Depression Hiding in Your Retirement Living
Adjustments to retirement often bring about the awareness of depression hiding in your retirement living.
A number of people who think they are overworked and underpaid have lived with depression so long they think it is normal. This link is to Ted’s Talks about depression and the stigma. Don’t let the stigma rule your retirement.
Here is some advice for your retirement time.
Some retirees think that is how they are supposed to feel. Realizing that this heaviness can be depression is often a shock to anyone.
Then you add stress
Stress can be a doorway for depression.
Stress causes your bodies systems and mind to make adjustments to how you see things. Often things that are not important can double in importance when stress colors how you think and reason. Then you will make some change to cope with the events that you often find occurring in your daily lives.
Stress often hides or disguises itself as deadlines, performance levels, all sorts of different methods push you during your working years.
Again remember that when we are accustomed to these small pressures from work days. Being already in the habit of feeling pressured, when you retire, you unconsciously search for triggers to make your stress levels feel normal. You live your life on automatic.
You may not have reasons to feel pressured or pushed, but that stress can be reproduced to give you that “comfortable” feeling of stress. Yes, your body is an adaptable vehicle. If you are missing stress, your mind will try to produce it for you.
However, your body can’t tell the difference in the actual importance of what generates the stress, the push. After all, stress originates in your mind and pushes you on. Sure these results enable you to accomplish whatever gets your paycheck regularly.
Are you comfortable with stress?
While you know you are fortunate to be healthy. You don’t have to work in retirement.
What will you do to make sure that your retirement is the great time in your life that you waited for so long?
Are you sure you do not set standards and requirements for yourself that result in stress after retirement? You can rest assured that many retirees do.
An innocent way this occurs is home improvements. Now that you are home all day, you see the imperfections of your living space. Maybe it is the landscaping.
Now, relaxing and enjoying this time of less responsibility is no longer a priority for you. Making corrections for all these errors that were not there before retirement becomes a compulsion.
For some, the drive is to travel. To stay busy improving the golf swing. The little ideas that make everyone tick start to turn destructive. These things that are supposed to be fun become the yardstick you tend to measure your days and weeks.
This is retirement?
At the end of the day, the importance of spending time sitting on the porch visiting with a neighbor, having a cup of coffee with your spouse. Oh no, the to-do list is not complete. Even if you had a day that allowed a number of good things to happen, you do not allow yourself to enjoy it.
Yes, staying busy is desirable and the better choice for your days. However to expect yourself to immediately become an expert home remodeler? That is sitting the bar pretty high right at the starting gate of your retirement.
You are learning to not be at work. Learning to spend more time with your spouse. Adjusting to no longer having a paycheck. The awareness that your life is indeed different now with a different focus.
Becoming comfortable with the progress of things in a more relaxed mindset. Yes, the adjustments continue. The challenges are there. The stress has many places to hide.
The silent power of stress
Depression is such a silent thing. This conditions can creep quietly in and be full blown without your awareness.
You do not normally find the diagnosis of “depression rash” when going in to check out the reasons for the rash where ever it occurs.
The same is true of depression. It can be difficult for diagnosing and treating. You can have a condition of mild depression masquerading as something else and not even realize it.
So why are we concerned with depression being sneaky?
Do you feel the vultures are there for you?
Or maybe you do not even know it has developed? Mild depression is the first step to major depression, and that is something hard to treat and will make your life miserable.
Living your retirement years with full-blown depression is a condition that can bring you to your knees. Knowing that the last years of your life will be spent in a deeply depressed condition, with no joy or enjoyment of life. Is this your path?
As you are becoming aware of the fact that you will probably live longer, and be healthier you should be making sure that your mental health conditions are also improved.
It is not a sign of weakness to seek help with mental conditions. You can find help.
As a retiring senior you will need to help your primary care physician help you. At some level, you must start the ball rolling to find help. Help yourself by speaking up.
Your personal awareness will help you be aware of some of the signs of depression. Your primary care “well check’ is a good place to start.
Make yourself aware.
There are signs of depression. Make yourself aware of these symptoms. Make yourself aware of how these indicate that all is not well. Like any other condition, when detected early, this is easier to treat.
Help yourself by realizing that depression is not to be expected in retirement. Depression is not a normal step in aging. This is brought about by your mental condition. How you are thinking and reacting to the changes in your life? Learn better ways to cope and adjust to this important time in your life.
You are sitting the stage for the rest of your life. Getting started into retirement with a healthy life plan for your retirement years is one of the building blocks for a happy rest of your life. Anchor this down for your retirement life.
There are also treatments and therapies that work well for retirees when the condition is not allowed to develop all the way to maturity.
When not treated in the mild stages, the conditions can develop to the homeless, helpless victims you see on street corners. Not to classify homeless people with only depression, there are many things that produce this degree of mental state.
However, untreated depression does rob its victims of a well deserved and earned retirement life.
Symptoms of mild depression
When retired senior citizens become so irritable with those in their daily life, this should be paid attention to. All to often this symptom is disregarded as a cranky old man or woman. That is not necessarily the only reason for the change in disposition. Also on the list of symptoms to watch
Also on the list of symptoms to watch is a sudden loss of appetite. Not able to sleep, and sleeping too much are both symptoms of depression.
The loss of joy in activities that were favorites is another warning sign. Drs. will usually watch for people who seem to experience more pain than the condition that is apparent produces. This is often another symptom. Trouble concentrating is a symptom that needs to be considered. As well, there is lack of interest in being around other people.
Trouble concentrating is a symptom that needs to be considered. As well, there is lack of interest in being around other people. Just watch how these things go in your daily living.
Ok, you may be more of an introvert person who enjoys your quiet time and having time to yourself. Just think about it. Are these symptoms of depression or just having the chance to regulate your own interaction with others? In a healthy amount, one of the good things of retirement.
Help Yourself get help
Be honest with your Physician. Tell them what is going on. Most times the Dr. will ask you why you came in today. If the feeling depressed is not the main thing that brought you in you will probably tell the Dr. about what did.
Then as the Dr. signs off the computer after completing the exam and coming up with a treatment regimen for the other ailment it can be a bit late. The Dr.s are busy and as they are closing your records, they are already moving to the next patient. To jerk their attention back is often not as successful as you had hoped.
To get his full attention to your concerns about your mental health, explain earlier in the visit. Maybe you could ask at the time the appointment is scheduled for a bit of extra time. This is an entirely reasonable request. Explain thoroughly why you are concerned and what has changed.
Do not be reluctant to state your concerns. Give a full account of why you are concerned. Help your Dr. help you.
Help your Dr.
Ask if there are lifestyle changes you can make? Explain if you have seen this in your parents or siblings when they retired. State your feelings about relying solely on medications for correcting this condition.
What are his suggestions? How can you apply them in your life?
The one thing that you have hopefully realized with this information is that it is a treatable condition. Not a mental weakness.
Only the most mature and well balanced of us can openly consider depression. This is a shadowland condition that has long cost many senior citizens the golden years they have worked for and earned. Don’t let this happen to you.
Life will throw many situations your way. Do not try to manage one of these situations with an already less than 100% state if mental health. The loss of a spouse. A major illness. An unexpected death of a child or grandchild. Not to be a doomsday cryer, but real life happens, and especially in your retirement years. Do what you can now to prepare yourself for these times.
Give your Dr. a chance to help you. Tell him what is going on for you. Awareness is a great prevention you can do for yourself.
Stay aware of your mental as well as your physical health. Love your life. Be happy living it. Don’t allow A silent depression in your retirement living to make your retirement less than it can be.