Does your ability to earn a living, affect your mental health?

Posted by sofaramnotdead @sofaramnotdead, Sep 8 12:41am

I'm in my 60's, and I have enough money to "get by," but that's about it. If I wanted to spend the rest of my life in a retirement home, the nicest ones are the most expensive, and I think I would be likely to run out of money before I died.

And I have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which seems to make any job difficult for me, but that's because I picked out jobs that I was just not suited for, and ignored the ones that emphasized my pluses that I have going for me.

I find that today's jobs are geared toward computing, and unfortunately when I went to college, computing wasn't seen as a job of the future. At least not by me it wasn't. So I got a degree that is in a field that I don't think I would enjoy working in.

So now I see where the jobs are, and I'm not trained for them. I didn't move to Rochester to just sit around writing questions to Mayo doctors, and wait until death chooses me. LOL.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Mental Health group.

Hello @sofaramnotdead

I appreciate your post. You make some interesting observations! As you are in your 60's, have you considered some online training? There are many courses offered through Coursera. Many can be taken without a fee or with a fee and then certification. Here is a link to this online program, https://www.coursera.org/. I have taken a few of these courses (without a fee and therefore without certification) and have found them to be stimulating and interesting.

As you mentioned Asperger's Syndrome, I wanted to introduce you to @gingerw, and @auntieoakley who have also discussed this disorder. You might also find the Connect discussion about Autism interesting and helpful, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/autism/.

@sofaramnotdead Are you considering employment?

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There is a strong correlation between mental health and income level. Those with lower incomes are more likely to experience mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. This is due to a number of factors, including stress from financial insecurity and lack of access to resources.

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Mental health can also be a problem with Aspergers, as I have struggled at times with depression and anxiety. I agree that finding employment that is enjoyable can be very difficult. I can’t say my difficulties have been worse than people not on the spectrum, but maybe different. I do super well if I don’t have to actually be in proximity to others all the time.
I was a really good traveling salesperson years ago before the diagnosis for my husband requiring me to be more available for his care.
I am also very self motivated for working remotely. I wish I had given more thought to my field of study, even though I did not understand why I struggled until I was in my 40s.
I also have taken home courses, finding a proctor for exams was pretty easy, and this was a great way to learn as I could study my way on my kind of schedule.
Have you given your strengths and weaknesses a hard look and thought about what you could/would do?

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@rslasad

There is a strong correlation between mental health and income level. Those with lower incomes are more likely to experience mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. This is due to a number of factors, including stress from financial insecurity and lack of access to resources.

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Can attest to this when there is financial stressors.

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@auntieoakley

Mental health can also be a problem with Aspergers, as I have struggled at times with depression and anxiety. I agree that finding employment that is enjoyable can be very difficult. I can’t say my difficulties have been worse than people not on the spectrum, but maybe different. I do super well if I don’t have to actually be in proximity to others all the time.
I was a really good traveling salesperson years ago before the diagnosis for my husband requiring me to be more available for his care.
I am also very self motivated for working remotely. I wish I had given more thought to my field of study, even though I did not understand why I struggled until I was in my 40s.
I also have taken home courses, finding a proctor for exams was pretty easy, and this was a great way to learn as I could study my way on my kind of schedule.
Have you given your strengths and weaknesses a hard look and thought about what you could/would do?

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Greetings! May I ask Chris HOW you found an answer/s about why you struggled in your 40s??

At this point in my life I doubt I will find any answers beyond this lifetime of dealing with the sadness and dragging down due to family dynamics, against all appearances…but hope remains against all odds, too.

To be more specific, or if you can direct me/us to a site with more resources on this topic:
– were there certain kinds of tests you took or testing that was done?
– what kind of doctor / facility / practice offers this/these tests?
– how do you know if they are accurate &/or credible if they really did offer answers that made such an impact on your life?

Thank you ahead of time so much. The lack of answers can be almost as dragging down as the experience itself.

Glad you found these answers.

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@auntieoakley

Mental health can also be a problem with Aspergers, as I have struggled at times with depression and anxiety. I agree that finding employment that is enjoyable can be very difficult. I can’t say my difficulties have been worse than people not on the spectrum, but maybe different. I do super well if I don’t have to actually be in proximity to others all the time.
I was a really good traveling salesperson years ago before the diagnosis for my husband requiring me to be more available for his care.
I am also very self motivated for working remotely. I wish I had given more thought to my field of study, even though I did not understand why I struggled until I was in my 40s.
I also have taken home courses, finding a proctor for exams was pretty easy, and this was a great way to learn as I could study my way on my kind of schedule.
Have you given your strengths and weaknesses a hard look and thought about what you could/would do?

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@auntieoakley These days, when I sit down and look at the different work-related jobs I had, and see which ones seemed to fulfill me the most, they match your list almost to a "t"!

In my last career, my supervisors and managers loved my exactness and ability to get things done. They tagged me as a trainer for others. And that is where my issues started. I was happy to work alone or be available to others to trouble-shoot concerns, but don't put me in a group! I was focused on work and not social interaction, which made an awkward environment for everyone. As someone with Aspergers I see things pretty much black and white. A social butterfly I am not!
Ginger

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@brandysparks

Greetings! May I ask Chris HOW you found an answer/s about why you struggled in your 40s??

At this point in my life I doubt I will find any answers beyond this lifetime of dealing with the sadness and dragging down due to family dynamics, against all appearances…but hope remains against all odds, too.

To be more specific, or if you can direct me/us to a site with more resources on this topic:
– were there certain kinds of tests you took or testing that was done?
– what kind of doctor / facility / practice offers this/these tests?
– how do you know if they are accurate &/or credible if they really did offer answers that made such an impact on your life?

Thank you ahead of time so much. The lack of answers can be almost as dragging down as the experience itself.

Glad you found these answers.

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In my forties, I was blessed to kind of fall into a job as a traveling salesperson. What a perfect job that was for me. I still struggled with aspects of my job, mainly the big company meetings held twice a year, where I was in close proximity almost 24/7 with other employees. My boss called me into his office, thinking I was getting fired, I complied. He suggested that I did a great job, but that knowing why I struggled sometimes might help me. He noticed that I was different socially when he visited me and when in a larger group, and that he suspected I was on the spectrum.
I truly believe he might have saved me from years more of wondering why I was so different and struggling to be “normal” get along.
I found a mental health professional that tested me and counseled me about having autism. I did have some struggles with my family, mostly I just had to say “we are all just doing the best we can”. I don’t know if they ever really understood but they did quit pushing me to be who they wanted me to be.
I have been incredibly blessed to have a supportive husband who always was happy to let me be who I am, we have always had our own interests and that made us better together.
I am blessed to now have work where I set my own hours as long as I meet deadlines which are very generous. I get to stretch my brain around a ton of new information all the time, and I am not in the office with others. I used to have meetings twice yearly but the pandemic ended those………yay!
Knowing I had Asperger’s and that I cannot function in some situations but thrive in others has helped me immensely.
This is kind of long winded but you will find a lot of reading about this on the autism group here on connect. I know another mentor posted this above, but here it is again. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/autism/
Do you have a mental health clinic in your area where you could talk to someone about this?

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