Retirement: when depression invites itself to the party

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Why get up every morning and do nothing? This question, many retirees ask themselves and more often than you think. When you are still working and patiently waiting for the moment when you can (finally) stop, it is difficult to imagine that retirement can be a painful moment and yet it is. Retirement blues, lack of social ties, desire to return to work… The reasons for this “depression” are numerous and they can go as far as depression.

If some quickly regretted their choice, after having stopped working, this is not the case for Evelyne. This former teacher retired at the age of 60, six years ago, because she was enjoying a long career: “When I stopped I was on my own, my husband was still working, but I had a lot of desires, a lot of projects outside. I wanted to be free, I wanted to go see exhibitions, take art history lessons, play sports…”. With Planet, she recalls overloading her schedule, which meant she didn’t feel “too much emptiness.” “I had understood that it was important not to have nothing to do, otherwise the day passes. saw no one and we did nothing,” she adds.

Wednesday with her grandchildren, water aerobics, walking, cinema, art history… The young retiree doesn’t stop and always has something to do. A busy week to which is added everything that must also be done, including shopping, and outings with her friends. With all her activities, Evelyne really doesn’t have time to be bored and yet, an event breaks the routine she has put in place: “When the Covid arrived, I noticed this gap and this emptiness. I had nothing more to do and I felt very idle, very alone”. Usually dynamic and optimistic, Evelyne gradually falls into depression, from which she will find it difficult to get out.

With the Covid-19, Evelyne no longer did any of her activities overnight. Forced to stay at home, like all French people, she began to question her decision to retire: “There, I said to myself that I had done something stupid, that I should not have left. stop, that I should have taken a year off and resumed afterwards, because I still wanted to teach”. The questions are linked in her mind, with not really optimistic answers: “What am I bored, why did I do this? What am I for? Nothing!”, remembers the retiree. At that point, she no longer wants anything and, above all, she no longer calls or calls back her friends.

“I didn’t want to call people, because I found my life so uninteresting that I felt I had nothing to tell them. I cut ties because I had nothing to say , I did not want to contact my former colleagues, whom I had nevertheless remained close to, “recalls Evelyne. A vicious circle from which she takes a long time to get out, because the less she does, the less she wants to do: “You think that retirement is freedom, but that’s not the case. You don’t don’t go for the best, you see people around you who are aging, who are sick, who also sometimes disappear”. After two years with these dark thoughts, the sexagenarian only found a taste for retirement a very short time ago…

After the Covid and the various confinements, things took a long time to get back in place. “Last year was not a good year: people were a little mixed, we had lost all our habits. I didn’t go to aquagym, I gave up brisk walking, I had dropped everything…”, remembers Evelyne with Planet. The birth of his last grandson and a move this summer have given him a boost, which is starting to have an effect on his daily life.

Today, the retiree has resumed several of her activities and now she wants to call back those who leave her a message, who want to organize something with her. “This year, I want to get things back on track, because I know that’s how we move forward,” she explains. To those who have not yet retired, Evelyne gives her advice: “I don’t think there are people who should stop. If you don’t want to stop, you shouldn’t Above all, don’t stop”.