Dementia as it pertains to schizophrenia

Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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#1
I have a diagnosis of schizoaffective-bipolar. But there are a few things which concern me. Sometimes I forget where I am, where I'm going, who I am, and who other people are. Its been a while since I have have had an episode of this nature. I sometimes lose large blocks of time. The most disturbing episode happened nearly 2 years ago. My sister was letting me use her spare car so long as I drove her BF to work in the afternoon. He was not familiar with the town where we lived as he had just moved in with us from another city. He didn't have a drivers license so he couldn't drive himself. I was taking him to work one day and I took a wrong turn (as he was unfamiliar with the streets he didn't correct me) I drove maybe I mile down the street before I realized I didn't know where I was, i didn't know my name, I didn't know how long I had been driving, I didn't even know he was in the car with me. I looked over and saw him there and didn't know he was with me. I took me a minute or so to even figure out where we were and why we were driving in the first place. The second time this happened I had been at my brothers house and I was walking home (only about a quarter mile at most) and I almost fell down as I suddenly didn't know who I was nor how to walk or whose body I was in (I know that may sound bizzare but that's the best I can explain it) there have been a few times where I would look at the time and then I would look again moments later and it had been 4 or 5 hours. Does this sound like dementia? Or is this just a symptom of SZ/ psychosis?
 
calypso

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#2
Ican't possibly diagnose obviously, but I don't think its dementia. Dementia doesn't "suddenly" come on and doesn't affect people in a moment of extreme loss of awareness. It is a gradual process with loss of ability to recognise everyday things like a fork, and unable to understand ordinary conversation over time. It sounds much more like part of your condition I think. When we are very stressed with our MH problems, our brain zones out things it sees as not important at the moment and yours decided that you must know who you are etc. The other thing with dementia is that often people deny they have anything wrong with them, you don't. Its not a clear cut rule, but a rule of thumb is that if you know you are forgetful, you probably don't have dementia.

You might like to look at Psychosis and the Elderly Person - Information from the Mental Health Forum. I am not saying you are elderly, but a lot of the details in this are relevant to all age groups.
 
Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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#3
Thanks for the reply. I hadn't really thought about the insight aspect of things before. I don't suppose a person with dementia would have insight into their illness as you pointed out. I just can't for the life of me figure out how I could forget where I am like that. The second instance where I forgot how to walk was as if I suddenly had the mentality of a new born infant. Not only did I not know how to walk but I remember thinking to myself as I looked down at my legs and feet asking myself what are those? Why am I moving them? I've never told anyone about this. Not even my doctor.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#4
i notive the list of people not going to be called in by the dwp includes the dementias i don't know whether it'll apply to schitzoprenia despite the old name of dementia praecox

i'm too ill to figure out what dementia means, guess theres a medical definition and the way it's used in literature
 
calypso

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Thanks for the reply. I hadn't really thought about the insight aspect of things before. I don't suppose a person with dementia would have insight into their illness as you pointed out. I just can't for the life of me figure out how I could forget where I am like that. The second instance where I forgot how to walk was as if I suddenly had the mentality of a new born infant. Not only did I not know how to walk but I remember thinking to myself as I looked down at my legs and feet asking myself what are those? Why am I moving them? I've never told anyone about this. Not even my doctor.
You sound as though you are going through a scary time and perhaps mention it to your doctor or pdoc. I'm sure it can be helped in some way.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#6
You sound as though you are going through a scary time and perhaps mention it to your doctor or pdoc. I'm sure it can be helped in some way.
it'd probably from what i read be helped more by practical help
 
Zardos

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#7
I have a diagnosis of schizoaffective-bipolar. But there are a few things which concern me. Sometimes I forget where I am, where I'm going, who I am, and who other people are. Its been a while since I have have had an episode of this nature. I sometimes lose large blocks of time...
i lose blocks of time to.. it happens soo often its become funny to me.. I've had so many 'effects' over the years I've learned to not panic and just wait things out... Psycho trips.. Drug episodes.. These days i only know I've lost time when thing start to move around the flat on their own.. Its like living with a poltergeist or being in a sci-fi sketch.. You put something down and it just disappears Its like someone has broken in and moved all my stuff..
i don't think its dementia
 
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ramboghettouk

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#8
i quite often put something down then a few minutes later can't remember where i put it, i think it's my age compounded by the illness
 
Prairie Sky

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#9
It's nothing near so serious as what you've experienced, but right since the onset of my first bipolar episode I've had experiences that reminded me of Alzheimers or something. Being right in the middle of saying something and then losing it, totally. Not so much forgetting what I was saying, but losing the ability to actually transfer my thoughts to speech. I forget names, appointments, birthdays way more easily than I remember them. Speak slowly and haltingly, searching for the words. On occasion I've gotten lost in familiar places, when everything is big and booming and strange, and I hardly even know who I am. I'll put things in the strangest places and can't find them if they are where they should be. Once I was convinced that the world was turned around and the sun was setting in the east. Speech is the main problem though, and a very warped sense of time. I have to think very carefully to know whether something happened a few months ago or five years ago. Hours can go by and I never even notice, and I'm not doing anything - just sitting there.

It could partly be meds, I think, but one symptom of bipolar, maybe schizophrenia too (?) is called cognitive impairment. It basically is like dementia.
 
SarahD

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#10
Thought disorder is part of schizophrenia. I always thought it didn’t apply to me as I thought I could think ok. The last time I was in hospital I realised there are periods when I struggle to think properly or even talk, and that this wasn’t a new thing. I don’t know why I didn’t realise it before! However I think this is part of schizoaffective disorder.

Despite this I worry that I am developing dementia, because for quite a long time I have had trouble finding the right word. Lately it seems to be getting worse. Family members say it could be stress (always very stressed) or sleep problems, all sorts of things. It could be... but recently I read about someone who had been diagnosed with early dementia by an expert who is researching early dementia and her experiences sounded like mine. Quite scared.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#11
early schitzoprenia like mine that started at 19 the old name was dementia praecox before schitzoprenia was invented
 
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millen_rally

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#12
Prior to the label "Schizophrenia" which defined from the root words means "Divided Mind" people were labeled "Dementia Pracox" which defined from the root words means essentially dementia in youth.

Unfortunately, the diagnosis of schizoprhenia has gone off the rails and has essentially become a garbage bin diagnosis which the label is applied to just about anyone with non-ordinary experiences. Clinicians are mainly responsible for this. There are not enough tests being done and evaluations are far to quick to be accurate and the patient is on drugs (if willing to take them) typically after the first appointment. It is partially do the way in which the Diagnostic and Statistical Manaul (DSM) has been contrived, with votes being taken in close door sessions of the meetings to determine illness criteria, rather than being something based upon lab or test results. Additionally, there is such thing as drug induced dementia, which commonly those who have been on anti-psychotics for years or other psychiatric medications OR illicit or illegal drugs OR a combinations of chemical, can develop dementia which has been induced by the chemicals (this is detailed in the book 'Anatomy of an Epidemic' by Robert Whitaker).

I am not a doctor, but I am a consumer of mental health, an advocate for the mentally ill, and have been a care giver for 3 people with dementia related disorders. It is clear you have a memory deficit at times but with out correct procedure and test or labs it impossible to diagnose properly. You need to talk to at least a general practitioner and get two opinions from specialists based upon lab and \ or test results to have an surety about your condition.

Good Luck.
 
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