Making the Mental Adjustment to Retirement

Source: Central

For many people, a job or career can serve as an integral part of their identity while also providing socialization and a sense of purpose that has been cultivated throughout their lives. So, what happens when it is time for retirement?

It can be a wonderful time of life but, for some, also a very difficult adjustment that can have a negative impact on their mental health.

For those who experience depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders after retirement, help is available.

According to the National Institutes of Health, many older adults are at risk for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety as they experience the significant life changes that can come with age.

Physical illness, the death of a loved one, and retirement are all changes that can lead to feelings of sadness, stress and uncertainty. Over time, older adults are typically able to adjust to these changes, but some have more difficulty than others. That is why it is important to recognize the warning signs of a mental health problem in older adults. These warning signs can include:

• Changes in mood or energy level.
• A change in your eating or sleeping habits.
• Withdrawing from the people and activities you enjoy.
• Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, angry, upset, worried or scared.
• Feeling numb or like nothing matters.
• Having unexplained aches and pains.
• Feeling sadness or hopelessness.
• Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual.
• Anger, irritability or aggressiveness.
• Having thoughts and memories that you can’t get out of your head.
• Hearing voices or believing things that are not true.
• Thinking of harming yourself or others.

If you or loved ones experience signs of a mental health problem, talk to your physician or seek out a mental health therapist. In many cases, depression and anxiety can be successfully treated through talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.

Penn Medicine Princeton House Behavioral Health provides a wide range of outpatient and inpatient services customized to meet the needs of older adults. For more information or to find a therapist, call 888-437-1610 or visit


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Making the Mental Adjustment to Retirement - Part 2