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Dr. Colby
Dr. Colby, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 85
Experience:  Licensed psychologist in WA. Areas of practice are clinical psychology, forensic psychology and clinical neuropsychology.
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Feeling very depressed to be getting older and was laid off

Customer Question

Feeling very depressed to be getting older and was laid off from my job 3 years ago. Changed to another job but finding it difficult to keep up. How can I feel better about my work and aging?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Colby replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Colby :

Hi, this is Dr. Colby.

Being 67, I can tell you that this getting older stuff is not what they showed us on TV in all those advertisements.

Could you tell me a little more about why you were laid off, if you know, and what the new job is like, along with its frustrations? A little about your education/work history might also help. This is just information gathering so I can see if I can help, perhaps.

Customer :

Dr. Colby - my background is as a world history teacher who then went back to school to get master's in physics when in my 40's as single Mom. Got Master's in astro physics and moved to Maryland when remarried. Worked as senior technical writer/editor for aerospace company for 12 years. Was laid off when economy crashed. My performance was great and received many awards during my final year with company. It really hurt to be let go when I knew I was a valuable employee, but my boss and his boss could not save me. They cut all non-engineers. Could not find work right away due to economy and I believe age prejudice. Past two years have been teaching as professor at junior college part-time computer applications and how to make web pages, etc. Like teaching but not the subject. And hate the low salary.

Customer :

Also have younger husband who is complaining that I am not pulling my weight. Not making enough money/and or doing enough household chores. I made a lot of money when working in aerospace but made less than $14,000.00 last year while teaching at junior college. Since part-time they only let you teach max 3 classes per semester and to be considered for full-time position you must first work there 3 years. I am in my second year. Not sure I could physically do full-time though. 5 classes per semester and committee work. Salary is about $50,000.00. Find it challenging physically to teach 3 classes a semester. I believe teaching part-time at junior college is ideal for someone who is totally retired. I would like to work 5 more years and make some money so I can save further for my retirement.

Customer :

I made $90,000.00 when I was technical writer. I was specialist who did all the documentation on NASA project particularly intergallactic spacecraft.

Customer :

We have one daughter who is grown up and lives in Phoenix, AZ. She graduated college 4 years ago and is doing fine.

Dr. Colby :

OK. Thanks. This is informative and helpful.

As you describe your situation, it sounds like things would be a lot better if you and your husband were more of a team, rather than in competition ... for who brings home the bacon ... and is the maid/butler ... and whatever else.

Often, disagreements like this are symptomatic of another problem that is more difficult to voice. While I could speculate what that/they might be, I would prefer to have them come from both of you, for your sakes. There's an old rubric in Gestalt therapy: When you give your interpretation, you run the risk of having your patients working on your personal biases rather than their real problems. Or fewer words to that effect.

My recommendation is that you talk to your husband about what seems to be some conflicts, such as you have described, raise the possibility that your moods might improve if you could get a better handle on them (i.e., the conflicts) and ask if he would be willing to go to a few marital counseling sessions to work on the relationship (marital counseling properly done has as its patient the 2-person family unit, although the therapist might address one or the other with the other present, from time to time).

It will be important in bringing this up that you not in any way seem to shift the "blame" to him for your moods and changes. Simply ask for his help and entreat him to go with you so y'all can sort it out with a 3rd party present.

If this seems like it's in the running for being a winning suggestion, I'd appreciate it if you would hit the "accept" button, below, so I can get credit for being helpful. We can continue the conversation before you do so, if you prefer, and we can also continue afterward simply by your putting my name at the start of any email message in this train or by "relisting" the question or by addressing another question to me as a follow-up, etc.

Dr. Colby :

I haven't heard back from you, and you also have not accepted, yet. Do you want to sort this through some more, or have you received enough information? Please let me know by return comment or press the "accept" button and then provide me some feedback about my services. Thanks.

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