Mental Health Q&A: Tackling dementia

Dr Hemant Mittal, neuro-psychiatrist, answers readers’ questions on Mental Health. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Tuesday.
This week’s answers:

1. I was suffering like anything to come out of thinking one person , i was constantly thinking about the person who is nothing to me now. By doing that ,It makes me very stress and not able to concentrate on other activities Please help me to come out.
raj neo
Sometimes when a person who you had faith, love and caring for suddenly leaves you, it creates an emotional vacuum.
The mind goes into a constant search to find out answers for questions like – “why” this has happened, “why” you had to suffer, “why” couldn’t you recognize the motives of that person before, etc.
Also the images of the time spent with that person come back to haunt you.
To get a complete mind control and freedom from this restlessness its important:
a. plan your entire day
b. increased involvement into professional life
c. having a few friends, with whom you can talk
d. avoid alcohol and smoking, as they trigger the brain to thing more about that person and re-ignite old memories
e. meditation 2 times a day
f. writing a diary can help
g. if all this fails, contact your local psychiatrist for a very small dose of non-sedative, non-addictive, new age anti-anxiety medications that within a course of few days will give you back complete control over the mind without any addiction or dependence.

2. My mother is 85 years old. For the last three years, she is suffering with dementia. The MRA report tells that the brain cells are dead and there is mental atrophy. She remembers some times me, her son. Some times she calls her daughter in law by name. No other names or relations are remembered. But she is able to read. She had lot of irritation. She goes on talking to her self with out relevence and this goes for 8 to ten hours some times.
She resists for brushing her teeth in the morning and for taking bath. When she cannot attend to them on her own, she does not allow to help her. Some times she urinates in the bed. She also had heart problem for which concor tabs are used @ 1 per day. Homeopathy medicine carnogen isw used once a day aboutg 15 drops.

For dementia, Zyrem, Norma Brain, Trioptal are used @ thrice per day. No improvement except that we could pull on for three years. My anxiety is to give her a better quality of life. If you want the MRA report to be sent by mail I will do it. Please suggest any better treatment to improve the position.
You are very brave to be helping your mother in such a difficult stage. The biggest burden in such cases lies with the caregivers who are mostly trapped into their own house leading to decreased social, personal interactions and only concentrating on the patient.

Dementia unfortunately is a neuro-psychiatric condition which cannot be reversed. once the brain starts to self-destruct itself, the problem goes from worse to worst.

As it advances, the patient loses all sense and notion of what’s happening around him/her. It’s a really sad state.
Medications help only to bring some of the symptoms under control, but they fail to control many other symptoms.
Unfortunately though there are many pathy’s and alternate medicine practioners who claim to have complete cure for the same, I have not seen even a single case show improvement in MRI, behavior and emotional levels upon starting them.

The best is to continue medications and try and have her as clam as possible. so that you and your family can have a more peaceful life.

3. What is the cause for anxiety disorder? Is continuous treatment required or do people come out of it with one course of treatment?
Anxiety disorders have multiple causes, the most common of them are:
a. a sensitive personality
b. genetic inheritance
c. environmental factors – like exposure to a traumatic event, experiencing a bad relationship, financial difficulties, loneliness in a far away land, etc
d. presence of clinical depression

These are all triggers of anxiety.
As for treatment of anxiet: It depends on the original cause of anxiety. in many cases it requires a single course of treatment, but in others like personality and genetic influences it might require life-long treatment.
the most effective treatment can only be decided by complete 40minutes “personality analysis”, mental status examination and general medical examination done by a qualified psychiatrist.

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