I am having a hard time with this. On one hand, it explains much of my childhood. On the other, this is a highly educated high functioning peep, prior. We are still not sure of time line of prior. We had our care plan meeting today. Any insights?

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Thanks all. I had to take a break from this. An extended one.
Did the delusional disorder pre date ALZ? Who knows. I took some time to think about your responses. And I thank you for them. Love this forum. You guys give me strength when I am at empty. Thank you so much, more than you know.
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Reply to Segoline

Segoline, I suppose there are two trains of thought involved in your question.

One: what implications would this additional diagnosis have for your parent's care going forward?

Two: what impact will this new insight into your parent's psychological makeup have on your feelings about your own and your family's history, and towards your parent now?

I don't know any of the answers to either question; but I would try to keep the questions separate - try not to let any stressful emotions about the past influence any decisions you have to make now on your parent's behalf. It is harder to do than you might think, so just be conscious of the issue.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Are you asking if you think your parent exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia prior to the Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
Hope the care meeting was productive. Unless you are trying to determine a timeline for relevance to predict what issues you or your children may develop in your older years or for genealogy, I agree with JoAnn, that answer may be unobtainable.
Often schizophrenics are very intelligent. But I speak from personal experience- I have a family member who is schizophrenic and while he can fool you at first, on continued conversations the delusions are apparent. As far as high functioning I know that my family member is not able to work or hold a high functioning job even though imo he is very smart. His thought pattern and memory are too scattered which affects his concentration, and he is quite delusional.
I often wish mental illness could be treated successfully like hypertension but unfortunately it’s not to be.
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Reply to Shane1124

Sego, are you saying that with this diagnosis, you understand your mother's personality better? People with delusional disorder , when the delusion is confined to a specific are, can generally carry on quite well in life.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Sometimes it's hard to know what part is dementia and what part is a psychiatric disorder (i.e. schizophrenia) mom suffered from schizoaffective disorder which caused symptoms like paranoid schizophrenia (hallucinations and persecutory delusions). In her case, it seems like the hallucinations started after a diabetic coma and TIAs in 2011. I'm not entirely sure that a lot of it wasn't some form of vascular dementia, as she too was always high functioning prior. They did diagnose her with dementia last year, but scans never revealed the exact cause.

However, further complicating things in her situation were both a family history of schizophrenia and Parkinsons on her dad's side, so it was hard to know if the brain damage unmasked something already underlying or if it was the cause.

It would probably be best to see about getting your parent referrals to both a neurologist and a geriatric psychiatrist if you haven't already. Between them, they can decide which meds would be most appropriate for her particular diagnosis, and can run tests and do evaluations to try and determine the best treatment plan.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to FrazzledMama

Maybe I am not understanding the question. Does it really matter how much prior? The person now has ALZ and maybe its heightened the delusional disorder?
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Reply to JoAnn29

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