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Looking for comments...Been observing my MIL for some months now as we spend a day and night at her place each week. Noticed she vacilates between two distinct behaviors. One I would describe as flirting...She has a sweet little voice and is all lovely dovey...especially when her best friend visits or she needs to be in public like at the dr's office...The other is nasty...contrary...biting.
There seems to be nothing in between. Through the years she has kept my husband and her grandchildren at arm's length..."don't come this weekend, I have plans, etc." While telling her friends we ignore her. Needless to say, we experience the 2nd behavior most of the time. Anyone else experiencing a loved one with dementia with such a split personality?

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I hope my family gives me meds to moderate the neurochemical insufficiencies then. I wouldn't mind being an experiment. Better me than them. I have left instructions that they are not let me stay with them if I am consistently uncooperative. They will be in writing with funds attached. A couple of bad hours a day are one thing, but day after day I do not want them to bear. Let me treat strangers that way, not them.
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Every day my husband has two different emotions, very nice, or very ugly. It is the chemical messengers in their brains that receive either little or too much of the chemical in dementia, and it is normal for them. Try to be a little more understanding as one day you may get dementia and would want your caregivers to be kind and understanding. Wouldn't you?
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Hold your your breath on that one JessieBelle. You must have gotten lucky.
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I think Gigi11 hit it right on the head. As caregivers we see the ugly narcissistic side that is about "I want. I need..." That side wouldn't fly with other people, so they turn on the sweet, submissive side. The good thing about this is that the mood carries over. If they interact with people this way, they will be in a better mood the rest of the day... or at least until someone makes them cross.
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Yeah and my husband is only 57
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Yeah...all those DX can coexist, and more..

Glad SOSDIL1 got her elder's DX'd.

Moods that fluctuate between lovely & mean, or hyped up & depressed, with elements of impulse control issues, are very often Bipolar [formerly called manic/depressive]
These are different from one person to another; can vary in presentation, w/ some showing some symptoms, while others show other symptoms more predominantly.

People who suspect it, really need to have professional evaluations--it could be something else--including something fairly simple, like B-Vitamin deficiencies, or, even Hypothyroid issues, or other hormones imbalanced.

There is medical help.
There are alternative & nutritional measures that could be combined with med use to help prevent those mood swings..
It's no longer only about taking lithium--which has been the Gold Standard for treating bipolar conditions. Lithium has had scary consequences in the past. So has shock therapy.
These days, many Docs may start by trying a low-dose anti-seizure med, maybe increasing that by also splitting the daily doses into 2 to 4 doses daily to keep blood levels. IF needed, they can add antidepressants.
They can do that, and still look for underlaying causes that can be corrected, and once that is done, can more easily take a person off these 2 drugs, easier and better and with less adverse effects, than if they'd been on Lithium for a time.
Viable Choices such as people have never had before!

Look at a person's history:
=Poor nutritional intake?
=High fevers in childhood?
=Head injuries: ANY in their lives?
=Abused in childhood?
=Generational patterns of behaviors?
=Family HX of abusive /changeable behaviors?
=ANY known family HX of mental disorders--though it's very commonly never diagnosed; for nearly all of history, including the 1900's, people avoided seeking diagnoses like the plague [no treatments or terrible ones, societal castigation];
instead learned ways the person could just get by in life.
Most often, extended families helped --actively-- cover it up by "helping" the person affected--even in the latter half of the 1900's, it was talked of in whispers, alternate terms that kept it understated, flagrant lies.
Which meant, the affected rarely got ANY constructive help, instead skating by for whole life, being considered an "interesting", or "complicated" person who has "Moods".
Often very creative, they'd be able to impress others enough, it helped cover their underlying issues; or, their moods were blamed on other more acceptable things, like post-partum depression; or, that they had really tough, complicated lives--seemingly through no fault of their own [never mind loads of repeatedly, really poor choices]...

These days, society is paying better attention, doing research, studying it better. There are tools for evaluation that never existed before.
Constructive diagnoses & constructive helps with fewer adverse effects, are becoming more common; societal views are improving [we're not "there" yet--but far closer than ever before].
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Also look into narcissistic disorder. My mother displays this behavior as well.
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It may be bipolar disorder with onset of dementia. I truly don't know if those two diagnosis can coexist, but a geriatric psychiatrist can help diagnose her. Keep a daily record of her behavior. My mother is bipolar, but she won't admit it of get help. She has exhibited this behavior all of my life. God help us if she gets ill. None of her children or grandchildren are willing to suffer anymore mental or physical mind games and abuse from her. Sympathy is null.
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Me too. But I don't see it as a split personality but rather as just a mean woman who pretends to be nice when outsiders are watching. Nothing, really, to do about it unless you want to take video to show those who don't believe you. The consolation is that eventually the other people will cross her and then they'll see her true nature. My condolences and blessings to be able to rise above it. Don't let her lousy example turn you into a negative person too.
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we were thinking this was alz/dem but because it's gone on before she started aging we saw a therapist and have started learning about BPD - at this point we've come to understand she is not going to change, we can only learn to live in a way that protects ourselves. Google BPD Mother-In-Law and you'll be amazed at what you read.
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Yeah, Skin, I feel you. My mom was the same way, all her life. I never knew from day to day what the hell to expect. That kind of flip flopping behavior can really keep you on edge. You just never know what you're going to be dealing with day to day. It's exhausting. Has she always been like that, or is this a new development? If it's something new, maybe a visit to the doc is in order. He might be able to give her something to stabilize her mood swings. With my own mom, it was just a lifetime of behavior that simply got worse with alz/dementia. It's not easy to deal with, especially when they get really nasty. I would advise ignoring the bad behavior if that's possible, or at least not responding to it much. I just walked away when my mom got like that, arguing doesn't do any good at all, especially when alz/dementia is involved. My mom's doc gave her some meds that chilled her out some and calmed her, so that was a huge relief. If she's still mentally sound, you could try calling her on her behavior, talking to her about it, asking questions. Let her know that you won't tolerate being abused. Leave if she gets really bad. Nothing 'cured' my own mom of this, it was just in her personality and I had to live with it. I just didn't take it personally, realized it was just her, and simply didn't listen to it. I really do hope you find a solution if it's something completely out of character for her...
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