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repeating things - a symptom?


Registered User
Mar 9, 2014
hi here, new to this forum, but glad it is here.

I'm a bit concerned about a friend, who's in their 80s and am wondering if this might be an early symptom of something...

The friend, every time we meet up or speak on the phone, seems fixated about certain workplace incidents that happened to them over 40 years ago. The friend then tells me about them, and it doesn't matter what I say ("you can't change the past", "you did the right thing", "let it go", etc etc), the next time and every time we next meet up or speak on the phone tells me about the same scenario/incidents all over again, and so it goes on.

One of my friend's late parents and also a sibling of my friends had Alzheimer's.

Should I be worried my friend might be developing it?
The repeating the same story thing - what do you think it sounds like?

many thanks, very much appreciated.


Registered User
Jun 26, 2012
Your friend is at quite an advanced age and could be becoming increasingly forgetful.
However, it could be that the incidents of forty years ago had a huge impact upon his/her life, and as a consequence are constantly referred to in an attempt to mitigate any bad effects or repeated in search of sympathy, condolences, reassurance, etc.
Also, it could be that the incidents of forty years ago are all that you now have in common?
Without more information from you one is only to offer generalised assumptions.


Registered User
Mar 9, 2014
thanks but no its not a case of not/having things in common or of my friend wanting reassurance and those types of things. He isn't becoming increasingly forgetful about other things.

Its repeating the same scenarios to me every time we meet or speak on the phone.

I am wondering if repeating things is a sign of early Alzheimer's.



Registered User
Nov 17, 2013
east midlands
Hi, a the very least its an anxiety that's having a significant Effect . Can U talk to him about it? And encourage him to speak to the gp ?


Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
im new to this and im afraid I don't have any advice to offer as I have the same thing with my mum.
things that happened years ago... even back in childhood, she is becoming fixated on. for example, she sat an exam as a teenager which she failed. she told her dad she had done her best but he said 'well your best wasn't good enough'. I had never heard this story until recently, it was obviously buried away somewhere and is now a huge focal point. also regarding one of her long ago work friends who she still sees regularly, mum says... yes well you were the 'directors secretary'.. I was just a dogsbody clerk/typist. again I had never heard this before, she has always been positive and seeing the brighter side of life. its so hard seeing her beating herself up all the time. I respond by being cheerful and positive about all the wonderful things she has done (bringing up 2 lovely daughters of course ;)) but she will not take that in and keeps on the dark side of things. its so hard seeing her change like this and not being able to help her. she is so pleased when I phone her for a chat, then ten minutes later she will phone me without a clue that we have just spoken.
if only life came with a manual, I wasn't prepared for any of this and am having re learn behaviour and re assess life