Ask an expert
Question

01 Mar 2003

DEPRESSION
I am 53 years old. I have gone back onto HRT. I have become disinterested in my hobbies and do not seem to get out of the house very much due to not having transport. I have had many changes in the past year of moving from a house to a flat and my children have left home. My husband does not seem to have much interest other than viewing t.v. and watching sport. My limbido is very low
I am physically tired, my vision has got weeker and I suffer with a pain in my lower back and hips
and have mild headaches. My appetite is normal. I have gained weight but not much. I have insomnia ocasionally. Could this be a depression or general ageing? I put the blame on my husbands status as I have always been very active and have enjoyed life and have always had transport. My husband can be demanding and very self rightious. A leader in the home and a caring person.
Answer 381 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear LM,
Well, Aging is probably the most democratic process in the country, and comes to all of us eventually. Major changes, like moving from house to flat, and especially having the children leave home, can be very dispiriting ( if you search on the internet, you'll probably find useful material on this, sometimes called the Empty Nest Syndrome.) One ma become mildly depressed, and depression is an eficient amplifier of any of the aches and pains which we accumulate over the years. Also, lack of distraction, ( eg having a smaller home, with less to do, and less attention to issues raised by the children ) leaves one more time to notice the aches and pains. Occasional insomnia is pretty routine ( check out the Archive of this Forum, as we've discussed simple ways of dealing with this, numerous times before ).
Losing transport can be quite disabling, especially if one was used to being mobile. As my granny used to say : "It cramps your style". And this stage of life can be especially frustrating for a wife who has been very active but with much of the activity linked to her husband's status and work, such that much of it ceases when he retires.
Many men handle their retrement especially badly. One day you're Big Man on the totem pole, in charge of things ; and the next day you sit and wonder what's on TV. The wisest folks prepare for retirement, by getting increasingly involvd in ongoing activities which they will be able to keep up later in life ( Marathon Running and trumpet playing are harder to manage as one gets older --- but there are many sports, hobbies, clubs, societies, whatever, that can remain permanently available and satisfying. And the men who just give up, and sit passive in front of the telly fare much worse as regards their health, unless they work on finding more activities.
So his passive and, from the sound of it, defeated reaction to retirement or its approach, is compounding your difficulties.
Is there a way to bring him on board ( or otherwise, go ahead yourself ) --- on a programme of exploring alternatives to keep busy and satisfied ? There ae hobbies, clubs, socieities. There are charities eager for the help of experienced volunteers ( and it also helps one's own motivation to e eminded that thee are many people who have a much tougher time in life, and handle it gracefully ). Some of these ma be within walking or bus reac of you ; some may be able to find someone to give you a lift to enable you to take part in activities. Be creative, and use the experience and skills you have developed over these years.
If your husband is still at work, surely he can help to arrange to provide some transport for you to get to meetings and other activities ?
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
34% - 9269 votes
No
66% - 17914 votes
Vote