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I don't have dementia

Happy Hampton

Registered User
Feb 22, 2022
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I don't like the word Dementia and think it should be changed, if you think about the genesis of the word it seems to come from the Latin word "demens,” meaning “out of mind".

Also historically it was thought that people were possessed by "demons" and this was making them behave in a certain way and even today Demented is used as a derogatory term.

So for me the word Dementia seems to have purely negative connotations that harks back to a time of fear and ignorance. Perhaps a better umbrella term would be progressive brain disease?
I try not to use the word dementia. I have Alzheimer’s and prefer to use that word. Dementia still holds a stigma. Medical professionals are beginning to understand the stigma of the word and have begun to call it Terminal Bain Disease. Good luck.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,208
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High Peak
Interesting thread. Many of us doing the caring have experienced very adverse reactions from our loved ones if we've tried to explain their diagnosis of dementia. My mother's attitude was very much, 'How dare you say that!' because she saw it as a rude insult, as if I'd said, 'Don't be ridiculous - you're completely insane.'

So I'm not very surprised you don't like the word. Speaking personally, I think if I was diagnosed with dementia I would also tell people something else, perhaps 'a neuro degenerative disease' or something like that. Why? Because like you, I think people have a certain mental picture of dementia that I agree is unpleasant and negative. But that's due to lack of awareness, etc. As a medical term I don't have a problem with it...

A neuro degenerative disease sounds more like the sort of thing Stephen Hawkin had, and no one thought he was barmy...
 

Happy Hampton

Registered User
Feb 22, 2022
96
0
Interesting thread. Many of us doing the caring have experienced very adverse reactions from our loved ones if we've tried to explain their diagnosis of dementia. My mother's attitude was very much, 'How dare you say that!' because she saw it as a rude insult, as if I'd said, 'Don't be ridiculous - you're completely insane.'

So I'm not very surprised you don't like the word. Speaking personally, I think if I was diagnosed with dementia I would also tell people something else, perhaps 'a neuro degenerative disease' or something like that. Why? Because like you, I think people have a certain mental picture of dementia that I agree is unpleasant and negative. But that's due to lack of awareness, etc. As a medical term I don't have a problem with it...

A neuro degenerative disease sounds more like the sort of thing Stephen Hawkin had, and no one thought he was barmy...
The medical field has not only changed what they call Alzheimers to Terminal brain disease, or Fatal brain failure, the DSM5 is also calling dementia exactly what you said. Neurodegenerative disease. Tell people that and they’ll wonder what the heck but they won’t bother you. Because they clearly mean it means ultimate death. 🌺
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,208
0
High Peak
The medical field has not only changed what they call Alzheimers to Terminal brain disease, or Fatal brain failure, the DSM5 is also calling dementia exactly what you said. Neurodegenerative disease. Tell people that and they’ll wonder what the heck but they won’t bother you. Because they clearly mean it means ultimate death. 🌺
Telling someone you have terminal cancer is much the same but doesn't have the negative connotations that 'dementia' does. It's as though people find death easier to accept than madness.
 

Happy Hampton

Registered User
Feb 22, 2022
96
0
Dementia, we are told, is a syndrome. A description of a state of dependence. I don't have it, and nor do most of the other folk I know with progressive brain diseases. We may, of course, one day.

And yet we use 'dementia' services, and here is this topic named 'I have dementia'. I would live to change the D word. I think it's unhelpful and outmoded. It describes people with the more severe symptoms of illness, and does a disservice to those of us with the earlier stages. But this seems to be a losing battle - everywhere I look people use 'dementia' to encompass everyone with Alzheimer's and other neuro degenerative conditions.
is t it interesting that we have to say the D word? Remember when we said the C word? The DSM-5 is now using Terminal Brain Disease for Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative disease rather than dementia.