Concerned about my mothers memory.

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I've been really worried about my mothers memory in recent months. I'm a hypochondriac normally only for myself but lately I can't stop worrying something might be happening to her. She's 51 (I'm pretty sure) and I've noticed she's been forgetting small things, never anything big like appointments or where she is or what year it is, but for example she can forget what she's talking about mid sentence at times and I have to remind her what she was talking about. She'll ask me the same question twice in an hour or repeat herself in the same way, or forget something I told her within a day or week. I know these seem really small but they're rather frequent, and beginning to get more regular lately.. Sometimes she seems better than other times. I think the thing that brought me here to ask about this was today, on Christmas, two of the gifts she gave me she told me were things I hinted at wanting but.. I have absolutely no memory of ever telling her I wanted those things. I love them, but I've never expressed any interest in them or mentioned them to her either. I'm worried she mixed up the memory of something else with something to do with me. The biggest thing that worries me is a couple months ago I found an "Alzheimer's and Dementia" leaflet from the doctors on the floor, that I definitely was not the one to bring home. I never mentioned it or picked it up but I can't forget it. She always jokes about having alzheimers/dementia but it scares me. I don't want to bring it up to her seriously because not only am I scared, terrified myself but I don't want to scare her either. I read that memory issues can be a symptom of menopause which I believe she is going through right now and I'm praying it's that, but I'd.. like to know someone elses opinion. I'm sorry for the huge paragraph, I'm a terrified hypochondriac and my mother is the only family I have. Please help me.


51ish? Menopause can really screw up the memory and is much more likely than dementia.
Most likely menopause. Offer to go to the dictor with her, but leave your own hypochondria at home. Time to get the legal paperwork in place if it isn't already starting with powers of attorney.
Thank you for the replies, I had no idea menopause could cause memory issues and it's relieving to hear someone confirm it.. I suppose rationally thinking that does seem much more likely!

The other thing you could do, in terms of setting your mind at rest and since we're stating the obvious, is say to your mother that you couldn't help noticing the leaflet, is this something she is worried about and if so would she like to talk about it.

Because either it was from one of the many many charities who are mass-mailing these things around for awareness-raising exercises, or it is indeed a subject she's concerned about and she did pick up a leaflet from her doctor - in which case she might appreciate a bit of support.

So: EITHER there is no problem OR there could be a problem, of the sort which will not go away just because you're afraid of it.

"Present fears are less than horrible imaginings..." Find out what you have to worry about. It's always better than worrying about what you might find out.
A big question here is if she has a history of early-onset Alzheimer's in the family. If she does, it would be more of a concern. If not, she may just be forgetful. As life goes on, there are all these little things that you have to get done. I find myself being very forgetful. I think it is because there are so many little things that my brain gets cluttered. I never forget the big things, but I can forget if I already took out something for dinner. I'm really bad about looking all over the house and yard for my reading or sunglasses, only to look in a mirror and see them setting on top my head. Doh! I think it's normal, but it makes me wonder if I'm totally losing it. And I can't even blame menopause. I blame all the little things that I have to do.
cathodoer, as we age we do get more forgetful. The best way to explain it is our brain is like a lot of filing cabinets and each cabinet is filled to the brim as we get older... thus it takes longer for us to find that one slip of information we are looking for. Sometimes I will remember the answer at midnight :P

I use to be able to go grocery shopping without ever writing out a list. I don't dare try that today.

Blood pressure pills will tend to wipe me out brain wise, same with antihistamines, and with anxiety medicine.

And yes, menopause can cause a whole long list of issues... one being insomnia, thus if one isn't getting a good night sleep, that can affect memory, too.
Thank you so much for your replies, you have no idea how relieving it is to hear these things lol. As she's the only family I really have I just panicked a bit. As far as I'm aware nobody in the family has had early on-set alzheimers/dementia, but I have read it's not strictly something inherited and anyone can get it. I made sure to research that before asking which definitely didn't help my anxiety haha!

Apologies if I've bothered anyone or wasted anyone's time here, but my nerves really have been settled a little, I'm thinking a bit more rationally about it now. It probably is just age and menopause. She's actually had a lot of issues sleeping in recent months, probably gets 3-5 hours a night max and has to take long naps during the day then works 8 hours day shifts and sometimes 4 hour night shifts too, I bet that isn't helping her memory either..

I have a lot to learn about what it's like to get older. It was nice to hear some relatable stories haha! Thank you again for your patience!
Cath, are you seeing someone about your anxiety and your habit of "catastrophizing"? It might be worthwhile to seek out some cognitive behavior therapy.
Hi BarbBrooklyn, no unfortunately I'm not. I've been suggested CBH for other things before but I've never really let anyone know about my terrible anxiety or hypochondria especially so I'm not sure anyone would even believe me about it. Nobody seems too interested in my mental health.

Hopefully someday soon I'll find someone to talk to about it. Not even a week ago I had a 4 hour breakdown convinced I had a fatal illness, lol. It's a real problem..
Cath, if your regular doctor isn't listening to your concerns about your mental health, you can find a different doctor, or you can perhaps go through your health insurance directory to find out the name of psychiatrists ( medical doctors who prescrible medications that treat problems like anxiety and depression) and/ or psychologists and social workers ( who use various modaliries of therapy, including CBT) to treat.

You deserve consideration and treatment of your very real problems! I am terribly sorry that no one is taking your mental health seriously! I felt the same way many years ago, but getting the right treatment ( a combination of meds and talk therapy) has allowed me to lead a much more productive and peaceful life.

Please give yourself a New Year's gift and find out about treatment options. And let us know how you're doing! We care!

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