Negativity after Retirement ~ (Elderly Depression Part 1)

"Since retirement he has become so inquisitive that he intrudes our privacy all the time" 
- Mohan 34yrs,venting out on how his retired father change in behaviour has brought him marital problems.

"He always loved his company more than us. He never cared about us. Now that he is retired he wants to run the house like his company. Can you please tell him that he is retired, he isn't the manager of his company any longer. Can you tell him to leave us in peace!!!"
Rita, 24yrs youngster who is having problems with new rules and regulations set by his father after retirement.

"Initially I felt great, but slowly I started feeling worthless. My  children are all grown-ups and have their own life. I feel insecure many a times" 
- Mrs.Kapoor, 65yr lady who retired from her job and is now battling post-retirement clinical depression.

These are just few examples of the emotional battles that millions of families go through while dealing with post-retirement emotional and behavioural changes.

Retirement – a milestone or beginning of the end?

Retirement is one of the most difficult times in an individual's life. Within a span of 24hrs an active person is tagged as inactive and unproductive. It's the phase of life that requires maximum adjustment.

It's also the phase, where most individuals will resist to adjust.

The psychological "Retirement cycle" is as following. It starts with a phase of happiness, where one feels relieved of having given up work related duties. This period phases out to give way to realization that daily house-hold activities don't provide the same personal, social and financial pleasures as work. The lack of satisfaction creates a feeling of worthless.
Being the elder in the house, the individual feels shy and restless to talk about this feeling with any younger member of the family. Keeping the feeling in his/her mind adds to the emotional pain leading to behavioral changes like restlessness, anger, irritation, sleep disturbance and mood swings. 

Many Family members find it an intrusion into their way of living, fueling more negativity into the psychological environment.

Why do retired people feel depressed?
  • Loss of productive work.
  • Family may not need their help anymore or feel they are a burden in society.
  • Their friends may be busy with other activities and may not have the time for them.
  • Loss of income.
  • A lowering of self-esteem.
Signs and Symptoms of Post-Retirement Clinical depression?
If a person shows more than 5 of the following symptoms for a period greater than 6months:
  • Sadness or extreme negativity about self present through out the day
  • Lack of interest in any new activity
  • Easily irritable, might show extreme mood swings or sudden outbursts of anger on petite issues.
  • Changes in sleep pattern. With more time to fall asleep.
  • Changes in appetite pattern. 
  • Excessively negative behavior like over-criticizing, over-generalizing, extreme possessiveness, etc that was not present earlier.
  • Recent Memory problems - in which a person is not able to remember recent events. Like forgetting where he/she has placed her personal items, forgetting conversations held in the morning, forgetting to remember messages, etc.
  • Episodes of crying. 
  • Constantly talking about dying or expressing desire to go away to some remote place away from the family.
  • Even a single attempt of self-harm or leaving the house and going away from the family without informing.
If a person has 5 or more of the above, than he/she should be immediately taken to consult a professional immediately.

Clinical Depression in elderly not only destroys their right to have a peaceful end to their life, but also ruins the happiness of their family members. 

For any further assistance, feel free to contact me at,

Dr.Hemant MittaL
(MBBS, PG.DPM, M.D.(Mind Mantra Wellness Concepts - Mumbai))

For any further query, especially regarding Stress, Depression, Emotional, Behavioural, Sleep, Memory, Concentration and Sexual Health feel Free to Contact me at:

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