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Your Dad's Psychological Health Post Retirement needs extra attention!

18 Dec 2015

Your once happy go lucky dad who was the life of the house is now quieter.. sitting in a corner.. Do you wonder why?

You need to know about the ‘retirement syndrome’  which is a total truth. 

The transition from pre-retirement stage to post retirement stage involves a lot of changes which can induce a lot of stress. It of course involve financial and social changes but it also involves a lot of emotional and psychological changes which are often ignored and which further can end up in a distressful situation. Let us have a look at what might be causing the stress and how can we manage them by giving the retirement phase a cherished phase of life.


The roots of stress during retirement:

  • Sudden loss of routine,
  • Loss of meaningful work
  • Natural social interactions
  • Possible dependence for health and finances
  • Feelings of poor self worth and poor self esteem
  • Development of a new identity which can be lead to an existential crisis
  • Caregiving responsibilities (may be of spouse)
  • Relationship issues( feelings of loneliness)
  • Not having a concrete post retirement plan


Signs and symptoms that your father may not be taking the transition of retirement very well:

  • Irritability
  • Sadness (loss /change in professional identity, collegial, community)
  • Anxiety
  • Pessimism
  • Ambivalence
  • Restlessness
  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Feelings of ambivalence(switching between positive and negative emotions about retirement)


These symptoms might intensify as the retirement day gets closer and they may continue even after retirement.  If these symptoms are not taken care of and emotional and psychological integrity is not maintained, it may lead to serious consequence which can completely make the later part of your loved one’s life such as

  • Depression
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Cognitive impairment such as loss of psychomotor abilities, poor executive functions(planning, decision making, reasoning, problem solving etc), memory impaiment, slow cognitive/ thinking speed and difficulty in dealing with simple life situation
  • Impaired daily life functions such as getting the groceries, grooming and maintaining personal hygiene, eating ang taking medicines etc.
  • Complete dependence
  • Paranoia and agression
  • Delusions
  • Difficulty in maintaining relationships 


The retirement syndrome is completely manageable, but the management needs to start as soon as possible:

  1. Understand that this is a phase of life: Instead of taking it as an ‘ end’ of everything, take it as a beginning of a new phase. Accept your new roles and responsibility. You may not be the breadwinner of the family or not have materialistic responsibilities but you are still the grandfather who your grandchildren need to play with and hear stories from, you finally may be able to finish writing that book you always wanted to write, fulfill all your hobbies for which you didn’t have time during your ‘working’ life. If you have caregiving responsibilities, you can hire external help to make sure that you find some time for yourself.
  2. Remain engaged: Being free from work responsibilities doesn’t mean that you disengage yourself from everything. “An empty mind is a devil’s workshop”. You can recreate your daily schedule into something productive. Use this time to focus on your body. Wake up, go for a walk, explore your spirituality, meet other retired people and know about their live and ensure your socialization. Mind as well and body fitness needs to be boosted.
  3. Maintain relationships: The roles may change a bit, but the relationships shouldn’t. Have satisfying relationship with your children, grand children, relatives and friends. Good social support is key to mental peace.
  4. Financial security: Financial strain are the primary cause of stress post retirement. The management for this one should start much before the retirement starts. Keep your savings together and make sure you have a financial retirement plan like pension. You can also explore other professions post your retirement. For example, you can become an art teacher if you always had a thing for art or you can take up tuitions if you always wanted to be a teacher. It would give you a sense of accomplishment and you can always use your income for your financial stability.
  5. Stay ‘young at heart’: Retirement may be an outcome of your ageing process but that doesn’t mean you need to feel old. Tune into a song from your young days or get to know about recent gadgets or movies which will give you an extra edge to bond with the current generation. Sometime spending time with younger people will make you feel young and energized too. All you need to do is keep an open mind.
  6.  Acts of goodness: Even the ancient scripts like Vedas suggest that later age is the best time to do ‘punya’ or good work so that one goes to God clean. You can customize your own ways to do good work. It can be volunteering for an NGO and help the underprivileged or it can be visiting spiritual destinations like a pilgrimage. The ultimate goal is to find satisfaction with yourself.
  7. Seek professional support: If the symptoms seem unmanageable, one can also resort to professional help. Counselling and psychotherapy specialist are trained to analyze the situations and roots of the symptoms and deliver the best method to ensure mental health and well being.


Your loved one’s psychological wellbeing might be at stake.

Your thinking about the symptoms that, “it is just a phase, it will be over” might actually not be over. So, act immediately! 

Just Click the Pink Button on the left & Type Hi to consult with a Depression & Senior health expert instantly!


To know more about ePsyClinic's e-Mental wellness specialty clinic. Click here 


Tags:  #depression #Father #Psychological Health