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 Relationship to other mental illness issues? 
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:42 pm
Posts: 108
Post Relationship to other mental illness issues?
I know that lots of folks on this list do not have experiences with their loved ones having other mental illness problems before the DLB. Given that, I am wondering how many of you have knowledge of - or suspect - other types of mental illness in your loved one before the DLB. I ask this because my mother has a whole bunch of mental illness problems and has her whole life. Everything from depression, bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder (actually they psych hospital called it composite since she has narcissistic tendencies as well). Anyway, I am currently on a list serve for daughters of women with borderline personality disorder and I have been actually surprised by the large number of these women whose mothers are also suffering from dementia. I have even suggested to a few whose mothers are having problems with hallucinations that they ask their doctor about DLB. All of the women on the BPD list grew up with borderline mothers, so the dementia is later in those moms that have dementia, but I thought it was interesting that so many daughters were having problems with their mothers and dementia now that their mothers are older. As I said earlier, it is clear that lots of people who get DLB have no problems with mental illness earlier in their lives (and I know that not all borderlines end up with dementia), but I am curious about overlap. Any thoughts that you have on this would be interesting to learn about.

Thanks - Liz


Last edited by aelisabeth on Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu May 31, 2012 8:25 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
My mom suffered from Major Depression for a number of years. I am married almost 19 years. I would say 17 of those years she was on and off depressed, but not like crying depressed, like just staying home, not being social, staying home from work. She eventually had to retire. Once that happened, things just fell apart. I think that was the start of the downward spiral. She couldn't do what the new bosses at work needed her to do, it was new stuff and she couldn't manage it. She was good at what she did but they wanted to change how she did it and she couldn't. So while the dr is diagnosing her with early to mid dementia/alz...I am convinced she has had this disease for longer and has been misdiagnosed. She also has tremors and movement issues that the dr says is from medication side effects but I'm not convinced. My Mom suffered depression when she was younger and pregnant, so she has always had a bit of mental issues going on. But as a kid I never remember her being mentally ill. She always ran the household, she did a good job. Very overprotective but she was a good Mom.


Thu May 31, 2012 10:22 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
That is interesting Tara. My mom was a mental health worker and she also wasn't able to make the jump to new things. In her case it was the computer. They wanted her to chart on the computer and she just couldn't do it. She could manage word processing to write for herself, but she couldn't figure out how to use the program that they had for her to chart patient information on. This was the beginning of the end for her and work. My mother is also someone who I would say is excessively right brained. I have never met anyone so right brained in the stereotypical way. My mother has a friend who used to be head of nursing at a medical school when she was still working and she says that my mother has always been "unusual" when it comes to these sort of things. My mother has always had terrible spatial skills and she has always been a highly intuitive/emotional person, but not a person with a lot of logical thinking abilities. When she was first at the psych hospital, before the DLB diagnosis, the psychiatrist working with her thought that perhaps she had had brain damage as a small child that the dementia was now revealing (because she was no longer able to cover for the things she wasn't able to do). I think the depression thing is pretty common with DLB isn't it? Interesting that your mother's depression started so much earlier than her actual health problems. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Liz


Thu May 31, 2012 10:41 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
Depression is highly associated with dementia. I don't know if there's research on the association of other psychiatric disorders and dementia. This seems to be a field with loads more questions than answers.


Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:18 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
My husband was in the grocery business when we married and was 'social' with customers, but was more 'anti-social' when it came to leisure time. We went to church, but not much visiting with friends or even family. He liked for people to visit us, but we didnt go visiting. He was much more comfortable in the woods, hunting, fishing, things we could do by ourselves. Of course, at first I thought he just wanted to be with me alone, but there was so much more to it than that. For years I thought it was just the way he was, but looking back now, I realize that it was just the beginning of other problems. First was depression, behavior problems, then anxiety, panic attacks, sleep problems, finally LBD. He was never formally diagnosed, but fit all the criteria I have found here. This all happened over 15+ years. Looking back over 26 years, you can come up with all kinds of excuses. My experience is all I have to go on, but I would answer your question with a YES. I believe that the early mental illnesses do or can become dementia. It is such a strange disease that consumes them and us all at the same time. My heart goes out to all sufferers of LDB and their families. My Jerry's battle was over almost a year ago, but it still seems like yesterday. God bless y'all, Nancy


Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:39 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
Coy had no mental illness issues that I am aware of, until 1993 when he had a head injury. From that point forward he has needed anti-depressants.

I think I've seen some linkage of brain injuries and later dementia.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:49 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
Very interesting thread. My MIL suffered from depression and was probably bipolar. She suffered deep depression after her husband died and that is when we noticed that something else was also going on. I worry sometimes for my husband who also tends to suffer from depression at times. He just had a major heart attack and now I am starting to notice "signs." Oh, well. I can take a lot. Thank God I was blessed with patience and never worry about what I cannot change. This forum has been a blessing getting through this.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:41 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:51 am
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
Very interesting thread!
My mom suffered from depression for about 15 years before the docs (originally) diagnosed her with early ALZ in 1997 at the age of 67. It wasn't until 2009 that she had a probable DLB dx. As far back as I can remember, she had OCD and always had trouble adapting to new situations.


Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:49 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:14 pm
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
My mom has always been excessively fearful and convinced that people were talking about her and staring at her every where we went. That became worse and worse over the last few years and was diagnosed with probable LBD last summer. Depression has been something she has dealt with off and on, but would never ask for help from a doctor about it because they would think she was "crazy." Even now with the LBD diagnosis that is her driving fear.......someone will think she is crazy.

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Mom 87 in AL with LBD diagnosed one year ago, Dad 87 in AL with AD diagnosed 6 years ago


Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:58 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
My Mom has had mental issues all her life. Depression, anti-social, anger and even agoraphobia...not to mention severe anxiety since her 40's. She is heavy in the throws of this disease and we found a wonderful neurologist who actually believes her when she complains of the drugs. He took her off of everything except her Xanax and she is taking only an anti depressant. So far, so good except for sleep issues. I firmly believe that her mental disorders were a precursor for this. Hindsight is 20/20. My sister and I saw a lot of odd behaviors that we now recognize as LBD... we sure didn't then. She has been delusional a LONG time.... she is 81 and physically healthy except for walking issues which gets worse and worse. She afraid of EVERYTHING.... even my ball of yarn.......


Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:16 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
And I forgot to mention her OCD.........shoes, clothes, blanket, food, pills..... the list goes on and on......


Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:18 am
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Relationship to other mental illness issues?
Ksparks and Jenny:

Wow our mother's sound a lot alike. My mother is bi-polar (it runs in her family) and she has a diagnosis from the psych hospital of borderline personality disorder to boot. I have learned so much these last two years about dlb, bpd, and bi-polar. My mother did all sorts of paranoid and crazy things even when I was a kid. She did sexually inappropriate things and she was always worried that she would be discovered for being crazy. I once asked the women on the Daughters of Mothers with Borderline Personality list serve that I am on about mental illness and their mothers, several others had mothers with very similar disease symptoms as my mother. Lots of their mothers who are older have dementia. I have to think this is really interesting. After I posted about DLB symptoms, one woman took her mother to the neurologist and discovered that the alzhiemer's diagnosis was probably not accurate - her mother now as a DLB diagnosis like my mother. I wish someone would do a statistical study that showed what sort of corrolation there may or may not be between early mental conditions or diseases like bi-polar and borderline personality disorder with DLB. I understand that there has already been work done on links to ADD (lucky for myself and my kids since we all have some version of ADD - although not severe).

Anyway - thanks for sharing. It is interesting to hear other people's stories. It makes me feel a little like I am not living in "crazy land" by myself.

Liz


Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:01 pm
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