Dementia

Join the Conversation on
Dementia
6.2K people
0 stories
532 posts
About Dementia
Explore Our Newsletters
What's New in Dementia
All
Stories
Posts
Videos
Latest
Trending
Post
See full photo

#Anxiety #Depression #MentalHealth #Diabetes

Now that I'm done cleaning, which is a form self love at this point, I can't even enjoy a day off of work without having to listen to my mother bitch about anything and everything she can. If it's not her having to stay home to take care of my grandmother who has dementia, it's complaining that there are people out in public when she has to go somewhere, or that she has to go to 2 stores to pick up food to eat. At 43 years old, it's like listening to a 2 year old who just missed their nap. If I was able to afford to be out on my own and not have to help with my grandmother, I'd cut all ties with her and move somewhere else. She's the most toxic and draining person to be around because she thinks she's entitled to everything.

5 reactions
Post

Sometimes words fail me...

When we fail to concentrate upon what we intend to say, our language falls down the rabbit hole in a jumble of confused thought. Words from our past jump into our mind in inappropriate places, making them meaningless sounds, not communication (a series of words trying to indicate something, doesn't flow in other words and don't relate to each other in a meaningful way). This happens both with dementia and depression as the effort or ability to control what comes out of our mouths goes.

It is easier to get confused over similar sounding words or similar meanings. What is clearer is antonyms and dissimilar sounds.

Those who generalise are open to misunderstanding because their lack of precision, leads to misinterpretation. Precise speech leads to precise understanding.

People can use imprecise language or vague generalisations, to avoid stating the naked truth. This is a way of skirting round the truth without directly lying. Words are not truth, experience is. Anybody can write or say a pack of lies but if you were there to witness events that happened or supposedly happened, you will know what the actual reality of a situation is.

3 reactions
Post
See full photo

Reality Bits

Reality is not open to discussion. It is not something that changes with your opinion. It works how it works because that is how it works. The laws of reality are the laws of reality and that is all there is to that. Reality doesn't care if you like how it works or not. It will only work for you if you understand how it works and obey its rules. Put your hand in a mincing machine and it will be reduced to grated bone and gristle, no matter who you are or think you are.

Childhood, like old age, is spent in a dissipated state of vague awareness and lack of control of your bodily functions. As we progress through life, our attention tightens up as does control over our bodies. We become like a young, vibrant stream, cutting through life, like a hot knife through butter.

Discovery is live, that is of the present. Memory is of the dead past (a recording). The first is always a surprise to you, the second is not.

As we age, we slow down and become deep, meandering rivers, lost in our thoughts and wanderers in our bodies, seeking out some unknown detail in reality, to attract our jaded pallets. When mind and body part company, we will remember the ‘intention’ to do something but fail to carry it out as a physical task, leaving us with the ‘impression’ it has been done but not the concrete proof it has (psychological component of dementia / false memory symptom).

Youth says yes to exploration and experience. Age says no to more (full up and fed up). Instead it conserves and preserves what it has left of life (sees limits, not limitless possibilities / the end, not the beginning). Unlike the young, we are bored we are bored with the generalities of life, long since known and explored by us (seen it, done it, been there). What is the golden rule of memory and perception? Slow down to remember and perceive, speed up to imagine and forget (fail to see the truth).

We have an attic full of junk to look back on, piled up memories that makes it hard to find one in particular one, without a lot of effort and being world weary, we give up looking in the end. Youth has imagination to lead it on into the future and an empty head to fill with experience.

You will trash the world you find, treating it with contempt as so last generation, until you wake up to responsibility, realising you are now that next generation, built to take over the last one and stamp it with your mark, create it in your own image (the safety net of childhood, whipped away from you). Then you will understand the old going on about youth's lack of respect (you are the people your parents warned you about); on the other hand, the old forget that when they were young they had no respect either (only through age do we gain a sense of ownership, which leads to responsibility; this is my world, my life not somebody else's). ‘As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, you soon shall be.’ (graveyard epitaph)

There is a scene in the film Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy, where the two brothers involved, tell him that he has inherited Dan Ackroyd's entire life. At which point he stops smashing things in his house because he thinks 'they are mine.' This is when we all mature into adults and grow out of childhood idiocy.

Those who understand the world, will try to preserve it as a natural matter of course. Those who don't understand it, will fear it and try to destroy or subdue it. Knowledge is a balm – lack of comprehension, a destructive stimulant.

Why does society need the young? To replace the prejudiced and worn out old (head full of memories / morally dejected and physically decrepit).

Beyond this intellectual stage there is also the emotional side, when conscience and consciousness start to run our lives (the ghosts of the past, replace our carefree side - guilt, shame, remorse take over) as we question our past actions and not only our ability to do things but our right to do them as well. A body full of pain as well as mind (emotional and mental scaring as well as physical).

We acquire memory and prejudice over time. Prejudice is bad memories we try to suppress as good memories are ones we replay over time because we are addicted to them (nostalgic). A mind full of old experiences has little room for new ones and a new mind is hungry to fill its void with new experiences. Memory is the prison and imagination the key that frees us from our prejudice and preconceptions

Habit is a safety blanket that tells us that the world is stable. Change throws us into a panic because we can’t remember where the new things are or how they work. In our fevered imagination, we accuse others of acting against our best interests, rather than remembering what our own actions were because they are new (‘Who moved that!’ as opposed to ‘Oh yes, now I remember where I put it!’). Habit creates calm, through being repetitive and therefore predictable. Erratic behaviour creates chaos and confusion because nothing is certain, which leads to neurosis (fear through instability).

24 reactions 8 comments
Post
See full photo

Just Another Groundhog Day, Part 1 (fiction?)

Well, here I am - looking out the same window, on the same world as I do every day of my life and surprise, surprise it's still the same old crap I see. The same old people going off to do the same dreary old things as they do every day of their lives.

They say that I'm an unkempt old sod, who doesn't give a damn about his appearance. They're right - why should I? In fact why should I care about anything, when nothing I do matters anyway and nothing I do changes anything.

I used to be married but 'she' walked out on me, several years ago. I found out that every argument, every fight we had was just another nail in the coffin of our relationship. I watched the light go out of her eyes and felt it go out of mine. We talked at each other in the end, instead of to each other. We no longer fought tooth and nail. We didn't talk - full stop. In the end it was better she left as staying was killing us both - now, I'm just dying on my own, buried in my room. Every day has just become an endless repetition of every other day of my life, all blurring into one. Since losing Susan and the job, I've had nothing to either inspire or rile me. Before it all went wrong, every day was an adventure to look forward to - a series of changes, keeping you awake and alive, ready for the next one.

My home has now become a prison and life a dead end, in which I'm gently fading into the background of my own life. The door shuts and we die inside yet again but this isn't fiction, this is real life - our ugly own, not some distant possibility but present truth.

Why kill yourself, when you're already dead? (Oh yes I thought about it). Those without life cannot be bothered to even creep out of their graves. They rot and moulder in their own filth and filthy, corrupt minds as I do (Even a zombie has some spirit, driving it to escape it's rotting shell but not me). Those with even a half decent spark, run from death's cloying helplessness but not the apathetic, like me. We never run wild, never imagine, never escape into anything new. We wallow in the past because we cannot be bothered to climb out of the hole we've dug for ourselves.

I think about how things could have been occasionally but know I couldn't face anymore pain, to get it or regain my toe hold on life. This I believe is the fate of the old - to have your dreams shattered on the reefs of despair - to give up all hope and all forward progress, sliding into despondency in its place. Lewis Carroll said that you needed to keep running to stay in the same place. Well I've stopped moving. The world continues to spin, taking everybody else away from me. I stand and watch as the noisy hullabaloo disappears into the distance, without me.

I used to have a wonderful memory and a big vocabulary. I was captain of the local pub quiz team. It takes effort and concentration, to collect your thoughts and project yourself out into the world - to remember all the junk you've picked up and filled your head with over the years, to take care that you're not repeating yourself, so that you don't. I mostly use single syllable words nowadays for this reason - it's easier to remember and who cares if you use the same words twice in a row? I'm like a footballer, who could dribble as imaginatively as Jimmy Hendrix could play the guitar but not now, no not now...

Alzheimer's? Dementia? No, just depression. The older we get, the more bad memories we accumulate - ones we'd rather forget. All the good ones exist in the past - hence we drown in nostalgia. Do they see the world as it is - the happy-clappy brigade? No, they see happier times and run from the present, projecting over this world a film that that is more pleasant than the one currently playing, in this packed theatre of realism.

My mate Duggie had it. When I first visited him in the care home, he was a little doddery on his feet but fully compos mentis. Then the doubt started to creep in as we recounted happier times and happier crimes. Finally, I went in one day and his body was still there but his mind had gone.

'Hello Duggie!' I said as cheerfully as I could but it rang as hollow as the figure in front of me. Within a year, even that had gone. The funeral was the last time I saw his wife, Ethel. I wanted to speak but the gloom of the occasion and the gloom of the tear filled sky, stayed my hand and I said nothing, did nothing. Cold coffee, a piece of cake, a few words with old friends and relatives of his, and it was over. He fell silent into his grave and I returned to mine.

The dust lays as thick as The Sahara here, only disturbed by the odd fly, seeking its next meal. The curtains in an earlier time would be rotten but these man-made fibres mean they last forever but fade with time.

The clues that helped me distinguish one day from another, one action from another, have gone. I can no longer tell if what I'm doing is for the first time today or the second. All time has become an undifferentiated mess of sameness. Words I would have carefully crafted and slotted into a sentence, come out in no particular order and make no particular sense. Oh Duggie, am I heading for a stay in a 'couldn't-care-less home,' like you? I hope not but then maybe, when you get to that stage, you cared less, even than I do now?

1 reaction 2 comments
Post
See full photo

Travellers to Unimaginable Lands by Sasha Kiper, A review

There is war between calm and fear. The panic that wipes your memory clean and blinds you to reality and the return of peace, when you rightly assess your situation and its unimportance in the vast scheme of things

The struggle to hold onto reality by you and those you care for is debilitating. It is like a boat with a line that runs to the shore and for the patient, it is drifting further and further away from them or shouting at someone in a storm and hoping to be heard. They struggle to get to the shore but drift further and further away every time they relax and then get angry at this loss of connection and struggle to regain what they have lost or at least hold onto what sense / memory they have of what is real or was real in the latter case.

Like children and criminals they have lost all sense of consequences upon themselves and others (cause and effect). They rush around like chickens without heads as they say in this country, acting expediently but with no thought about how it will affect the future. There is no point reasoning with them as you can’t reason with unreasonable people. Others ‘talking’ to them will not ‘see’ what is truly going on as we their carers try to cover up their mistakes, their disaster areas of stupid mistakes (as in stupor, half asleep).

They become a cruder version of their earlier, more refined self. What's our true identity? The Bible put it best - being naked and afraid. By that I mean exposed to reality, with no defences to hide behind (the reasoning mind that has an answer for everything as you pointed out in this particular chapter).

There is no point in pointing out to the unfocused mind (those in a dispersed mental state) what it cannot see and conversely, a highly focused one (concentrated mental state, lost in detail) as they are diametrically opposed. Introverted attention blinds you to the outside world as extroverted attention blinds you to thought (the inner world). For me there are two basic states of being (stillness and silence) and doing (noise and (e)motion).

This is entropy, the light going out of someone's eyes, apathy, defeatism. Like 'Death Shall Have No Dominion' by Dylan Thomas, we need to fight to hold onto reality. Again, like Alice Through the Looking glass, we need to run on the same spot to stay present in the moment (the only constant in the universe being change as someone wisely said and those with the disease have given up the effort in maintaining).

I agree with Michael Gazzaniga that free will is about the individual and moral responsibility is a group view or the battle between the ego (self) and social cooperation (the other): see The Divided Self by RD Laing.

When words fail action takes over (‘Speak hands for me!’ Julius Caesar): last chapter. The illiterate and ignorant have the same problem – failed verbal communication, replaced by violence.

The chapter on illusions I found interesting (read RL Gregory’s ‘Mind and Eye,’ when younger and was intrigued by the yellow dress / blue dress phenomena on You Tube).

Could the Heider-Simmel experiment disclose how an infant views the world? By this I mean that the perception of reality is blurred, unclear and they are trying to make sense of all they sense and that doesn't mean anything to them?

Earworms are proof that we record everything without censorship, despite a belief in personal taste. Bias is the urge to balance things out again (revenge by any other name - you will love me: you will appreciate me (ego). Fear of being ignored): Dinner with Zweig chapter.

Chekhov and left brain: I think this must be seen in court cases too, where the guilty lie to avoid consequences. I remember a true crime report on the news, where the guy confessed to the crime in front of the police but when he got to court his lawyer had persuaded him to plead innocent and deny any part in the crime. It's all down to belief and facts (physical evidence). Do you listen to the conman or witness the facts and stop arguing the case with a defensive liar as opposed to an open and honest one?

Fragmented self? Could the reason the autistic cannot recognise and say for sure that something is the same thing, when viewed from a different angle or in different circumstances, be the cause for their doubt? With regards to how the disease can bring out the best or worst in people, think about how alcohol does the same. With regards to insight, remember 'Life can only be lived forward but understood backwards' as Kierkegaard said.

Yes fighting the decline is an attempt to stop it but what it really stops is insight into the disease (proximity versus distance - long sight versus myopia: you can't observe what you are on top of and interacting with).

I read a very good book on stage and street magic by Alex Stone (Fooling Houdini), which pointed out that although people knew they couldn't win in find the lady (that it was a trick), they still tried. I also found the idea that random events leads to addiction, intriguing.

Several things interfere with consciousness and blunt our perception (being tired, suffering from dementia, having a fever, being involved in a traumatic incident etc). For instance I didn't realise my flies were open until I went into a coffee shop and relaxed, while reading your book this morning.

Anger sometimes comes from what you would have done with your life, if this had not come along (On the Waterfront' I could have been a contender, Charlie' Marlon Brando talking to Rod Steiger) or the sadness of defeat and feeling sorry for yourself (ego again and not being good enough).

In the Borges chapter, Funes is suffering from a stream of consciousness (continuous flow) effect, which is the same I believe as autistic savants (no censorship, like dementia patients with their lack of inhibitions i. e. access to all memories, all perceptions).

Falling into the pit of hell with your partner - the darkness blinds you both. If you left them to fall on there own, you would remain as you were, with a slower decline from natural self-aging but if we care, we become like Orpheus trying to rescue Euridice from Hades.

We all age and decay, mentally and physically (‘Everything put together falls apart’ Paul Simon). Some just do it faster than others (And Death Shall Have No Dominion, by Dylan Thomas says it all: you surrender to death meekly or fight for every last breath as an individual, society or world - even cultures grow old and die as do life forms (where are the dinosaurs now?).

By the way things are binary in that we take things apart to understand them and put them back together again to make them work – ask surgeons and garage mechanics (analysis and synthesis). There is being present as opposed to being absent (nobody at home). Defensive (fast) reactions as opposed to considered (slow) thought.

Originality should be the touchstone of consciousness. That is original ideas or unexpected actions, not recordings or programs (sensing new things too, shows that you have a live, in the present being, not someone stuck in the past acting and thinking as they always have).

By the way my favourite book about family dynamics, was Eric Berne’s ‘Games People Play’ as it is about the roles people assume in life and how it leads to interplay amongst adults, children and parents (victim / saviour - dispassionate adult - irrational child (ego) that just wants its way all the time etc).

Post
See full photo

Archie in the 5th Dementia

Well here I am again, not knowing where the hell I am. Everywhere looks the same - every house, every street, every town. Only the past remains my home. Only it has any distinguishing features. This place, these people mean nothing to me. They don't really see me and I don't see them. Even these people who say they know me - I don't know them. They say they're friends, relatives, colleagues from work. One even says she's my daughter but I don't know her from Adam. I can't remember names and when I can it's like a fruit machine spinning its wheels. Is it Dave, Doris, Dick, Arthur, Edward or Arnold? Eventually the right name comes round or they blurt out the answer.

'It's Mary, your sister'

'Now, Mr Smith - what do you want for your tea?' a voice breaks into his reverie.

'Is she talking to me? Am I Mr Smith?

'There's apple crumble or rhubarb tart for dessert and shepherds pie for the main meal or your favourite - macaroni cheese'

Is it? What does it taste like, I ask myself?

It is sad when I look back on all I was capable of and now I can't even tie up my own shoes laces. I think of all the places I've been in the world and now I'm trapped in this single building.

Everyday is the same here. They call it a home but it feels more like a prison. The residents who've still got a mind, are not as badly off as the others who haven't. 'The Wanderers' are like wind up toys, changing direction when they bump into an obstacle. They seem to run on Duracell Batteries because they never stop, night or day. Others, mostly staff, call them less pleasant names, like 'zombies' or 'the living dead.' Still maybe that's their way of coping with the tiring motion of the totally ungrounded. I am lucid most of the time but these 'vegetables' as one particularly sadistic carer named them, never are. They don't talk, just make noises, if any sound at all. They are no different from those kids euphemistically dubbed as having learning difficulties. They scream, they shout, they have temper tantrums and call for their mothers, long since dead (They are now their own parents, in body at least - if still children at heart). Again, you can hear the same cries of despair within the walls of a prison but from true youngsters, waking up to the hell that their lives have become.

Looking out the window, I see mashed potato clouds floating by. Yesterday they were like sailing ship, their bottoms gouged out on yonder mountain tops, wrecked on the reefs of open despair. Even if I cannot escape this prison physically because my body is too weak, at least my mind can fly free on wings of imagination.

We are all dreamers here. We dream that we are children playing in the woods and fields - swimming in the rivers of yesterday. Our future is your past and our past, your future. We are the husks of what was - the skeletons of what might have been. We are the dusty plains and you, the fertile jungle, running riot. We are the old river, silted up and running dry of energy - the rocky promise, now empty.

All you see, when you look at us is a vacant tent - worn canvas, stretched over a rickety frame. The wind whistles between our years, making sounds few can decipher or want to.

Outside, foam towers float down the dark river, like icebergs on a sea of trouble. Last winter it burst its banks, sweeping them clear like some giant broom, combing the reeds and weeds flat. 'How do you like your hair sir?' asked nature's hairdresser, washing away all protests with a wave of its hand.

On the land, an ocean of corn is awash with green straw that drowns my imagination.

I remember twisted bodies in my youth, writhing in agony - lovers or the dying? Oh blotched body, where is your unblemished skin of yesteryear? Here I am today but where exactly is that? Mary, where are you when I need you? Long gone as I soon hope to be.

Where are my old friends, my wartime buddies? Gone too, mostly - some well before their time, either mercifully with a crack of a bullet or unmercifully torn to shreds by a landmine or falling shell. One minute a recognisable human being, the next a blood spattered pile of offal : A hand that once shook mine, a foot that walked beside me or worst of all, a detached head or an unrecognisable face, torn off in seconds, that an instant ago was a live human being, a name you knew. I threw up the first time. After that the shock paled my skin and stilled my heart and tongue. Now I can't wait until I join them all, once more in the past I knew and loved. This sterile world holds me in thrall still, though - until it lets me go at its whim, not mine.

We who are about to die, salute you as you replace us on the conveyor belt of life and we slide inexorably towards its edge, eventually to tip into the dark pit of unknowing. Our minds precede us and our bodies come slowly crumbling after. This is our fate and your inheritance. You are fresh troops in this war of survival. Welcome to the chaos and confusion that is the battle of life. Take your seats for the journey that never really ends - just seems to as we fight towards the light and drift back into the dark. Know me now as I lose sight of you and become an empty symbol. The rocket is burnt out. The light and life’s gone - vacant of me and those I loved and lost…

Post

More than insomnia

Someone here said that this condition was more than insomnia and I would agree. Yesterday I didn't get much sleep and my memory and ability to concentrate went straight down the drain. I was making a cappuccino and the coffee machine has two settings for this and I forgot to put it onto the smaller second setting for the coffee itself. Watered coffee everywhere. Second incident was spilled alcohol in the fridge.

My wife who waffles on distracted my attention, which normally I am able to defend myself against but not when I am shattered. She has mild dementia because her sleep patterns are worse than mine. Concentration is visual from my experience and sound distracts, making you more likely to be forgetful and accident prone.

7 reactions 5 comments
Post

That’s too much

I’ve dealt with so much loss lately. My brother died in November. My mom is still alive but it feels like she died, because our relationship has ended. I found out Saturday that she has Metabolic Brain Disorder and that’s why she can’t gain weight, she refuses to take her medication or physical therapy classes. If left untreated can develop into Dementia. All this due to untreated Bipolar disorder and her delusional denial. My daughter has untreated Bipolar disorder, ADHD, CPTSD and I suspect other issues as well and that has affected our relationship, we rarely talk because she is verbally abusive and manipulative. My son is stuck in a religious cult and has CPTSD and will not talk to me.

I am grieving the loss of all of them.

Yesterday, I was giving antiques and family heirlooms to my cousin and aunt from Louisiana and that’s when I noticed that someone broke in my shed and stole my entire antique tin collection. Valued, if sold individually at around $1000.

I know who did it, but can’t prove it. I filed a police report and gave them the names and a phone number to contact the suspect.

We lived here 10 years and not once has anything been stolen from us. Now, 2 weeks before we move we discover we have been robbed.

I was in panic mode, pissed, angry, shocked, fear, sadness and grief. I collected tens for nearly 30 years. They were food containers from all kinds of major brands: Wheaties, Kellogg’s, Nabisco, Welch’s, Quaker Oats, Log Cabin syrup, etc. Some I got from my grandma and friends and other family over the years. I’m disgusted. That’s just too much for me. I’m getting real tired of grief. I could use some love right now.

#Relationships
#BipolarDisorder
#ADHD
#CPTSD
#Dementia
#Depression
#Grief

88 reactions 41 comments
Post
See full photo

being independent

#Anxiety #Depression #OCD #PTSD #ADHD #Independance #growth #Sobriety #goals

hey everyone.. don't ever let your negative thoughts hold you back from achieving your goals..i have came so far within a year its unreal..just a year ago i was homeless staying in my ex shed that he didn't know about..i was cold,wet,scared..it was in the middle of winter..i had no one..i reached out to someone to ask for a ride to the doc and got up enough courage to ask him if i could take a shower at his house

and i finally told him my situation..that i was homeless but had a job in a warehouse living from check to check barely surviving..he then gave me a chance..let me stay w him rent free and without any sexual favors in return..at first my ptsd got really bad bc of staying w guys in the past and them wanting sexual favors in return for staying w them..but not Reggie.

Reggie actually believed in me enough to help me get back on my feet..i then got extremely depressed bc this was before i got on Zoloft and had gotten fired due to my sugar problems and falling asleep at work due to my sugar problems so i gave up on myself.. didn't work for months worrying about getting put out.. started using cocaine again(not crack cocaine) just cocaine..

but he never gave up on me..i talked to my doc and told her about my MDD and she put me on Zoloft and that changed my life forever..i then got a full time job as a live in caregiver helping a dementia patient and making more money then i was used to

i started spending more time w my kids and taking care of them and just loving life again..i had some relapses before but never stayed w me.. I'm telling you this story bc i used to be a homeless addict and now i have a full time job, got clean, got my own place,and just recently got a car today.. anything is possible if you work towards it

it may feel like the end of the world and like your at the end..but God always gives you another chance at life every day you wake up..if anyone out there is suffering from depression..then please get help asap..its starts w that first step..i used to sleep all day to not live life..

now i wake up and enjoy my mornings.. there's always help out there..theres always support out there..it all starts w you..you are the first step..if i can do it..anyone can.. remember:YOU GOT THIS ❤️

48 reactions 14 comments
Post

Any help appreciated, even though I'm in The UK

My wife is showing signs of dementia as did her mother. Her eldest step sister and brother both died of Alzheimers. Memory problems are a given of course and her way of doing things are not standard, which leaves people we know arguing about it not being logical or sensible, or just giving me a quizzical look (what's going on?). Her personal hygiene is starting to go also. Twice recently she insisted that actors on TV were real people, who appeared on the news; one was playing a lawyer and she insisted that he was this famous Glasgow lawyer in real life.

Driving wise I think she is getting dangerous. A few years back she nearly ran into the back of a stationary vehicle but I managed to alert her in time. Last year though involved running into a part of a dead bush blown across the road, before I could stop her, then on Christmas Day nearly hitting the curb which I helped her avoid by pushing the steering wheel away from that direction. Then on New Years Day she nearly ran over a school chicane but I shouted at her in time, so she turned the wheel in time.

I could rake up more but this is I think enough, especially as it is leading me to be tired (we have a puppy and I don't know which is worse at times).

1 comment