• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

About Anger

JackieJames

Registered User
Dec 31, 2014
83
USA
My mother is frequently angry. At first it was just at me, but I see now it is also others. I guess because I have been the one who speaks to her the most, I get the anger (or whatever it is).
Now there is a new wrinkle. She is starting to think that others are angry at her. As an example, the delivery man with meals on wheels, mentioned that she is not there for some deliveries, and she felt HE was angry at her. I was not there so I can't tell. There was one incident with a sibling who went over to fix something in her house, and she starting screaming at him "why arent' to you talking to me?". What happens with him is that when he is fixing something he will say "I can't talk right now, because I am busy". He might have told her this and she might not have heard it. Since my siblings are in denial, my guess is that he did not respond to her great upset with him.

Yesterday, I called her though I had promised myself I would not. I am tired and a bit down, to be honest. I was a but quiet over the phone as I am very poor at making small talk. Always have been. She felt that I was angry at her. I was not, but I know better than to argue that I am not. So, I finally came up with some really inane chit-chat and it worked for around 5 minutes and then she abruptly said "I have to go watch the television now". And she hangs up without saying goodbye. Okay, I know the hanging up part without the goodbye as that is common now. What I don't understand is how ... if you are not feeling angry, they feel that you are. I don't want to hurt her and it seems that she thinks I am .. because I "sound" angry. I am very sure I was not.
Does anyone else ever get confused themselves due to the loved one's own confusion.
I guess I am asking if you feel like reality has been turned on its head, that you no longer know the person you were so close to, that you (despite knowing better) keep trying to establish communication. I know it is senseless to try to reach her. And yet I do.. I don't know if I have explained this well or not.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,137
Kent
Hello JackieJames

My husband was often angry and in time I learnt the reasons for his anger.

Fear made him angry, in his own defence. Confusion made him angry, angry with himself, the world and me, because I was the one most on hand.

Believing others were angry with him was his paranoia, his low self esteem because everything was going wrong.

I didn`t handle it well either. No matter how much I knew it was the illness I still took it personally. I doubt there was any other way to take it when the more you give, the more you are blamed.

I did learn to walk away. In my case it was into another room.

There`s no easy solution.

All I can say in our situation is as my husband`s dementia progressed, as he lost insight into his condition, he lost his anger and became much more approachable, more contented and happier.
 

MrsTerryN

Registered User
Dec 17, 2012
769
Apart from the usual checking for UTIs , pain often affected mum. She couldn't express about the pain
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,137
Kent
I found with both my husband and my mother, phone conversations quickly became problematical. When dementia is progressing , communication often needs more visual clues denied by the telephone.

I understand there often is no alternative but there is often a reason why phone calls become unsatisfactory.

When my husband was in residential care, if for any reason I couldn`t visit, I would send him a card with a simple message. When he became unable to read, the staff would read it to him.

Just a moment of pleasure, soon forgotten, but we have to grab at anything we can.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,147
Victoria, Australia
Apart from the usual memory and confusion issues, it was three years of paranoia that was the really destructive thing prior to getting the diagnosis of AZ for OH. The paranoia wrecked our relationship which added to the stress of the whole situation.

It didn't matter what I said or did, he would completely misinterpret it and accuse me of always criticizing him. He wouldn't allow me to be in the surgery when he got his diagnosis as I was supposed to have had 'an ulterior motive' but as it has turned out, it was the turning point. My guess is that he realized I hadn't been as nasty as he thought and of course, his medication has been very helpful.

Fortunately he is now a lot calmer and easier to deal with but it's anybody's guess as to how long this will last. I think I survived the paranoia by learning not to take anything he said personally and was able to step away from the emotional aspects of the situation.

I find that everything works better if get a bit bossy with him and I don't get into lengthy discussions with him, nor do I try to coerce him into anything. It works for me at the moment.

So you have a difficult road ahead of you but the only advice I would offer is to avoid discussion if your mum is getting stroppy and try distracting her while agreeing with her. There's no point in arguing with her so save your energy for what lies ahead.
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
My mum was like this for about 4 years and it fractured our family. One sister used it to her advantage to get revenge on my other sister for a past arguement. It did eventually pass, but only when mum went into full time care. I think she was terrified at home but not able to make the decision to leave. Dont reason, dont argue - just try to change the subject. Eventually she was not able to hold phone conversations. Hang in there. Its not you, its dementia. Everyday you are doing the best you can. Take care of YOU too. Love Quilty
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,238
South coast
Fear and anger are very closely associated in the brain, so fear is often expressed as anger and this anger can be projected onto other people - hence he thinks they are angry with him. Its the underlying fear and agitation thats the problem though.
To try and calm him, use could try using the Compassionate Communication techniques which may help. http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...ionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired

When my husband was in residential care, if for any reason I couldn`t visit, I would send him a card with a simple message. When he became unable to read, the staff would read it to him.
Aha! I knew someone had recommended this and I couldnt remember who. I have taken this advice and found it helpful. Mum reads and rereads the postcards and I think she enjoys them. :)
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
In days gone when my mum was angry she would often transfer this emotion to me or her dog, saying We are the angry ones not her. I never thought it had anything to do with pain although she would sometimes ask me if my back was hurting, this I took to mean that her back was hurting. She still does a lot of this transferring, I am sure there is a medical term for it.
 

JackieJames

Registered User
Dec 31, 2014
83
USA
My husband was often angry and in time I learnt the reasons for his anger.

Fear made him angry, in his own defence. Confusion made him angry, angry with himself, the world and me, because I was the one most on hand.

Believing others were angry with him was his paranoia, his low self esteem because everything was going wrong.

I didn`t handle it well either. No matter how much I knew it was the illness I still took it personally. I doubt there was any other way to take it when the more you give, the more you are blamed.

I did learn to walk away. In my case it was into another room.

There`s no easy solution.

All I can say in our situation is as my husband`s dementia progressed, as he lost insight into his condition, he lost his anger and became much more approachable, more contented and happier.
This makes so much sense. Yes she is in a great deal of fear due to her heart condition and all that she has been through. Thank you so much for sharing this. I will have to find new ways to deal with all of this.
 

JackieJames

Registered User
Dec 31, 2014
83
USA
Apart from the usual memory and confusion issues, it was three years of paranoia that was the really destructive thing prior to getting the diagnosis of AZ for OH. The paranoia wrecked our relationship which added to the stress of the whole situation.

It didn't matter what I said or did, he would completely misinterpret it and accuse me of always criticizing him. He wouldn't allow me to be in the surgery when he got his diagnosis as I was supposed to have had 'an ulterior motive' but as it has turned out, it was the turning point. My guess is that he realized I hadn't been as nasty as he thought and of course, his medication has been very helpful.

Fortunately he is now a lot calmer and easier to deal with but it's anybody's guess as to how long this will last. I think I survived the paranoia by learning not to take anything he said personally and was able to step away from the emotional aspects of the situation.

I find that everything works better if get a bit bossy with him and I don't get into lengthy discussions with him, nor do I try to coerce him into anything. It works for me at the moment.

So you have a difficult road ahead of you but the only advice I would offer is to avoid discussion if your mum is getting stroppy and try distracting her while agreeing with her. There's no point in arguing with her so save your energy for what lies ahead.
Lawson, yes, yes. But what causes the paranoia. And it is about not taking anything personally but I forget. I think I may have (especially with no diagnosis) doubts, be in denial AND I think I am dealing with my good old mom ,but I am not. It is hard, but I must be strong. Agree, agree, and agree and practice compassionate communication.