Can loneliness trigger dementia?


Registered User
Jun 30, 2010
I would think I'm not the only person who would question the validity of such a clear distinction between 'organic illness of the brain' and 'mental health issue'. Surely one can impact on the other?
It's very very interesting but in this country we cannot seem to agree whether dementia comes under the mental health banner or not.

As I said in an earlier post The Mental Health Foundation thinks it does. But the mental health charity Mind doesn't agree. No wonder we are all at sea!


Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
Very interesting discussion here. We as a family have always said that part of the reason for my mother's deterioration with dementia was due to lonliness and then isolation. My father died in 2000 and there were no indications of Dementia at that time with my mother - might be the odd forgetfulness but nothing worse. After his death, apart from the lack of company, there was a marked change in my mother's circumstances - she was the boss - he was the driver. She had no one to boss and no one to drive her around at will to all her destinations. She still went out and about and saw her friends but I think she had lost a lot of her power base and her identity (or at least felt she had). As forgetfulness changed to more significant signs of dementia, the hours and hours spent on her own manifest itself on increasing agitation towards my father. This then extended to horrendous paranoia. Then on to hallucinations. All off these concerning him. I think perhaps in confusion and depression she tried to over and over and over contemplate what was happening and more importantly what role my father was playing in her demise. For a lot of the earlier days this characterised her dementia - not memory loss and all the more common factors. Many people commented on the lonliness and how it seemed to be affecting her and it would take little to convince me that this was a contributing factor with her dementia.



Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
Jancis, thank you for starting this thread. We may not crack the nut, but at least we can all contribute to the nutcracker suite.

According to the Alz Soc - “The Mental Health Act (MHA) is designed to protect the rights of people in England and Wales who are assessed as having a 'mental disorder'. This is a general term used in the act to describe any disorder or disability of the mind, including dementia.”

As the Mental Health Act 1983 covers people with the mental disorder of dementia, and as Sectioning under the Mental Health Act 1983 covers people with dementia, and as Section 117 ‘aftercare’ covers people with dementia, dementia comes under the Mental Health Act for many problems that people with dementia face.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 covers not only people with dementia, but also people who have mental health problems resulting in a lack of mental capacity. The causes of mental incapacity are wide-ranging and include dementia. Dementia is not the only cause of incapacity, as far as the MCA 2005 is concerned. Emotional disturbance is also there.

I didn't realise that MIND thought differently about dementia - but I will try to find out more about MIND's reasoning.
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