Still depressed

by Carolyn
(Toronto)

I made an entry many months ago about retiring in October 2013, age 62, loving it for 7 months, then my sister got very ill and everything ground to a halt - although she rallied and is doing well, I am not - my depression which was triggered by my sister's illness never lifted.


I miss my job - I was doing volunteer work initially but now I am too depressed to volunteer OR work even though I want to do both.

I have tried two antidepressants which did not work. I am seeing a psychiatrist and will keep trying but I miss my job so very much that I actually cry out "I want my job back" which is not possible.

Prior to my sister getting ill I loved retirement and was a gadabout town going to lectures at the university, hikes, volunteering at the animal shelter, luncheons with friends, the museum, the art gallery - and had plans to travel.

I can so vividly remember thinking "Wow - this is the life!" but when clinical depression came, that thinking was reversed.

I force myself out with friends for lunch - even had a spa day last week with massage and the waters - but I felt awful and didn't even want to be there.

I know that if I still had my job I would not be in this very dark place as I would be structured and distracted and feel I had a purpose.

Has anyone gone through such a funk for 9 months (that's how long its been) and come out of it?

I continue to see my doctor and I am doing all the right things but it seems like it is just never, ever going to go - all the things I want to do, I am to depressed to do. It's completely debilitating - almost paralytic at times. The anxiety is bad at times as well. I don't even pay much attention to my cat whom I love.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been through this. Thanks for listening.

Comments for Still depressed

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In reply
by: Malli

Sorry to hear about your depression. I had depression when my family was in my life. Then, the dysfunction got so bad that my husband and I moved 1500 miles away for a new beginning.

It was really hard for the first few years but have now adjusted. I stay on my antidepressants though just in case. Hope you feel better soon, regards, Malli

still depressed
by: c.cannon

This comment was moved to another page. It's far too good to be lost under another post, and this way, other retirees can comment on the post itself.

Thanks! Wendy

I am depressed also
by: Anonymous

Feel isolated, my sons and grandkids are too busy with their lives, no time to call or visit. Also miss my job, went to several interviews with no luck .

Living a day at a time.

Thank you
by: Carolyn

I want to thank all of the kind contributors who responded to my "still depressed" "blog" - I am worse than ever right now because starting Monday they are going to be jack hammering the balconies on my condo for 5 weeks - non stop noise 5 days a week - I am ready to scream.

I don't know how much more I can take but I appreciate your comments. I am very overridden with anxiety right now largely due to the noise that will begin in Monday.

I am too depressed to go out although I try to push myself - I find it hard to get out of bed - I have two doctor appointments next week and tried to get into a hospital on two occasions but they insisted that I can be treated as an outpatient and don't seem to grasp how "sick" I feel with chronic crying and anxiety.

I know I cannot get my job back but I'm obsessed with wanting it back - and hating myself for making a foolish decision.

Thanks for listening and for your input - this site, Wendy, is very helpful - thank you.

i understand
by: wendy fresno ca

I know how you feel, I looked forward to retiring for some time-now I find myself regretting it, missing the interaction I had a work,-I wish I could find a pt. job but feel I am too old....

The Fourth Season of life
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Carolyn: When your sister got ill, you were shocked into realizing that people over 60 are all at the fourth season of life when illness and challenges can happen to people.

Your sudden freedom in retirement was heady and fun and it can still be--- and eventually will be. But you suddenly were forced to face the inevitability that we will eventually leave this life and that can be a stunner. It is also perhaps the best thing that can happen to you , like a hit on the head, telling you it is time to finally know who you are and why you are here.

We all have a story to tell. Have you ever thought of writing yours, perhaps in the form of a memoir. To have your story passed on to other family members can be exciting while you are still here. Just know that you are here for a reason, and your depression is anger turned inward. The source of the anger can set you free.

Remember that life is a continuous journey whether we want it to be or not.
Blessings.

light, real intense, in the morning
by: Anonymous

Please consider getting more intense light right after you get up in the morning.

Talk to a doctor about the type and intensity.


Smile!
by: Sheila / Cambridge ON

Yes, try smiling, even though it hurts. Watch funny shows on TV. Make a list of the good things in life. You are alive, housed, well-fed etc. Think of the past when you were happy. Write about the good things that happened to you then.

And if that fails, find another therapist. Good luck!

Anxiety/depression
by: Nancy

I would get a second opinion from another psychiatrist. He may have misdiagnosed you and that is why the meds don't work.

Your post struck a responsive chord as far as desperately wanting your job back.

I had depression/anxiety too and it did get better for me. It took about 2 years. I still miss working and having a career, but I think I am fully in my retirement phase by now.

Depressed
by: Hans (Calgary)

Each person's depression will be different. I venture that even going back to work would not be the answer now.

For me going forward was the only way and the depression came and went. I'm sympathetic as I know how discouraging it can be.

For me the help came when I learned some of the distorted rules I unconsciously lived by and of course I distracted myself from them with work. My experience is that, of course, with time it does get better. There's probably more help available than you know.

Maybe check with your psychiatrist for a therapy group as that is a safe way to change. Not saying you need that but help is ALWAYS available.

Unfortunately retirement depression is far more common and cuts across all cultural and economic strata. Death or illness of someone close may be the trigger-it is perfectly natural to grieve and it takes time but one needn't go it alone.

H

Nine long months
by: Anne/London

Yes, I have been there although not due to retirement. I retired a year ago and don't miss my job.

However, I have been in the situation where the sun won't shine and you feel you are in an endless tunnel with no light at the end. It's horrible.

You are doing the right thing by seeing your doctor - don't try to go it alone. Try to find a project, however small, and complete it. Mine was a sewing project, but it could be anything which needs to be started and completed with something tangible to show for it. Cuddle your cat. Go out for a meal. Even if you don't feel like it.

One step at a time and you will one day be yourself again. Best wishes.

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