My mom will be 90 this month. She was a medical secretary in the years during wwii and falls back on her" training " in that era as a reference for every raised eyebrow or tone of voice any of her docs exhibit. She is always convinced that some major cancer is around the corner. She had a mastectomy in 1987, has chf and labile high blood pressure. Her anxieties about her health are making her more disabled than she actually is. Any thoughts about this?

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At 90, it would be natural to be frightened about your own mortality. So you transfer all your fear of death to a single ailment (or to many, one after another), because if it's cancer, maybe it can be cured; if it's your heart, maybe there's a new medication, a new treatment --- something can be done. But you can't do anything about the fact that your time in life is now almost over. My mother's anxiety was so intense it became almost ridiculous ---if she was constipated, it might be because a tumor was blocking her colon; if her eyes were dry, maybe it was a tumor in her brain. Her doctor treated her for anxiety for years, switched from Xanax to Klonapin, and finally upped the dose of Klonapin. She had to be taken off the Klonapin after a couple of months---it knocked her silly---but, strangely enough, she hasn't been obsessing about illness since then. Other things, yes, but not illness. Good luck.
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dementia nearly always exascerbates or causes an obsessive disorder i believe. my mother has always been real shrug - it - off - ish and analytical but the last 4 or 5 years she gotten bullheaded and goes on and on about stuff for months after its resolved. we have a pet parrot who is less repetitive. at least you can give the parrot a piece of cheese and she'll shut up for a while..
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