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Ooooh yes. It’s called “showtiming.” Folks with dementia — especially early/mid stage — summon up all their good manners and pat answers and conversational charm for everyone except their spouse and/or primary caregiver. It’s so hard to take, when you’re the one who’s on the butt end of their real personality. Yes, their brains are broken, etc etc. It’s still hard to take.
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OMG! This is so my Mom. We've been coping for years, helping her manage, getting her rough spots. We can't cope anymore. She is so vicious and hateful. I'm not strong enough to endure this day and night anymore... but her best moments are at the doctor's office. She knows, she hides, she lies. They think she has mild dementia. I'm sorry, but when you sit in a chair for 6 days holding a bill that you have to pay, must pay, are paying, and can't do anything else because you are so busy, and still need help filling out the check, this is a little more than "mild"
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Can you get a video of a tantrum for the doctor--and ask the doctor to refer her to an evaluation that includes someplace with a one-way mirror, and have you and mom wait there until she gets impatient and shows her "home" self. And perhaps an outside observer would notice things you could do to deflect the bad behavior.
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Mom is on "very good behavior" when she goes out of the house. She appears happy and is talkative, positive and personable. Everyone loves her. She has always been this way when in public. When she is at home she is angry, negative, unresponsive and in a bad mood. She argues about almost everything. Like I said, she has always had an extremely different "public face." The past few months it has gotten worse and worse. She has always been a yeller and a screamer. She has always had to have her own way or pitched a fit. These behaviors were few and far between however, compared to the nightmare we are living in now. It is practically constant fighting and yelling she has even tried to hit my dad. She is able to fool the doctors every time she has an appt. The doctors think she is doing fine, because that is what she tells them. We are at wits end. We don't know how to convince the doctors that mom's behavior is really disruptive and tearing our family apart. How can we convince the doctors she really needs some help? I am sure this is all very hard on her too.
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By split personality do you mean dual personalities? Those with dementia do not have properly functioning brains. They do not remember what they say or have done from one minute to the next. I imagine to those new to the ravages of dementia on the brain that it may seem like a split personality since so much is forgotten, there are mood swings etc. The mood swings are perhaps the most difficult. Imagine how you would feel if from one minute to the next you had no idea who people are, where you are, or how you got there. I think I would be upset too!
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It will help if you explain what you mean by "split personality."

But in general, dementia patients can seem very inconsistent. The disease itself is not consistent. Most patients have good periods and bad periods and worse periods. They seem normal one minute and terribly confused the next. Many can also "showtime" which means they can pull themselves together and act on their best behavior for a short time, for example in front of a doctor. This takes great effort and they cannot do it for all periods.

Does this touch on your concerns?
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