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Old 12-30-2014, 09:54 AM
 
2,635 posts, read 3,382,440 times
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I haven't read everything, so I apologize if this has been said.

It clearly sounds like she is depressed. This is not uncommon after retirement. Fortunately, it is treatable.

Have you gone with her to see her doctor? Have you called her doctor ahead of time to privately tell him/her what is going on?

A simple prescription for an anti-depressant, and a referral to a geriatric psychiatrist may be the next step.

But first, she needs a thorough check-up from her primary care doctor. There is also a possibility that she has another medical problem contributing. For example, she could be hypothyroid or have a B12 deficiency etc... It is even possible that she has an age related neurologic problem. She needs to be seen by a doctor. If she wont follow your advice to see a mental health professional, it may be possible for her primary care doctor to get her to follow this advice. It is also possible for a primary care doctor to start the treatment for depression without a psychiatrist, if need be.

Right now she needs love, encouragement and understanding. Are you up for it? It makes me sad when I read stories like this jumping to dissolving a marriage when something serious is going on and your wife is literally crying out for help..... by pushing you away.

You can do this. Help her.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:55 AM
 
Location: USA
1,815 posts, read 2,246,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
Yes, she would have to run naked down the street. And then she could get out of the hospital in a couple of days here in DC. Depending on the state mental health laws, you must be a danger to yourself or others. Not taking a shower, sitting and playing games and not involved in life doesn't cut it. She goes to the Dr. and that is what they will look at. You lterally have to have a razor to your wrist and a rope around your neck or threatening others to get committed. At least that is hwo it is here in DC.

It really doesn't sound like this woman, whom is an introvert, is doing anything too differently. It seems the OP wants more from her than she is willing to do and she told him off.

The legal words are " are they a danger to themselves or others" before an adult can be involuntarily committed. Then it's usually a 48 to 72 hour hold (States vary). If the professionals feel they do not meet the "danger" criteria, they are released.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:58 AM
 
6,345 posts, read 5,081,974 times
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Maybe she needs to go back to work. She isn't that "old". My sister is 68 and still working. She says she would go crazy if she didn't. She also does nothing when she gets home. Well she and her husband do go to church and concerts. She goes with him when he walks for exercise, but she doesn't walk.

But her job means a lot to her. Maybe not the job, but getting out and doing something. Even at her age she has had no problem finding employment. She has had several jobs after she retired from SBC.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:30 AM
 
5,922 posts, read 6,735,077 times
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Two thoughts.....

YOU need to worry about YOU first. It is NOT selfish; it is a move to preserve your own sanity and life.

YOU are an enabler in a sense if you continue to put up with this behavior.

Out of normal caring for a spouse you have attempted to "intervene". That overture has apparently been rebuffed. There is nothing further you can do. It is up to the individual now--just like with an alcoholic or drug abuser, they won't change until they are ready to change, no matter how much "love and caring" are sent their way.

Don't get involved in all the (attempting to) "having the person committed" or a mental health evaluation in your home so you don't hurt their feelings. The individual is clearly sick. That is well established.

Play it straight up: I am leaving. Bye.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:56 AM
 
13 posts, read 11,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
So now I am getting the feeling that she was a competent involved worker before retirement? Is that correct?
If so, and as you say she found her life in her job, then maybe she needs something enormously significant to do, which will help her get back to her old self. Why did she retire? Was she pushed out? Is there any hope of another job somewhere? Some people just cannot stop working, ever. It's usually a man, but can also be a woman. If she found a true need that she could fill, would she do it?
My thoughts exactly. Maybe she could volunteer for few hours a day doing what she loved. Teaching others from her experience.

Also thought a pet could help. Having a pet to take care of and love makes you care a bit more about yourself as well.

Do not give up on your spouse. She sounds like she feels there is no reason to really do anything because what she did enjoy doing is gone.

Keep giving her emotional support and let her know you want to help her.

At the same time, continue doing what you enjoy doing.

I hope you both find your way into your new retired life. It is a life change for all of us. I am not there yet however I do remember how I felt when I was laid off of a job that I enjoyed and did for over 10 years.

Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:11 PM
 
6,345 posts, read 5,081,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenie1956 View Post
My thoughts exactly. Maybe she could volunteer for few hours a day doing what she loved. Teaching others from her experience.

Also thought a pet could help. Having a pet to take care of and love makes you care a bit more about yourself as well.

Do not give up on your spouse. She sounds like she feels there is no reason to really do anything because what she did enjoy doing is gone.

Keep giving her emotional support and let her know you want to help her.

At the same time, continue doing what you enjoy doing.

I hope you both find your way into your new retired life. It is a life change for all of us. I am not there yet however I do remember how I felt when I was laid off of a job that I enjoyed and did for over 10 years.

Good luck!
think he said that she does nothing for the pets they already have?
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:23 PM
 
494 posts, read 881,878 times
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As an introvert (not extreme, but tending more that way than its opposite), I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to live in the Jane Austen days. There was music in the house if someone could play the pianoforte. There were life-like family portraits on the walls if someone was highly skilled in drawing and painting. Developing those skills took a willingness to spend much quiet, solitary time learning and practicing.

Today, in the era of music recordings, photographs, videos, etc., introverts (to the extent that their contribution is to bring back treasures to share from solitary pursuits, rather than being the life of the party) sometimes struggle to find ways of connecting with others while still being true to their own more solitary nature. (I know I do at times.) Some find that niche where they do something amazing (or at least socially valued); others lead a quiet life that maybe involves a lot of reading and/or watching TV in their spare time (which many people have more of in retirement). Some alternate between more versus less purposeful/socially engaged phases (some niches last a lifetime; others are temporary).

Introversion and extraversion both have their positive and negative aspects. Really, I don't see that playing golf is intrinsically more mentally healthy than watching TV, or vice versa (not saying physical activity isn't important). But since extroversion is more common than introversion, sometimes negative judgments about introversion go unexamined (such as those reflected in some of the OP's comments and word choices, as well as perhaps a couple of the replies on this thread).

As just one example (I point this out to be helpful, in case the OP was unaware of it), I noticed that the term "severe introvert," rather than "extreme introvert," was used by the OP. We generally (always?) use "severe" to describe things we consider bad, while "extreme" can equally describe good, bad, or neutral things. So, whether intended that way or not, "severe introvert" is more pejorative than "extreme introvert"--and therefore more likely to make someone who is labeled that way feel negatively judged.

For me--and I think most people--negative judgments make me want to withdraw rather than engage--especially judgments about something that feels very basic to one's personality rather than being easily changed. I think if a very introverted person tries to act like an extrovert, both the person and those around them experience something false--that this is an imitation of extroverted behavior, not the real deal.

The OP said that earlier in the relationship there was more respect for the differences. I think that is key to any relationship between people who are very different--it can only work well if there's a genuine appreciation of the person in spite of (or maybe even because of) the differences (for instance, if people can see themselves as complementing each other as a team by bringing different strengths and weaknesses). Most people, whether extrovert, introvert, or somewhere in the middle, want to feel appreciated for who they are and for whatever they are able to contribute. And I think we also help ourselves when we help those around us find their niche--which is different from pressuring them to conform to some universal standard for what everyone is best off doing.

As the OP indicated, there are many other things (health, employment, and family issues) going on. I just think one piece in the puzzle might be understanding more about the dynamics of a relationship where people are different on the introversion-extroversion dimension.

I wish the best for the OP and his partner (whatever "the best" turns out to be). It's brave of you, OP, to start a thread like this, which may help other people who read it, too, and to open yourself to hearing other people's thoughts on something so personal.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
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From the little that was described by the OP, I'm not sure it's an introvert-extrovert matter. It sounds, from the outside, that it's a case of depression, which can hit anyone of any temperament. Either that, or maybe it's what my mother went through at a late age...withdrawing as an expression of anger, kind of like a tantrum (I'm mad at the world and everyone in it because I've been marginalized in society and am getting toward the end of my life, so I'll retaliate by being difficult).

It sounds like the OP's partner is smart enough to know what she's doing and probably why. I wouldn't immediately write it off as "mentally ill," which has it's certain connotations, even though depression is a form of mental illness. One can lead a horse to water but cannot make it drink. I advocate for at least a temporary separation with continued contact. If finances are a problem in this, there may be help through friends or clergy. It's hard to fight a house fire from the inside.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:59 PM
 
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I advocate that the OP just go home and take care of business.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,231,047 times
Reputation: 8054
Is she necessarily depressed? She doesn't have crying spells or talk about how miserable life is. She doesn't talk about suicide or death. She doesn't even seem to feel she has a problem, which all depressed people do.

There are lots of things that can cause a lack of motivation, being able to get up and get one's ass in gear. I vote for continuing with a complete medical check-up ....... though to be honest doctors don't often get all "worked up" about older women with similar complaints, since they see so many of them that don't seem to have anything medical wrong with them (same reason as for undiagnosed heart disease in women). But even if it's purely mental, it might not be depression.
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