Not only would you be doing something useful and appreciated, but you'd have that 'coming back home after a day of work' moment you seem to think you're going to miss.

There is absolutely NO reason to be sitting around watching TV day after day. None at all. There are a zillion things to do in this world - many of them free - lots of them rewarding - just get out there and do them. Any of them.

Retirement ROCKS!
by: Wendy,

First, history does not have to repeat itself. What happened to your father, a new retiree with no outside interests and who did nothing about his depression -- doesn't have to happen to you.

You are ALREADY being proactive to think through retirement -- four years ahead. Many don't do that!
Ricardo who blogged on this site,is really one of few who did what you are doing -- plan for retirement ahead of time (and I don't mean financially either). It worked for Rikk -- and I think working it all out, ahead of time, will work for you too.

Second, Of course, the kids move out... but you will simply have a larger family to take care of. If family has always been your thing, you will be the BEST Grandpa... Just wait.

The best is yet to come -- as a Corrections Officer you should have a decent pension so that income is not a big issue. You will have no more work responsibiities and you can find new interests in life. Your kids will still be in your life - just in a different way. You will find things to do, it will just take time to figure it all out.

If you need help, PLEASE see a professional. Don't follow your fathers footsteps...

Best Wishes!

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