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Dementia on top of lifelong bilopar/anxiety - what information available please?


Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
My brother is primary carer for our parents.

Mum has dementia (unable to tell clean v dirty, comprehension...) but this has come on top of many decades of being bipolar and treated for that and anxiety/depression.

My brother is adamant that having dementia on top of bipolar/depression/anxiety is recognised as making caring for that person much more challenging.....

However I have googled, and cannot find any links on the topic, can anyone point me to any useful links?

Or support (or challenge) what my brother believes....




Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
Brixham Devon
My late husband was diagnosed with bipolar at the same time as Alzheimer's disease. I don't know if it's more difficult or not as I had no experience of either condition. The medics (eventually) decided that it was more difficult and the CH manager said she had never seen anything like the way Pete presented. Anxiety/depression/mania can all be part and parcel of both-but sometimes I didn't know when the bi polar overlapped with the Dementia. Eventually (after years:eek:) I could tell by looking at Pete's eyes; hooded when depressed and wild when manic, and a vacant look with the dementia. The thing is Pete had episodes when his bi polar could change within a couple of minutes-back and forth between depressed and manic-it's very difficult to explain to someone with Dementia what they are going through. It's also difficult when someone is manic and on the rampage-especially if their mobility is not great due to the dementia.


Registered User
Jun 24, 2013
It's my opinion that any pre-existing mental health condition presents extra challenges when combined with dementia. Dementia is hard enough in all it's variations without adding manic episodes and depression into the mix.


Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
Thanks for replies....my brother has a lot to deal with as both Mum and Dad have a host of issues...and he has issues of his own....it would have been easier now had he moved out years ago, but we start from where we are rather than where we would prefer to start from.

It was more straightforward with my Mum in law (RIP) as it was just "dementia".

We are trying to get a family meeting with social services re Mum - safeguarding from my Dad (shouting, swearing when frustrated when Mum) and carer overload/breakdown for my brother....

We go down for 5 days every other month (we are 200 miles away) and extra if needed, if we could get a week's respite on the intervening months that might help?


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