Retiremenr Depression
That took me by Surprise

by Karyl
(Dundas Ontario Canada)

I had to close my psychotherapy practice, sell the house we worked out of, and let my office manager and staff go. After 30 years it was a shock. I had put everything I had into the practice.

I got sick very suddenly, well not really, but i didn't really know how sick I was until it came to a crisis and I had three major surgeries in 10 months. That left me greatly aged, and very unwell.

I had lost the people I had spent every day with for the last 30 years, the beautiful old century home we worked out of, and all my colleagues and clients that I was used to seeing all the time.

I had spent most of my time working and several close friends had died, including my sister. I suddenly looked like an ugly old woman.

I had little social life and no life partner. And I didn't feel well enough to go out an meet people or do anything.

So I have been struggling with a very bad depression. I hardly know this person I have become.

Wendy: Karly - Imagine other new retirees and how they feel, you have the psych background and it still happened to you.. others don't and they are sad, depressed, anxious and even angry at retirement.

First, I have Retirement Transition email group if you'd like to chat with us as the days and weeks go by... it helps!

Second, If you'd ever consider writing about retirement depression / anxiety, I'd love to have your thoughts on my website to help others through the darker retirement days. Just a thought... you could help others from your own home!

Comments for Retiremenr Depression
That took me by Surprise

Click here to add your own comments

Turn off the teevee!
by: John

Great suggestion. Although I have a new, inexpensive ($265), high definition, liquid crystal TV/DVD/CD player from Coby, the teevee part is silent. Amen.

Instead, in the interests of "lifelong learning," I have slowly begun to build a library of first rate college courses by top professors from The Teaching Company as well as ordering upbeat documentaries and movies ongoingly from Netflix.

I love to pet the dog and watch something really good up close with my one good-sized glass of wine a day handy, plus usually a cup of homemade soup and whole grain crackers plus ice cream, chocolate sauce and granola for dessert. Oh, that does elevate my mood.

I also selectively browse my local morning paper and the New York Times and CNN online and listen to NPR on the hour and find that's quite enough.

The BBC has some great radio entertainment on late at night.

It takes discipline to eschew the distractions that were so "amusing" while I was working and be real selective about what I put in my head any more but it's worth it. Daily meditation ("making friends with myself") helps. Going on four years now with the help of a teacher and an online Buddhist community, known as a "sangha."

I had a stroke 15 years ago in Mexico. It taught me to take much better compassionate care of myself and not to try to live up to everybody else's real or imagined expectations.


Thanks to John and Melva
by: Anonymous

Thank you to John and to Melva for your caring and helpful suggestions.

I have ordered the book The Wisdom of Imperfection and have already been writing but will take my writing a little more seriously. I used to write articles for my website but I find I don't have the same interest any more. I even have about 50 articles that I have never got around to putting on the site.

I have Crohn's which is not really that serious a disease if I compare it to the illnesses some of my friends have had. But it is very responsive to my moods and unless I can get my mood to improve, I don't think I can ever get this Crohns under control. Funny thing is I have had it for about 20 years and managed it very well until I retired. It is much worse now.

I have found a good therapist and we are working slowly. I am trying to spend a little time with my two little grand daughters who are 4 and 5. But they can be pretty exhausting. They do light up my life though as they are very cute.

I find the news makes me more depressed so I don't spend as much time on the newspaper as I used to and don't send letters as much as I used to.

Wendy's two cents: Just a thought on the NEWS... My online retiree friends always felt the news much more than I did (and I was still working). Then I realized that many have a news station on ALL DAY as background noise. That means they are fed the oil spill, or death of an important person, or whatever -- 24/7. They are consumed by the negative happenings in our world.

Please don't do that to yourself, watch it, read it, but if you are one who leaves it on all day.. think twice. Find something else to watch...

Spirituality and Jungian "individuation"
by: John

Karly, your comments sound as if they had come right from a really fine and helpful book I'm reading: "The Wisdom of Imperfection" by Rob Preece, a Jungian psychotherapist and practicing Buddhist.

I think it will open your eyes.


Retirement: Write, write, write
by: Melva

This is for Karyl - please write a journal of your days.... doesn't matter if they're good days or bad days, just write.

It is so cathartic to get it all out. And with your training, it will be very important to you to see the "triggers" in your life, help you to face them. Always remember that somewhere there is someone worse off than you. I know that's hard to do, but try. It will put things in perspective.

I've had my struggles with depression after retirement, and it was my idea to retire! You have so much knowledge to share, please do it!

And keep in touch with this site, I know we all wish you well!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Anxiety and Depression.