Interesting read. Heartbreaking result. Just another reason why we need more research ….families should not have to “understand” cause and/or effect after death.
Is shame the right word? Is that how we feel as a person …as a family …as a society? Could it be that many still do not fully understand what Alzheimer’s is or it’s connection to Dementia …or Mental Illness.
Dementia is an umbrella term. Dementia covers a group of cognitive disorders typically characterized by memory impairment. These cognitive disorders are also marked with other difficulties such as; language, motor activity, object recognition, and executive functions (ability to plan, organize, and think abstractly). Generally speaking, dementia is an illness of older adults. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease of the brain. These changes may begin in areas of the brain associated with memory, but as the disease progresses, you will see it spread more widely throughout the brain. Alzheimer’s, unlike Dementia has been formally recognized as a mental illness. The disease and its symptoms are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) …this is the main tool used to diagnose mental illnesses (illnesses like Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder). This alone is a major reason for the mark of shame associated with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
The term “Mental Illness” needs to be changed, because as long as I can remember, this term alone evokes fear and stigma. Why not call Alzheimer’s exactly what it is – a Brain Disease. If the term were changed … would it make a difference? If that ONE change makes a difference to YOU …than change your language. Change your thinking. It’s a great place to start.
Progressive. Neurological disorder. Memory loss. Cognitive decline. Personality changes. All terms used for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. All parts of the progression. Each person who suffers from this horrific disease is different, but they pass through each stage over time.
I’ve heard the stages categorized into three phases; Mild, Moderate and Severe. However this article from Healthy Life breaks the progression of the disease into 7 stages.
Great article. Take a moment to read it. Valuable information to help understand what your loved one is going through.
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