Is there a link between retirement and depression?

We work, we plan, we dream of the day when we will finally be released from the daily grind of a 9-5 and into the freedom of retirement. But for many people, retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

While many of us are prepared for the financial and legal aspects of retirement, how often do we really discuss the psychological impact of our work life coming to end?

Cape Talk's Sara-Jayne King sat down with behavioural scientist and psychologist Dr Josh Klapow to talk about the psychology of retirement.

Klapow says because retirement is often seen as a celebration, many people are unprepared for the feelings of despondency and loss that they experience.

Your life changes forever and drastically the day you stop going to work and psychology, very often, we're not ready for that.

Dr Josh Klapow, psychologist

Klapow says many of us feel defined by our professional roles and experience a crisis of identity once we retire.

There is a sense of 'If I don't know what I'm going to do, then who am I?'

Dr Josh Klapow, psychologist

He says reframing how we view retirement can help avoid negative feelings.

Give yourself explicit permission not to make retirement this life long sentence.

Dr Josh Klapow, psychologist

Klapow suggests establishing a routine in order to avoid feeling disoriented.

I tell people, give yourself about one to two weeks of nothing...then start a routine of some sort. Because one of the things that throw us in a loop psychologically... is lack of routine.

Dr Josh Klapow, psychologist

Listen to the full interview below:


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