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Old 09-25-2017, 06:49 PM
242 posts, read 164,729 times
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My father retired a few years ago and has never gotten used to it. He was one of those people whose entire identity was tied to his career and the only hobby he ever had outside of work was golf. I always knew that he would have a hard time with retirement but I didn't think it would be this hard. He mopes around the house most of the time, has lost interest in doing anything and is always very withdrawn when around people. He also drinks a lot and I would say that he is now an alcoholic. My brother, mother and myself have all tried talking to him but he denies having any kind of mental health issue. He grew up in a time and culture where mental health wasn't a thing and men were supposed to never let any emotion show. Both my brother and I live in the same city and visit and call regularly but my mother bears the worst of it because she lives with him. Has anyone gone through something similar? What did you do?
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:59 PM
Location: Central IL
15,245 posts, read 8,538,301 times
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I can see it would be difficult to persuade him to see a mental health professional. How about his family doctor? It might not hurt to get a complete checkup, especially if it has been more than a few years - blood labwork, physical, etc. It might be possible for your mother to give a heads up about the depression symptoms for a little more intense attention from the doctor. Who knows though, it might be thyroid, anemia, low blood pressure?

But many times family doctors are fine with prescribing anti-depressants which may make it easier to get started, if they are called for. Keep in mind that the first one may not be the best and several may need to be tried - for a number of weeks each as they take time to show any effect. The doctor may explain this in terms of a chemical imbalance rather than a "mental illness" and that could help persuade your father. Good luck - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink...always.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:08 PM
1,227 posts, read 1,260,773 times
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Hi 514gal,

I'm very sorry your family is dealing with this. It's impossible to "force" someone to get help. They have to want to help themselves. That's one of the really hard lessons that people learn when they watch someone who is suffering with alcoholism and/or depression.

reneeh63 has good advice if your dad will see his doctor. Maybe you can also convince your dad to join an AA group -- but that would be an outside shot.

If he is not ready to work on his emotional issues or his excessive drinking, then I would suggest you and your mom and brother attend Al-Anon meetings. These meetings will help to teach you how to emotionally deal with this situation. It will give you people to share your experiences with and to hear their ideas, it will give you people to lean on. It will teach you how not to enable the situation.

Also, I would have a frank conversation with your mom to make sure she isn't being abused.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:08 PM
Location: Florida -
8,764 posts, read 10,848,423 times
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Trying to talk with him about "his mental health issues" is very unlikely to get you an affirmative response. Likewise, dealing with him as though 'his problems are obvious to all of you - and a possible throwback to an older time' is condescending and offensive.

He may be bored or even depressed that retirement is not turning-out the way he planned; he may even drink -- but, as a retired father, I (also older and retired), would not take well to my children and wife 'ganging-up' and automatically assuming I had mental health issues and was an alcoholic. Give him the benefit of the doubt and approach him like a concerned friend who is on his side.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:12 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,110 posts, read 22,978,628 times
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How is his health otherwise? I've switched to a vegan diet and feel better. Not sure you can broach that idea with him or not. But, if his cholesterol or blood pressure or blood sugar, etc., is high, he could benefit from a non-animal diet, which would also help his mood.

Might be a hard sell, but for what it's worth, this is the diet I'm now following and feel much better:

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Old 09-25-2017, 07:59 PM
6,213 posts, read 2,871,412 times
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I commend the family for being concerned.
Maybe a subtle approach would be appropriate. Invite him out or have him help on a home project. My uncle struggled with retirement so us kiddos found asking for his skills...Hanging up closet doors or helping with the landscape kept him feeling important. He often comments when visiting on how good a job he did. (Which is true). Just tune into his talents and invite him to get involved.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:00 PM
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,401 posts, read 9,148,021 times
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I've told my little story about my retirement "adjustment" before. While my problem was different-anxiety and confusion about my new life, I got thru it by counseling and a couple of supportive friends. I do have hobbies and outside interests. Depression is a killer tho. Mentally.

Professional help and developing new interests is what is needed, but sadly a person with clinical depression is not interested about getting help. But help he needs.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:17 AM
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,108 posts, read 3,465,006 times
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OP...you said his hobby was golf. Is he golfing now? Can you encourage him to get on the links more?
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:37 AM
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,510,190 times
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Buy him a golf club membership or take him to some celebrity tournaments. Go golfing weekly with him. He needs to find his niche, his ''new self''.
Depression comes from being hung up on the losses of the past. Anxiety comes from fearing the uncertain future. He may be a little of both. Give him encouragement to learn to live in the present, to enjoy each day. Golf is a good way to help him focus on doing that.
Also fishing, sports, outdoor activities, reading, cooking, any hobbies or projects. I've found that once I focus on the present, with something to do or some place to go, depression steps aside and joy and peace take its place.
Best wises for your dad...
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:57 AM
224 posts, read 190,925 times
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Originally Posted by FeelinLow View Post

Depression comes from being hung up on the losses of the past.
Excellent summary! I'd never heard Depression expressed so succinctly.
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