Can my mom have other personality disorders other than dementia?

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Can my mom with dementia have other personality disorders. She thinks family is stealing from her. She hides her sweet snacks. It seems she does not care about anyone but herself. Is this normal.

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My mother has always had bipolar disorder (unfortunately, untreated). Now at 88 she seems to have some dementia too. So I'd say the effects of both can be similar. My mother can be confused and lackluster, or irritable, because of her bipolar disorder, probably from depression, and I guess dementia can cause some of the same things. I heard more elderly people are being diagnosed with stuff like bipolar, and I guess the question is whether they have developed it late in life or always had it. The thing about people stealing, I've heard a lot about that with dementia. There are big personality changes, unfortunately. My mother was always extremely good to me, very sweet. She's not like that most of the time now. The thing about not caring about anyone else--that seems like a constant with caring for many elderly people. She's been evaluated for dementia, I guess? Maybe you just can't know which condition is causing which effect. How about trying to find a neuropsychologist? Someone referred us to one. They are supposed to be able to tease out the effects of different disorders. They may be the only ones who could make an educated judgment.
Thank you so much Hannalee. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. You have been very helpful. I think we do need to see a neuropsychologist. She has been diagnosed with dementia. But I do think something else is going on. Thanks again. God Bless
mylovelymama, it is so very, very sad when a loved one's basic personality seems to be slipping away and to be replaced with problematic behavior.

Maybe your mother has additional disabilities, but what you describe here is totally consistent with dementia. Many dementia patients go through episodes of paranoia. That is very hard to deal with. When my husband accused me often of stealing from him, I had to keep reminding myself that this was not my sweet soulmate speaking, it was the dementia. Becoming self-centered is also very common. Toddlers are self-centered. Children gradually learn to think of others and can eventually even take pleasure from making others happy. But in dementia, parts of the person's personality regress to earlier stages. In some ways they can be like toddlers. Not their fault -- and not necessarily involving other disorders.

I agree with Hannalee, that it would be useful to have your mother evaluated by a specialist very experienced in treating dementia. Dementia cannot be cured, but sometimes there are treatments that can address symptoms and improve quality of life for both the patient and the caregiver.

Best wishes to you both.

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