With "physical and other age-related declines, another stressor is our growing inability to sustain a purposeful function in life.
This function would normally have been achieved through our work. Work is a powerful, defining phenomenon in society, contributing significantly to our sense of self, our well-being, and the feeling of making a useful contribution.
"In the modern world, people may increasingly be seen as commodities with production [& consumption] as the primary objectives of society”.
"Many older people experience rejection - the views of retired people are discounted by society, simply because they are retired. They are seen as 'old fashioned’, out of touch, sooo last century. Such "negative interpretations may destroy peoples' self esteem, confidence and hope".
On retiring, the amount or extent of one’s ‘social capital' is very important (ie having supportive relationships of as wide a variety as possible), especially as work may have alienated one from family as well as from friendships outside of work.
“Capitalist society can dehumanize people, as it only has an interest in their patterns of consumption”.
“Alienation refers to how individuals experience despair, hopelessness and disengagement from society" as a result of dehumanization - this is a deliberate process, for a variety of reasons, implemented for the financial benefit of corporations - which are greedy, "insensitive, ruthless in their handling of...human beings", relentless in their drive for ever higher percentage of profits each year.
Part of the negative nature of work is that it can be all-demanding and all-consuming of one's time, focus and attention, which can lead to a situation upon retirement where one (even if married) can be isolated alienated, bored; lonely...and hence, soon depressed - with possibly disasterous consequences.
|@ Men's Shed North Shore, AK, NZ|
For those who have been in positions of authority the sudden alienation and relegation from 'hero to zero' may have severely negative consequences. Even the loss of status in a small team can be marked. In addition, one looses one's sense of 'place', as well as a loss of routine. Even prisoners upon release can experience disorientation when suddenly relieved of the rules, regulations and restrictions of incarceration.This can all be compounded by one‘s personality-type: those of a gregarious & outgoing nature will find it easier to attend social events and to strike up conversation with strangers, or further engage aquaintences on matters of mutual interest,join clubs, etc.
Negative experiences of “redundancy are associated with various mental health problems (anxiety, depression, and substance abuse) as well as relation-ship difficulties. Moreover, the loss of work in a community (eg due to the closure of a local firm) has been associated with declining neighbourhood quality - including higher rates of crime, violence and apathy”.
Further, ignoring/refusing refusing to accept the problems/issues may lead to the deepening of the issues....blanking-out the problems may be sought through the use of alcohol and/or drugs, overeating, becoming a hermit or some sort of social misfit”.
Next up - good news! - successful coping..