Links to other mental disorders...?

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by jc141265, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    This is a spin off from a comment Zed made in
    This comment got me thinking, and wondering if Dad is different to others in the characteristics of his early onset dementia. In the 20 years leading up to Dad's diagnosis, he became increasingly obsessive compulsive. At the time we just put it down to Dad being Dad, he had to do his daily routine in the exact same order everyday and god forbid if anyone messed that up, had to have his cup of tea exactly right at the same times everyday, had to stir it in the same direction and tap his cup twice once finished stirring. If on an airplane he always had to pull out a magazine from the seat in front during take off even if he didn't read it. He could be decidely vicious with his words if anyone did something that interrupted his routine, it obviously upset him badly to have his routine spoilt.

    These days when we look back on it all and realise how we were all nervous wrecks trying to live by Dad's illogical rules for how things must be done we suspect that all of this behaviour was perhaps a lead up to the disease.

    I'd be interested to know if anyone else has experienced this kind of behaviour in their loved one prior to a dementia diagnosis. Perhaps it was his way with coping with early damage to his brain, a way to feel in control and a way to make life easier for his failing brain to cope??
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Nat, for once, I can't find a similarity with Jan's condition early on.

    One thing I did notice was an increasing lack of interest in news events, first in not reading papers ["too much bad news"] and later with TV as well, before she stopped reading or watching at all.
  3. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Thanks for the reply Brucie I hope others will also reply in the negative or positive as well, a negative reply helps me try to understand Dad's disease as much as someone who can see suggest that either Dad is unusual, unique or that the other behaviours were not symptomatic of the oncoming dementia.

    As for the pre-official onset symptoms you noted about Jan, Dad also displayed these but only just prior to diagnosis.
  4. susie

    susie Registered User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Hello Nat
    My husband (62) has Alzheimer's and Pick's. He has always been one of those people who has to attack any new hobby 150%, being very precise about the clothes and obssesive about any new training regime as he was a fitness fanatic. He also suffered from depression off and on for years and manic depression runs in his family. Was all this a sign of threatening dementia?- I don't know but it has certainly hardened me up for what we are going through now, but it is still very hard. Now of course we have the routines that cannot be deviated from without a lot of hassle and tantrums and when the electrician came to wire the new boiler!!!!! someone interrupting his house and making a noise. I know my daughter worries sometimes about the possibility that she may develop Pick's but I think she is reasonablt level headed not to waste too much precious time worrying about the "What if".
  5. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    As far as I know, there is no evidence linking different types of mental illness with dementia. Around 1 in 5 people will suffer from some kind of funtional mental illness at some point in their lives, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or depression, so it is not unlikely that many of those 1 in 5 will also develop dementia, it is just a statistical liklihood.

    With my Mum (who was diagnosed with dementia aged 57) we certainly didn't notice any obesessive behaviour in the past, or now. It can be a symtom of the type of dementia she has, but she hasn't experienced it.

    However, Mum has always had problems with depression and anxiety, since long before I was born.

    Also, some of the symptoms of her dementia such as lack of empathy, inability to deal with practical matters such as her bills, are an extension of her personality anyway, so my sister and I really don't know her personality difficulties stop and the dementia starts.
  6. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Thanks Zed and Susie for your replies, Susie your husband sounds a lot like Dad was and I guess thats why I am asking this question because I note a lot of manic depressive like behaviour in my own personality...but I guess its not a disorder until you can no longer manage both life and the mental problem. This tendency towards extremes and my father's own tendencies worry me, because I wonder sometimes if I am headed for the same fate. These days I don't worry so much however....the thing I notice about a lot of mental conditions (including dementia) is they worsen with stress, my stress levels have been dropping and so too I am finding my manic behaviours are alse receding.

    Zed, your comment about the 1 in 5 statistics was pure logic and helped me look at it all from another clearer perspective. Thanks for that, I may be just one in five like my Dad, but Dad was also unlucky enough to be 1 in 2000 in Australia to get early onset......I may just yet avoid that latter statistic. :rolleyes:

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