Dementia help and understanding

T

tootsie

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#1
Hi I am new here so please bear with me. My mother has had severe depression and anxiety all her life due to her early childhood. Moms always hidden things (brothers and sisters would steal from here). She has had phobia's and fears also. Two years ago mom had a severe anxiety attack after seeing my brother in an alcohol/drug induced psychosis. Two years before this we lost our father, her husband suddenly. Massive heart attack.

Mom was hospitalized overnight and diagnosed with a severe anxiety attack. Finally after a few months I got her into her doctor. It took years and years to find the two meds she is on now and doesn't want to change them. (anti-depressants) He put her on busiprone. Within two weeks I noticed a big difference. Her anxiety seemed under control but....ever since the break down she has had memory issues and have only worsened. She has developed some obsessiveness about several issues. She sits and picks at her arm constantly. Moms always been protective of her money but is now obsessed and swears somebody stole her money, she uses past experiences when she was younger but the people have changed. It's either my oldest brother or me who are constantly around her that is stealing from her. Keeps saying my brother was sleeping in her bed. He doesn't and hasn't stayed with her. Her brother use to kick her out of her bed and am sure that is what she's remembering. She quit working at the family business back in fall. She started forgetting to pay bills. She always asks me what day it is. I talk to her twice a day. I live an hour from her. I am home 3-4 days and with her 3-4 days. Ive been doing this since daddy passed away. He did everything for her! So I do what he always did.

I have been told repeatedly that diagnosing people like her (severe depression and anxiety that diagnosing her with Alzheimers or dementia would be very hard). She no longer knows how to work her cell phone. She will not use the microwave, says it's old and might blow up. I use it and no problems. I honestly feel she has forgotten how to use it. We have hired one lady we know well. She stays with mom when I come home to take care of my small business. Have any of you dealt with anything like this? Can severe paranoia/anxiety cause these symptoms? Thank you all so much for your time and patience!
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

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#2
Hi,
Depression can cause memory problems as can some medications.
It's best to take her to see a dr, they can diagnose and support you.
I hope she gets some more help. Accusing people of stealing is a sign of paranoia.
However it has happened it may be she is remembering that time in her life.
Do let us know how she gets on.
Take care
 
T

tootsie

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Jul 26, 2017
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#3
I have taken her to her Doctor several times over the past two years. I've also called Alzheimer/Dementia clinics and they pretty much tell me what her doctor has told me. Hard to diagnose Alzheimer/Dementia in patients like her. She has been on two anti-depressant's for years and is maxed out on the dosage on both. Her primary doctor is working with her psychiatrist that is an hour from where she lives. Our last visit her doctor said he feels its the depression/anxiety and possible early dementia. It's so hard seeing my mom this way. I helped take care of my husbands grandparents several years back; granddad had alzheimers and g-ma developed dementia about 5 years after g-pa passed away. I spoke with her this afternoon by phone. She kept thinking I was her deceased sister. I asked her about her day. Her caregiver took her to get her hair done and then they went out for lunch. She said yeah it was good and immediately back on the past. I will keep you update and thank you so much for taking time to reply to me. Highly appreciated!
 
T

tootsie

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#6
OMG calypso! I swear this IS my mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her doctor she has in her home town, mom told several years back he works with her doctor who is an hour or more away from her. What I don't know and am now guessing he is strictly working with him on her medications and not her maintenance! I have got to get her into her Psychiatrist immediately!!!!! Oh some of moms symptoms didn't happen suddenly. Some started after my dads passing in December 2012. My brothers and I know her depression/anxiety history well. We knew it would take time and that everyone's grieving process and period is different. Mom went back to work one month after daddy passed. She knew she could NOT sit at home. Two years ago my mom had a severe anxiety attack or possible breakdown of some kind. I have a brother who is a severe alcoholic who ended buying home several houses down from my parents. Dr. got him addicted to benzo's and its been a nightmare since 2001. Long story short; on probation for felony dwi ....given chance after chance. Two years ago this past april he fell off the wagon and also went drug seeking...found a dr that gave him codeine. Drank on top of it. Went into a horrible drug/alcohol induced psychosis. Mom stopped by his home after she got off work to see if he wanted to go eat. When he finally opened the door but naked....and saw him with a water hose in the house, everything destroyed, including windows knocked out ...enough said. About 3 months after this is when mom had her breakdown. Right before moms breakdown my brother's probation was revoked and has been in prison since. I have got to get her back to her psychiatrist now! I feel horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never knew all this could happen with severe depression and anxiety! The doctor in her town told me how it can mimic dementia or alzheimers.. This was very recent. I cannot thank you enough for responding back to me and for the article you told me to read!!!!!
 
calypso

calypso

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#7
Thank you - I wrote that article some time ago. Grief and mental illness can mimic dementia and I am always angry that just because you are elderly, it is assumed youhave dementia and so you aren't treated. If she sees a psychiatrist you must be with her if possible.

What a nightmare she has been through and now this. I am sorry about your brother but his antics might have been the final straw.

Best of luck with it all and keep us posted.