Retirement Anxiety

by Carol
( West Chester)

Now age 72, and three years into retirement I have joined the swamp of alligators. Anxiety hangs around me like a shadow, I cannot shake it off.

some back history: My dream was going to college; did that and earned a MA. Worked where I always dreamed of working, in a library, first as Head of Children's Dept, and then in an university as Head of Circulation helping professors and students. I also did fulfilling volunteer work as a Literacy Tutor, and other volunteer activities.

Recently, I filled in online volunteer forms and have not heard back. At an younger age I volunteered and was always wanted as a volunteer. In the spring I will attempt to volunteer through United Way. We are going into our cold snowy time of the year plus I have major dental starting in a few weeks.

Now: I keep busy, the gym, chatting with friends, lifelong learning classes, embroidery, etc. somehow it is not enough. I feel like I am just filling in empty time, that somehow life is not meaningful. I don't know how to make my life feel meaningful. I don't know how to accept pleasing myself with daily activities. It seems like a slide towards the end of my life.

For 8 eights I took generic Citalopram (Celexa) and for some years it helped then I realized I was a "plastic person with little emotions".

I am seeing a therapist, after a year of searching and trying out therapists I have found a therapist that seems to work for me. I am fighting taking duloxetine, which my primary dr has recommended. I would like to hear pros and cons from folks who have taken this medication.

My health is fairly good, lots of aches, diabetics somewhat under control- do not need medication according to the dr., house is paid for, only major bill is paying for my car. Loving family and grandkids nearby and see/talk with them weekly.

So why the heck can't I shake depression and anxiety off? Is it better to take Cymbalta (generic) and be in a haze? Does the medication really help?

Comments for Retirement Anxiety

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by: John / Walnut Creek, CA

I wear glasses to help me see clearly.

Similarly, I take Cymbalta to help me stay calm. I do not, and never have, felt like it put me in a haze.

Beneficial wishes to all. John


You have much to be thankful for...your perspective may need rebooting. As humans we are always pursuing whatever brings us happiness. It may take something new to help you snap out of your temporary slump.

Differences in retirement for men and women
by: Jerry

I am new to the group, but can see a pattern. Women seem to adjust to retirement much easier than men do, with few exceptions.

I say that it's because are so into their work, when they leave it the grieve and struggle to find a new identity.

Women on the other hand are just dropping down to one job- taking care of people. I don't totally buy this since not all women have anyone to take care of. It could be, however that a woman's identity is mor multi-faceted than men's.

I am not sure about any of this, but I struggled with the depression and had to take meds. Do it. Your head clear gradually, but you still have to do the work of finding a new you.

I am trying to spend more time with the kids and grand kids. I am also having coffee with friends. I am also trying to talk to family more on the phone and on Facebook.

This was supposed to be easy as long as you save enough money. Wrong

Wendy: Agreed Jerry, you read and worry about the money part of retirement -- never even consdering life post-retirement, until you are there. Sounds like you are gettihg 'there', little by little!

Retirement Anxiety
by: Bomita

59 1/2 and newly retired. I have wanted this for a couple of years now. This has been a year of waiting. My mom passed in March, and I am moving in Nov. to another state where I know not a soul. A new beginning.

My emotions are all over the place, so many decisions.

Yesterday, I could not get out of the bed, so I told myself it was okay. Today, I put on my sneakers and took a long walk. I have a Fitbit and set a daily challenge so I asked a couple of walkers to participate.

Since I invited them, I figured I should at least make an attempt to at least try.

Wendy: GOOD for you! Nice start... you've got the Fitbit, now use that to challenge and encourage yourself. Go Girl!

Medications helps
by: Donna

I am sorry to learn that you are experiencing anxiety and depression. For many, it comes with the territory.

The depression and anxiety hit me hard the first year I retired - 2013 - and is just now beginning to subside.

HOWEVER, a year ago I decided to work two days a week because I was not interested in staying home to watch television. I met with a therapist and began taking Lexapro and that helped manage the anxiety and take the edge off the depression. I have to get out everyday and accomplish something otherwise I feel lonely.

Medication is not a substitute for an active life style.

I miss working in a team and being productive.

There are many medications that have numerous side effects. I tried a few and take the lowest does possible and that seems to help. There is no easy answer to this problem. I hope I have been of some help.

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