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Concerned about my memory/could it be dementia

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by Hutchinson, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Hutchinson

    Hutchinson Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    South East
    I came across this website while searching on google, basically i am a 34 year old male who is married with 2 kids, over the last few weeks i have been having problems and i am concerned that there could be something seriously wrong with me, i am worried that i may be losing my mind.

    My memory seems to be getting really bad and my mind goes blank now and again. Examples of my memory problems are i forget what day it is, today for example i signed something and instead of dating it 2/7/07 i dated it 2/2/07 and i dont even know why but i did realise this mistake straight away and i changed it to the correct date.

    I sometimes forget what people have just said to me, i think about telling someone something and within 10 mins i forget to tell them.

    My main problem seems to be i think about doing something and within 10-20 mins it goes out of my head and then comes back to me later and i think oh yeah i was supposed to do that but i forgot about it.

    I dont know much about dementia at all but i know it is connected with memory problems, i'm only 34 and i have no idea if you can get dementia at that age but i thought i'd post my problems and see what people say.

    I don't know what other conditions can cause memory problems, i am quite a negative thinker when it comes to health, i will always think it is the worst thing that i could possibly get.

    Thanks for reading and i hope you can help me out with this.
  2. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    hi hutchinson, welcome to TP. i can empathise with the negative thinking when it comes to health issues .... but there are lots of things that can cause difficulties with memory, and things much easier to treat than dementia. it's highly unlikely that that is the problem at your age.

    suggest if it continues you make yourself an appointment with your GP. could just be that you have a bit too much to try to remember at the moment.

    ........ might be worth saying too ........ worrying about forgetting things can make you forget things too :eek: ........ so it can get to be a bit of a vicious cycle. go easy on yourself and hopefully this will get resolved quite quickly.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006

    Hi, and welcome to TP. I`m sorry your have such deep concerns about your health. I know how worrying it can be.

    There`s no way your condition can be diagnosed by anyone on TP. All we can do is sympathize.

    Your concerns make me feel you should make an appoinyment to see your GP ASAP . Please do that and let us know how you get on.

    Take care
  4. jackie1

    jackie1 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2007
    Hello, I'm sorry that your having such concerns about your health and I can only agree with what has been said earlier, that the best course of action is to go and see your GP.

    As a mother of 2 young boy, I have to say, my mind often goes blank and I also regularly forget what I was about to do i.e. go upstairs and then have no idea what I've gone up for. I think that goes with the territory of having a young family, your mind is so busy it just can't process everything.

    I really hope that having a chat with your GP will put your mind at rest.

  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Like everyone else has said if you are really concerned you should see your GP. One thing I would say though: with the short-term memory loss that comes with dementia, you don't generally forget something and then remember it later - things just don't register at all. Which is not to say the people with short-term memory loss don't sometimes remember some things: they do of course, and there is no guessing what will and will not be remembered.

    Personally, I have found that the more things are going on in my life and the more stress I am under, the worse my memory is. Honestly, I'm not trying to be flippant, but the sort of thing you descibed in your post are daily occurances for me, sometimes hourly.

  6. Hutchinson

    Hutchinson Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    South East
    Thank you all of you for your replies so far, obviously i wouldn't ask anyone on here for a diagnosis as only GP's and specialists etc can do that i just wanted some opinions and a little advice on whether what i am experiencing sounds anything like dementia.

    I've had a terrible day today i must admit, i went into town with the wife and then on the way home we went into my pet shop as i needed to get something for one of my pets, i looked at what pets they had in there for around 10 minutes or so and then we left the shop and then around an hour later when i was at home i thought dam i didn't buy what i needed from the pet shop earlier and that really worried me as i knew what i needed from there but when i was in the shop i didn't even think about getting what i needed.

    Also today i booked a collection for parcelforce to come and collect a parcel from me between 4 and 6 today, i went into town with the wife at 12 and we got home around 3.30 then at around 4.20 parcelforce came and i thought oh no i forgot they were coming and i forgot to tell the wife they were coming today as i booked it early this morning so i totally forgot about it, it went totally out of my mind since i booked it this morning.

    So to sum it up i booked a collection this morning forgot to tell my wife about it then went into town and only remembered about it when parcelforce came to the door and i thought dam, this worried me very much as well.

    The petshop thing worried me alot as well but my wife says she done it in the past where she's gone into a shop for something and forgot something she needed, i distracted myself in the petshop by looking at animals for 10 mins then i left the shop, i knew after i got back from town what i needed to get and i didn't get it.

    Does any of this sound anything like dementia in your opinion? obviously i am still fairly young but i am getting more and more worried, today has been terrible, i feel like i'm totally losing my mind.

    If i go and see a GP will they take my concerns seriously? if not then there wouldn't be much point going to see one as i know doctors alot of the time don't do much and sometimes ignore people's problems.

    What tests would they do on me, what other conditions can cause memory problems?

    Thank you all once again for taking the time to read my posts and giving me your advice.
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Honest answer? No it doesn't. You should listen to your wife on this subject. Look please don't take this the wrong way, because as a well-medication sufferer from depression I know there is a mind/body connection, and when your mind isn't functioning properly your body often won't be as well, but you do seem to be obsessing over this rather. You indicated in your first post that you are inclined to over focus on your health, and from the outside looking in, I would say that is exactly what you are doing. This is not to say that you may not be depressed or may not have other health issues, but dementia - no I very much doubt it.

    FYI Asuming you go to the doctor he/she may possibly run blood tests to rule out various diseases but the only real test available for dementia is something called the MMSE (mini mental state exam). This includes questions like what year it is, your address, the name of the prime minister, counting backwards by 10 s etc. If you feel you can't answer those questions then you should be concerned, but going to the store and then forgetting what you intended to purchase? It might be described as scatterbrained, but that's about it. Let me tell you about my yesterday : a) went out to run some errands, decided to pick up some milk on the way home, but realised when I had got home that I hadn't done it; b) walked away from my dentists office with one of their magazines which I then had to return c) went to the post office to mail a letter and a package but only took the package. This doesn't include the times I had to retrace my steps in order to remember why I had gone to a particular room, or started a sentance and forgotten what I was going to say. Looking at it written down here, you might well think I had a problem with my memory, and maybe I do, but it in no way rises to level of dementia.

  8. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Hiya Hutchinson,

    Obsessing over things and searching the internet for answers - come see me I know all about how u feel...

    No doubt you are an intelligent person like me and get frustrated with people telling you are obsessing over things :)p jenniferpa hehehe) because obvisouly you feel like you have a good reason for this obsessing - something is driving you to be this concerned....

    Seeing doctors...yes this is a good thing to do...but also beware that they will also often treat you like an idiot who is obsessing over things and quickly dismiss your concerns or start going down the path of diagnosing you with depression because as I've found it...doctors (and in my country they are not qualified psychologists so I don't think they have any right to diagnose anyone in a 15minute question and answer session with depression and start prescribing anti-depressants, but they do it - even if you know the correct answers to give if u want to avoid such a diagnosis <roll eyes>) think that anyone that is obsessing about illnesses is looney tunes.

    What I would suggest is try a doctor, see if they can reassure you...if you get a good one, they might but many are idiots. If they don't reassure you then try other doctors until u find one who can. If you are still not satisfied consider your current mental state...I do believe worrying about your own health can occur because you have had several traumatic events take place in your life...this can also cause depression but it can also simply cause the normal human reaction of believing 'that cant happen to me' to be switched off...u no longer have faith that bad things can't happen...so if u start to see signs of things going wrong you start to expect the worst. This is why everyone else thinks you are obsessing but you know, unlike the rest of them BAD SH%# HAPPENS!!!!!
    For example me:
    Over a period of 10yrs I had -
    1. Raped;
    2. Long term partner had an affair got another girl pregnant, everything turned to sh$%;
    3. Kept having panic attacks when intimate thought it was due to the rape then found out from my sister that my uncle was a pedophile and I had possibly been molested as a very young child as she had been...but I had no memory of it;
    4. My father got diagnosed with this terminal illness - early onset dementia;
    5. I got diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in my cervix and had to have a small operation to remove them - this came with a knowledge that my mother had had cervical cancer and 5 of my fathers siblings had all died of cancer, some of them during this same period;
    6. I got glandular fever that gives you all sorts of exhaustion symptoms and doctors can't really tell you how long it will last;
    7. I had all sorts of classic physical tangible cancer symptoms that caused doctors to send me to specialists but they could find nothing and could give me no answers as to why I was doing things like bleeding for no good reason;
    8. I developed all sorts of large lumps in my back that the doctors again had to test...but they were non-cancerous;
    9. I too had memory problems, I would get this feeling of almost fainting/falling over that would only last a few seconds but enough to worry me and I would forget people's names, I even had one incident when I was in a bathroom and could not remember where I was...in a house, or at work, or where the door would open up to..
    10. My mum suffered a mini-stroke where she lost her memory for a day (at the time I didn't know that she would regain it)
    11. I suffered for about 9months of last year with acute painful head pains that would have me crying with pain (doctors finally decided they were what is known as cluster headaches)

    So for a period of 10yrs I had real bad things happen and then I had other things that my body was doing that really made me feel out of control and no doubt the stress of all these things happening were also combining to make more bad things happen to my body...all the while having to put up with people thinking I was over obsessing - but what choice did I have??

    So what you need to do, if the doctors can't help you is keep a diary of what you think your symptoms are...wait a decent period...and if the problems don't get worse, start to consider that maybe the doctors got lucky and were right and nothing is wrong that can't simply be explained by your body reacting to your stress levels...i.e. high stress can cause hormones to be released that affect your memory, can cause you to not sleep well that also affect your memory).If the symptoms do get worse or continue to be bad enough to affect your ability to do things in your daily life, go back to the doctor and try again.

    For me, in the end I think that my various illnesses have been due to the stresses that resulted from a lot of bad personal experiences...and also I was shift working and that caused problems with insomnia and also can mess up your hormones. Also I had some genuine illnesses that in turn caused my stress levels to be raised..creating a vicious circle.

    So my point is, try not to stress (easier said than done I know) its amazing how this can make your symptoms worse, be aware of factors that may be increasing your stress about your symptoms - i.e. like i have had both cancer and brain diseases in my family that made me worry more that I was susceptible to similar diseases and I was truly familiar with the knowledge that BAD SH#$ happens!, don't accept a diagnosis of depression if you truly feel that you are not depressed and you are not in danger due to suicidal feelings because the anti-depressants also can affect your hormones that can also then cause you to develop symptoms that you would not have otherwise had. Also be aware that people will think you are obsessive and worrying about nothing and try not to let this stress you out as well - that nobody is hearing you.

    Lastly beware of internet diagnoses...unless the description exactly matches your symptoms and I mean EXACTLY...try to take them with a grain of salt. Also be aware of the fact that doctors will often immediately think you are looney tunes or depressed if they know you have been using the internet to self-diagnose.

    Good luck - I hope your symptoms go away and prove to be nothing...if they persist but don't get better...also be aware that there is a lot of freaky stuff that your body does as you get older that although strange and not yet explainable by science...are only insignificant glitches in your system (a bit like the odd errors you get on your computer) but are not necessarily a sign of something truly horrible (i.e. they are not fatal errors in your system):)
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Well done Nat.

    Whatever you`ve been through, you appear to have come through it.

    Love xx
  10. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    You're so right, Nat. It does happen........and happen.......and happen!

    You've had so many bad experiences, but you've come through them. All right, you'll always be wary. You know that life is not a bowl of cherries. But that can't be bad, it's better to be prepared, I think.

    Thank you for posting, it was brave of you.

  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Hmm: I'm not sure how to take that so :p :p :p to you too :D :D

    Actually, though, you raise a valid point which I rather pussy-footed around. That is: if the OP had asked is it normal to be this concerned about one's health, I would have to say that I don't think it IS normal, and that in itself is a cause for concern (or anyway, I would be concerned if it was someone I loved). People can be "funny" when you suggest that rather than having an organic disease there might be underlying mental issues that are causing the symptoms, but that doesn't make the pain and distress that they are experiencing any less or any less valid. In fact, not so many years ago depression was treated as if it was a failing in character rather than a lack of neurotransmitters. Personally I feel that if you don't produce enough of the right neurotransmitters that comes under the category of "organic" disease rather than "mental" disease but it's not a universally held belief even now.

    If the OP were in a different country I would strongly suggest an appointment with a decent psychiatrist, because they are the best people to diagnose and treat those ailments that have a mind/body connection, but in the UK the GP acts as a gate-keeper, and unless you're very lucky they don't have the expertise or time to take such complaints seriously. "It's all in your mind" may be true but not particularly helpful, and to be honest, may not be even true. Even if it is, you need help for that.

    I went through the wringer with my youngest son about an illness he had. The child was diagnosed with every psychosomatic illness going by some very "qualifed" medical professionals (including Munchausen and Conversion Disorder). As his mother, though, I knew something else was going on but it took both a very good psychiatrist and an excellent neurologist to work out want it was (actually chronic regional pain syndrome) and obtain appropriate drug treatment. However, if it HAD been psychosomatic, the psychiatrist would have been the best person to treat him anyway.

    Somewhat of a ramble here, but my point is this: obsessive (and I use the term in the clinical sense) concern about any issue in one's life is neither normal nor healthy for the sufferer and can have a absolutely devastating effect on their interpersonal relationships, and I suspect that only one person in a million (or even a billion) can get out of this mire on their own.

    I think it's a good idea to have an MOT at the GP for a start: 1) there may be something organically wrong that needs treatment and b) the GP may be able to point you towards an appropriate source of help. However, sadly, I think it's as likely that you will get the proverbial pat on the head and be told not to worry so much, which probably won't help. This is where Nat's diary idea might be helpful: if you present your GP with a list of your concerns, even if he/she doen't actually read them, the sheer volume may make them understand more clearly how much this is impacting both your life, and I imagine, the life of your family, and make it less easy to fob you off.

  12. Hutchinson

    Hutchinson Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    South East
    Thank you for all of the replies, however i would not say that i had any kind of mental problem, i asked my partner about this and she says i am just a normal person but i have always been a worrier, the kind of person that worries about lots of things, loads of people are like that it does not mean that they have a mental problem.

    I've always felt that my memory has been quite good but recently it is not so good although that does not mean i have dementia it could be a number of things.

    Someone mentioned something called a MMSE on here so i had a look on google and got my partner to test me using the questions provided on a website that i found and i got every question right, such as what year it is, where do i live, who is the prime minister etc, so i guess that's a good thing right?

    I just want some reassurance really and hopefully i can stop worrying that i have got something serious wrong with me such as dementia.
  13. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    I hope this adds to your reassurance!!
    Dementia includes more than memory loss, altho' it is often the first thing we notice.

    The sorts of things I mean include:
    being irrational - not all the time, just sometimes. Eg. My mum said the microwave was making her porridge too salty! :eek:
    being very moody - up, down, all over the place.
    being less controlled than normal in behaviour - Mum once threw a pair of curtains at a poor unsuspecting shop assistant because of some problem (who knows what?) - completely out of character for her.
    Asking the same thing over and over again (memory)
    Telling the same story over and over again (memory again).

    Of course, we all do some of these things sometimes (ie. be irrational, moody, etc.) but it is an ongoing thing with dementia.

    I would seek advice from a medical professional though - to see if there IS a health problem of any type. None of us on TP is an expert - we can only tell you our own stories.
  14. Hutchinson

    Hutchinson Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    South East
    Thanks for your reply Nell, it is appreciated and i am grateful.

    Just a general question has anyone on here ever known anyone to have dementia that is around my age or a bit older?

    As i said above i got my partner to test me on the MMSE test and i didn't get any wrong, i presume that this is a good thing?

    Regarding what you said Nell, i wouldn't say i was irrational, however i can get very moody sometimes and angry but i have kids so i suppose that is normal.

    I do say things 2 or 3 times sometimes but i know that i have said it 2-3 times so i'm not repeating myself thinking i have not already said it.

    I do suffer from fatigue now and again along with my mind going blank as well as the memory problems.

    I do seem to have quite alot of memory lapses but i more or less remember everything that i have forgotten, sometimes minutes or hours later, for example i panicked the other day as i turned off my filter in my fish tank and forgot to turn it back on, i didn't realise until 5 hours later then i put it back on.

    I hope to hear from some of you again shortly with some more helpful advice.
  15. jackie1

    jackie1 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2007
    I know I'm repeating what has already been said, but no one on here can give you a diagnosis you really need to see your GP and if you are still not happy request a second opinion.

    Dementia's can all present in different ways and all we can do is describe our current situations. Also, it is very, very rare for someone of your age to suffer.

    This isn't meant in any way to be dismissive of your concerns but you sound like every parent I know. There is so much going on and so much to remember is is totally normal for your mind to go blank, to go into a shop and come out without buying what you went in for etc.. I do it all the time.

    Please go and see your GP, I think that will be the only thing that can put your mind at ease.

  16. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    What Jackie said is quite true: if you have children there may well be times when you think you have lost your mind. I once left a child at a birthday party and completely forgot to pick it up, and I only have 2! I used to think they came into my room at night and sucked my brains or something: I could almost feel my IQ dropping day by day. I think part of is is that you're always on duty and never really rested. it does get better as they get older though.
  17. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    You asked if there are other conditions that can cause memory problems. They include:
    underactive thyroid
    sleep aponea

    You said you suffer fatigue - that can be symptom of underactive thyroid. I have an underactive thyroid and this causes some memory problems with me like the ones you describe.

    I also suggest you go to your GP, but don't say you think you have dementia as they won't take you seriously. Yes it is possible to get dementia in your 30s, but it is very very very rare. There are only a few people in the whole of the UK with dementia that age, and they quite often would have a family history of getting dementia at a young age (under 65). You have much more chance of winning the Lottery than getting dementia at your age.
  18. Hutchinson

    Hutchinson Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    South East

    Thank you for the reply Zed, i am grateful :D

    You're saying that there's maybe 100 people for example in the UK right now in their 30's that have dementia?

    So the chances of me developing dementia at my age are less likely than me winning the lottery? what's the chance's of winning the lottery, isn't it 14 million to one or something like that?

    Well personally i've never seen anyone with dementia in my life, no-one in my family has developed it.

    The good thing i have seen in my family is that people seem to live quite a long time, the majority of my family bar one or two are still alive.

    So having no family history of dementia is a good thing then, would i be right in saying this decreases my chances of developing/having dementia now?
    Stress could be involved i must admit due to having naughty children hehe, i wouldn't say i was depressed however and i do sleep well enough.

    I was reading something on this website earlier today www.embarrasingproblems.com it's got a thing on memory loss on there and it does say that if you are having memory problems and you notice it yourself it's more likely to be something minor but if you have memory problems and only other's around you are noticing it then it's probably something more serious, well i'm very aware that i am forgetting alot of things recently so that's a good sign i hope!

    My intelligence is also not so good as of late, today for example i tried adding up 2.40 plus 1.20 and i came out with 4.60 then i thought after a while hang on that's not right it's 3.60 alot of normal people probably do things like this however when i do something wrong like that i think how can i do something like that? and there must be something wrong with my brain if i can't add up properly!

    My mind is going blank alot, sometimes i have difficulty remembering what someone said to me around 20 seconds beforehand, sometimes i get my words muddled and my sentence comes out wrong as i messed up the saying of a word.

    I know everyone can do these things but i seem to be forgetting things alot and i feel like my intelligence is going, i don't know, i just hope that it's just something that is not too severe and that things will not get any worse than they are now!

  19. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi Hutchinson, obviously your very concerned, I suggest that you see your GP I would keep things very simple, along the lines of your above quotes. Let the GP do the questioning and keep your answers short and to the point. Doctors do tend to lose interest when they are told too much. If the consult isn't going the way you hoped, then just request a referral to a specialist in this field. I wouldn't mention any research you have done as they will tend to sterotype you. You need to be able to get to the bottom of this for your own peace of mind.Good Luck and I wish you well. Taffy.
  20. Hutchinson

    Hutchinson Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    South East
    My memory seems really bad recently and i am getting more and more worried :(

    Today i forgot my partner's father's name, he is deceased and i didn't really know him and hardly saw him but it really worried me how i forgot his name for around 5-10 seconds and then i thought oh yeah i know what it is how could i forget that?

    Also alot of the time i forget what i have recently said, sometimes i remember sometimes i don't.

    When i have been going to bed recently i have been trying to remember everything that i have done during the day and i can remember 90%-95% of everything that i have done, sometimes i can remember everything i presume that this is a good sign? also done that MMSE test again, scored 30 again!

    I just seem to have so many memory lapses everyday over things like what did i just say/what did someone else just say/what was i going to do etc etc.

    I am worrying more that i have serious like dementia but only because my memory seems so bad although i do remember that i am forgetting alot of things, i am very aware of it, i don't know if someone with dementia would be like that?

    I guess the only comfort is from what Zed said above when they said that i have more chance of winning the lottery than getting dementia so i take that as i must have about a 1%-2% chance of having dementia.

    Like i have said above, no-one in my family has had it so that is a good sign, does young onset dementia run in a pattern in families or not?


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