Stuck: Lost All Ambition

Posted by blue99 @blue99, Oct 30, 2019

I am in my 60’s and I have had depression most of my life. However, I retired 2 years ago and it has not gone well. I have seen a couple different psychologist and I am taking anti-depressants. I do get better for awhile but it does not last. I have worked to make new contacts since retirement and I have stayed physically active but at the moment I have lost all ambition and it is hard work to do things I know I need to do to get better such as getting out of myself and doing something productive or fun. Please tell me what has worked for you.

@elwooodsdad

It is an adjustment. Some of it can be assisted with anti depressants. The rest is changing your expectations, and not concerning yourself with the expectations of others. I am 72, and cannot remember a time that depression was not part of my life. I am on a medication protocol that works as well as can be expected. Regardless of what medications you are prescribed, life will not be rainbows and unicorns. I volunteer, mostly with church and social betterment causes. Giving of my time helps others, and takes my focus to them instead of me. Yes, some days it is hard. If you have a down day, have a down day because you know it isn’t permanent. If you don’t recover from the down days, then intercession is necessary. If you can have a pet, and don’t have a dog or cat…get one. Loving something that loves you back is great medicine. Enjoy the fact you are able to just be. Read, volunteer, pray, walk, or whatever you feel like, or not. It is your call for a change.

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I volunteered for a few years after I retired. I don’t do it anymore. I’d like to and I enjoyed it, but right now it seems such an effort. Isolating for a while now.

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To all those who are responding to this thread, I do not mean to give the impression that it is easy to get help. My thoughts are to give encouragement to those who have had depression all or most of their lives that medication can really help and that it is possible to feel happy. Yes I agree that getting the right meds does not give an always happy life. We do need to work on things that stress and depress as much as we are able. It is not a race to see how quickly we can recover, but a lifetime task of doing what we can do to help make our lives better. Therapy may be a part of that, but not all are able to afford one or have the means to get to one. This connect program can be a way of helping us to get better at what we can do to handle our stress and depression. We of course, always stress that getting medical help is a good idea.

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@kleelibby

I volunteered for a few years after I retired. I don’t do it anymore. I’d like to and I enjoyed it, but right now it seems such an effort. Isolating for a while now.

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@kleelibby It's okay to isolate and you recognize it. Being as aware of your situation as you are, you will know when the effort and your "want to" is in alignment to go out and do something that you enjoy doing. Please be gentle on yourself.
Ginger

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@gingerw Thanks for your thoughts. I’m working on isolation. With holidays coming up I will try to participate in family events, but as they get closer I may change my mind.

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@kleelibby

I volunteered for a few years after I retired. I don’t do it anymore. I’d like to and I enjoyed it, but right now it seems such an effort. Isolating for a while now.

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@kleelibby even with my depression under control, there are still times I isolate due to stress or depression. I feel it is time to rest and recuperate. All part of doing what we can to help us with our condition.

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@johnhans Yes I agree with taking time to recharge. I can’t seem to get back into action mode! My family doesn’t get it. “You look good why are you sad? Get over it.” I used to try to explain depression but got blank stares. Now I shake my head and walk away.

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@kleelibby I'm sorry you're having to deal with that. Being around others (even family) can be especially draining if they're invalidating your experience due to ignorance, or whatever it may be. It's good to connect with people who are understanding. That can be a recharging experience in itself, I've found.

A year ago, I went through a period of conflict that was really tough. I lost a lot of my friends, but I found others who understood my perspective and empowered me. That changed everything, but I wasn't expecting it at all. I still like to keep to myself much of the time, and it can be really healing when done by choice.

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Family can be the most draining 🙂

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I have gone through periods where I was very much to myself, physically and mentally, and at the time that's what I needed.

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@gingerw I agree with your humble observation that not taking action is in itself an action. And it's just gotta be an okay place to put yourself for a while. I have been using a technique that's working for me. I make a conscious decision to not do/solve/"act" on anything when I've already done what I could in my situation. I continue doing my regular activities and put my mind in a WAIT mode. Kinda like sitting at a red light. If I wait patiently, the light will turn green, or I'm directed to turn in another direction cause the road is flooded…all kinds of things happen when you're waiting for the light to change .

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@guener constantly being around people can be what's unhealthy as well. At one point, I really depended on people and social activities to define myself and stay happy. I know many people who are still trapped in a cycle of needing validation from others to feel okay. I think it really depends on what *you* need, not what others think you need.

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@georgette that's beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes life has something unexpected in store, and only patience will allow that to reveal itself.

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