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There are days when I feel like I'm either developing dementia or am doomed to develop dementia. I think about my mother or see her and suddenly I forget basic stuff. I walk around feeling kind of lost. I've even told my husband to feel free to put in a nursing facility or help me help myself out of this world if this ever happens to me.

I even had a brain test done not too long ago. The results did not show any cognitive impairment associated with developing dementia, and yet there are days when I feel like it's just a matter of time before this disease strikes.

Can any one else relate?

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There have been times that I feel like I'm loosing my mind. Walk around in a fog and not feeling in touch with reality. Forget things and feel like I'm observing my reality as an outsider. A counselor told me this is perfectly normal with people dealing with more stress than the mind can handle. It is called Dissociative disorder. It is your minds way of trying to protect you. It is temporary and goes away when the stress does. I was going crazy trying to make Mom fit into MY world, but life got a lot easier when I surrendered and started just making myself fit into HER world. I don't have to approve or understand what she does...I just roll with it.
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Sandhya, being constantly stressed out Does contribute to early dementia. It's the breathing (or more like holding your breath in anger, frustration, etc...) and how much oxygen goes to our brain. Our brain neurons need oxygen. So, when we are tense, stressed out, have you notice that you tend to hold your breath to control your anger, frustration? Or when stressed out, you're breathing shorter and faster? Every time you hold your breath, you're also withholding the needed oxygen for your brain.

Stress also leads to constant migraine/tension headaches. When you get these headaches, it also constricts your blood vessels in the brain. Constricted blood vessels means less oxygen going into the brain cells.

And because we're stressed out, in anger, we're not really paying attention to things around us. Then we become 'forgetful' because we can't remember what we did with this or that stuff.

Some solutions that you can do - is Deep breathing several times a day. Slowly deep breath in from the nose (watch your tummy go up) and slowly breathe out from your mouth. Another solution - don't be stingy with those painkillers. (I hate taking pills and so only take 1 instead of 2 for my pounding headaches.) Take it - so that it helps alleviate those constricted blood vessels in your brain.

Oh, my answer to this discussion's question: YES! I have twice asked my doctors if maybe I have dementia because I'm soooooo forgetful. They both said that I'm too young to have dementia. It's just Stress. That I need to get out more and exercise. Uhm.. yes, but who's going to cover for me while I 'get and exercise'?
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My mom has two types of dementia but a lot of days I think her mind is actually better than mine! It really scares me.
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now that I have read through the comments, I guess I have a question for all the Doctors that have said or told you "its because you are overwhelmed or stressed" if that's the case, can the being overwhelmed or stressed cause dementia? I mean that's the elephant in the room given that is what is told to us caregivers. At no time in history have their been this many elderly people with declining minds that need help and most help is from family or friends. So my question for health care providers who just say "its because you are stressed you feel like you are getting dementia" at what point is it true...if you never ever get a break from it until your elder dies?
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Another thing to consider if you aren't focusing very well or feel foggy is sleep apnea. Some people don't realize they have it or they may have sleep hypopnea, which is shallow breathing during sleep. A sleep study will confirm it.

Your oxygen levels get low and it can wreak havoc on your brain function. It takes months once you start cpap therapy to regain your mental alertness. I'm on month 6 now. I do feel better.
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Yup. All the time. blou
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Have you ever done something so often that it's like auto pilot, and then you forget that you actually did it? I have loaded the walker into the trunk of the car so often that sometimes I'll be driving and wonder if I actually put it in or if it's still sitting there back at the parking lot!
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I've had to force myself to stop reading about how it is probably inherited. Now, I have reverted to eating what my mother called, "brain food" - tuna, salmon, all things protein packed. I'm not even sure I believe in taking supplements to boost memory, but I'm thinking I may start a regime. Funny you mentioned the paperwork - I've recently started thinking about my own. You're right, though, about the positive thinking. Who knows what kinds of developments they're making to ward off the disease - might be cured in the not too far away future.
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I try to think positive. If I'm going to be spared, then my worry about the condition is unnecessary and just drags me down. And if I am going to get it, then I need to enjoy every single moment I have before that time comes. I will have all proper paperwork in order, just in case. lol
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Both of my grandmothers had Alzheimer's and most studies say that this means I will get it too. Every single time I forget something like a word I should know or a reason why I entered a room, I'm convinced that it's got me. Sunnygirl1, that article was really helpful and actually made me feel a lot better about my short term memory loss issues.
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I've read a lot about how stress can effect your short term memory. I've read how that happens in different ways. Here's an article about one study.

psychcentral/news/2012/09/17/rat-study-shows-how-stress-disrupts-short-term-memory/44704.html
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ginamtmassage - Thanks for explaining that there is actually a really THING called Dissociative Disorder. I had read about it, and I mentioned it to my own doctor, but he basically said it was hogwash.
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I thought I was loosing my mind also. I would have out of body experiences and view my situation like an outsider looking in. My Doctor told me this is normal for people undergoing a tremendous amount of stress. It is called Dissociative disorder and occurs when the mind cant deal with whats going on. Not to worry. It is generally temporary. I've run through every emotion with my mom on a daily basis. I tried so hard for years to make Mom fit into my world and force some sense into her and got so upset when I couldnt do it. Finally I just started to accept that she cannot change and I started changing my world to fit into hers. Things got a lot better. Everything is perception and what YOU make it out to be. If I make things out to be a big deal, then its a big deal. When I decided to just role with things and let my Mom just do all the things that don't make sense and pretend I know what she's talking about then things got better for everyone. I've just locked up anything that could be of danger to her and let her rearrange my house all day. Its just stuff. Better to have a messy house than a messy attitude.
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Yikes, I had a big senior moment at work today. I went into a co-workers office and I wanted to tell her something but couldn't remember what it was.... she just laughed and said that I would remember when I pull out of the office parking lot :) Then it came to me what it was.

It was just too busy of a morning plus my sig other was dealing with having my parent's car inspected and he was constantly texting me, thus interrupting my train of thought :P
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Yes, I worry too. I try to look at it objectively.

I had never considered it before my cousin was diagnosed. At first, I was so busy caring for her that I didn't have time to think of anything else. But, after I got her situated, I nearly fell apart. I had all kinds of physical problems ranging from dental, skin, digestive, etc.

Then the worrying about memory started. It's not as much memory as it is focus. It is like being on auto pilot. I know to check my voice mail and I do, but then an hour later, I'm not sure if I did.

I try to think of all that I have on my plate, such as caring for my cousin, my parents who are okay for right now, but still need support, running my own business, doing the paperwork, handling my own affairs, managing my health (I have Type I diabetes) and caring for my 5 year-old great niece who is special needs. And I wonder why I'm not perfect at multi-tasking. I saw on the news that multitasking is a myth and if we think we are doing it well, we are mistaken. lol
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I live in a constant state of fear that I'm showing early signs of dementia. Every time The other day I forgot who Prince William was married to - this sounds ridiculous, I realize, but it illustrates my level of paranoia. There are times when I feel like I'm struggling to find the right word for something or I use the wrong word. I'm supposed to get married to a really wonderful man, but watching my father's decline into Alzheimer's has made me so afraid because I don't want him to have to deal with me if the disease comes for me. He thinks I'm being crazy, but I keep telling him that he doesn't understand what it's like to watch someone who once had a beautiful brain forget everything. I completely understand what you are going through right now. I don't know if this would be helpful to you, but I've started reading whenever I have a spare moment and doing brain exercises that help with memory. My doctor says I have nothing to worry about, but that doesn't lessen my concern. I sympathize with you.
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Mom needs 24/7 care. I'm sure you are all familiar w this. When she took a fall and the rehab facility wouldn't take her cpap machine seriously the doc and i had words. Doc informed me that the cpap would not help her dementia. I said I knew that but after getting no sleep myself taking care of her i basically had dementia and i didn't see why they thought sleep deprivation was ok for her! Yeah I'm still mad about that :-) we had overnight help for 2 weeks. Happiest time in recent memory! She quit w no notice 2 days ago. So much for getting my sanity back. Sigh. Hang in there all.
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This happened to me. The therapist explain to me that this was due to being overwhelmed and the brain just sort of goes on auto pilot. I heard a great defintion of alzheimers. It is not about forgetting where your car key ares, it is about forgetting what the keys are for. You really need some me time. You are doing too much.
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Not sure what my mom has. MCI at the very least. Possibly early touches of a non-Alz dementia. And yes, after I spend time with mom, my brain is disproportionately addled. I think a secret pocket of our psyche goes haywire when we are exposed to the deterioraton of the person who taught us so much; shaped us; informed our view of the world. There's no relationship like a parent/child relationship. No matter what kind of parent he/she was. No matter how old the "child" is. We soldier away in the face of the unthinkable. We stuff down feelings we don't even know we're having. It's a head trip, alright. In particular, I've noticed that when I drive to or from my mother's house, I can become very distracted. Uncharacteristically distracted. To the point that I don't realize I'm distracted until I'm "this close" to doing something really stupid or dangerous. Sometimes I have one or two more episodes -- just for good measure. (A little bit glib there but trust me, I know it's not funny.) Luckily, I found a solution. Now, whenever I drive to/from mom's, I pretend that my high-school driver's ed teacher is in the passenger seat. Silly, but it works! (And yes, I see the humor in this. My safety check is an awful lot like......a dementia delusion!! God bless us all.)
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Hi Yogalove. I think most of us who are seeing dementia as caregivers tend to question our own "senior moments". I used to be a whiz at movie trivia but have a much harder time these days remembering names and movie titles. I think it's just normal aging.

I'm 61, and a retired electrician. I remember several times through the years when I would walk out to my truck to get a tool or some material, open the side doors and have no idea what I had come out there to get. Go back inside, look at what I was working on and OH YEA. I NEED A SO AND SO. One time as I was staring into the back of my truck with no idea what I needed I noticed a plumber beside me staring vacantly into his truck. We looked at each other and I said, "You have no idea what you came out her for do ya". He said, "Not a clue!" I told him I just saw him working on a big steam line which prompted him to get the right fitting. He told me he had just seen me trying to mount a big electrical panel and I grabbed some concrete anchors and off we went. But I never forgot when lunch or quitting time was.....
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Hi, everyone. I'm new to the site. I just started caring for my father who has Alzheimer's. This forum question was the first one I came across and I'm so grateful that you posted it, Dena26. There is Alzheimer's on both sides of my family; my maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother both died from the disease. Not a day goes by that I don't worry that I'm showing early signs. I'm an English teacher and if I forget how to spell a simple word, I'm convinced I'm showing early signs. Yesterday, I left my grade book at the grocery story - it was found - but the act still scared me. My father is quickly descending and his short term memory is essentially shot. As I experience his decline as a witness, I can't help but feel that my own may not be too far away. I live in constant fear that I have definitely inherited the disease. I know how self absorbed that must sound. Anyway, thank you for posting this. I know I haven't helped at all, but I can definitely understand how you are feeling.
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Yes, I understand how everyone feels. I can order supplies online, and then when the box arrives, I cannot remember what I had ordered, but then when I open the box I remember what I ordered. I think it's a combination of normal aging, and the added stress of caregiving, and going it alone, if you don't have help from siblings.
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Tarajane, yes. It is worse when one is trapped within a dysfuctional relationship, may need to leave to get to safety. But each person is different in what they can tolerate, or what they may understand as dysfunctional. Only you will know.
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I am starting to question my mental status also. My husband has mild Dementia. Well, as of July 28th it was mild, now I don't know and won't know until Dec. ANYWAY,,off the track ! A few months ago my doc said it was stress. I work at a small grocery store and can function very well. Got a really good evaluation, etc. My drawer is always spot on. So, I can't remember things that happened yesterday and if somebody asks me at when I came in I have to look at my schedule to tell them when I came in. Also when I leave. I am 68. Not sure if I want to be tested for Dem. I couldn't stand it if I had symptoms. Do you all think it really is stress we all are going through ? I haven't put my keys in the freezer yet !! LOL
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Yes it does feel like your getting dementia. It's so frustrating not getting any of my siblings to help. But. Two of my daughters help, but they both work. So I get no respite care and there is no money for it, just too expensive. Besides her dementia there's her diabetes to deal with she won't even tear her blood sugar on her own. The one thing I have noticed my mother was an extremely manipulative person and now with dementia she is 100x's worse everything is a battle from showers, to Meds even to meals. I'm so sick of it especially since she'll admit she does it on purpose, then say she doesn't remember that. Unless it benefits her she doesn't remember it. I have had to cut my work hours down and now I'm having to quit because she gives the home health provider a hard time. And she was only here on the hours I had to go to work.But unknown to my mother the health provider will be here on weekends so my husband and I can get away and I'm not letting her know till it happens. So yes I'm quitting my job but I'll be getting away from her at least for a little while. So hopefully when I get some rest I won't be so resentful of her. Long story my mother and I have never gotten along, I can go as far as to say she never cared for me and I never cared for her. My dad tried to get her to act more fair to me growing up but you can't force love and yes she is my biological mother. So as you can see there is a lot of underlying turmoil. But I'm doing what s right ever if I don't like it. Just needed to vent.
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Oh for those readers who think Windyridge and I have gone over the edge, we are talking about an old Canadian comedy show called "Red Green". It use to be shown here in the States on PBS.

The show was a parody of home improvement shows... the main product used was duct tape to fix things. And Red would go into his workshop to make new things out of parts from old things.... it was pretty funny the things he would create. You can find some clips on YouTube, like the home made car wash.

My sig other didn't know how to fix anything so he couldn't understand why my Dad and I were laughing hysterically at this show..... loved those mini black & white clips within the show :)
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Well like Red always said, "If the women don't find you handsome at least they'll find you handy".

And I also try to live by the Possum Lodge Men's Pledge......."I'm a man.......And I can change...........If I have to..........I guess........
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Windyridge, time to go to Possum Lodge and see what the guys have to say about those tissue box slippers.... Red Green could make a snappy water proof pair to use for when fishing.
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Fast forward one year since my last post on this thread and what a difference. I really feel like I am losing my marbles and when I talk it's like someone kicked over the Scrabble board, can't get my words straight.... it's all stress because there are days when I feel like I could go on Jeopardy and win every game.

My Dad has gotten more stubborn with his mild short term memory where I feel like I am in that movie Groundhog Day.... and sadly my Mom had a terrible fall which damaged her brain so she went from being sharp as a tack one day to totally befuddle the next with pouts of delirium which terrified me.
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That's most likely symptomatic of severe stress. I don't even take care of my mil but just from observing her I've told my husband he has to put me in a " home" if I get dementia. Old is looking so uninviting that I'm thinking of never taking advantage of any life saving procedures or such should I ever need it . We have difficult elder lies on both sides- no thanks!
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