On depression, retirement, and the importance of having friends

On depression, retirement, and the importance of having friends

Considering retirement? We all dream of the day we can kick our feet up and start having fun instead of being a slave to the timeclock. But new research suggests that many men and women make the decision to retire for the wrong reason: because they're depressed.

On depression, retirement, and the importance of having friends

Of course I'm sure it's rarely a conscious influence, but experts say that 1 in 10 working adults will experience depression in any given year and that adults who have symptoms of depression are more likely to retire earlier. The study included 3,000 adults from Finland, where (in theory) depression should have a lesser effect than here in the States due to a better post-retirement "safety net" provided by the Finnish government. I guess it makes sense that unhappy people are less motivated to continue working, but it's sad that a negative state of mind can influence such a major decision in somebody's life.

So if so many people suffer from depression, if it's such a common occurrence, what are we doing wrong? What can be done to avoid it?

Here's a great article that, among other things, focuses on the importance of relationships in a person's life to stay emotionally healthy. Often as adults we lose track of friendships because we grow apart, or get too busy, or because of any other number of factors. As friendships slip away it's often such a slow and quiet process it goes unnoticed, until you realize you're unhappy and have nobody to vent and express yourself to. Even if you're in a happy relationship with someone it's unhealthy to assume they can fulfill absolutely all of your emotional needs.

Avoiding the trap of depression that so many adults fall into during their careers and working years is about many things, but finding and doing something you love combined with surrounding yourself with people you love is a solid start to a positive and stable emotional state -- and a happy and well-timed retirement.

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