How Dementia Impacts Mental Health?

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How Dementia Impacts Mental Health?

Right now, there are over 55 million people who are living with Dementia in the world. Estimates suggest that someone develops it every 3 seconds, so there are over 10 million new cases yearly. Dementia is a disease that impacts not just one person but every person related to them. It is a disorder that degrades minds and destroys the memory and cognitive sectors of one’s brain.  


Because the image of Dementia is so degraded in our society, just the diagnosis can cause severe anxiety and depression in the patient. It’s like a sword is recognized hanging right over your head, and there is nothing that loved ones can say or do to change this fact, and that’s what ails most patients who have Dementia.  


It’s a hopeless disorder with no current cure, and since nobody likes being a burden to their loved ones, people also often feel guilty for even having the disorder. But we all know that it is no one’s fault that it occurred.  It’s common for mental illness, particularly depression, to happen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of Dementia. But accurate diagnosis and treatment have been known to improve cognitive function, according to Today’s Geriatric Medicine. It’s difficult enough living with Alzheimer’s, but the symptoms are compounded when it occurs in conjunction with other mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that severe symptoms of depression occur in up to 50 percent of older adults with Alzheimer’s, and significant depression occurs in about 25 percent of cases. Depression is often intermingled with the belief that this is simply an older adult’s reaction and awareness of progressive decline. But there is more to it than that, with some research suggesting a biological connection between Alzheimer’s and depression. 


Anxiety disorders are also common in about 30 percent of adults with Alzheimer’s. Anxiety can include anything from generalised nervousness and fear of leaving home to agitation regarding routine changes and feelings of suspicion or paranoia. Anxiety can also be psychologically and physically linked to Alzheimer’s. 


It is imperative to care for the patient with love and patience, for they suffer far more than the caregiver can imagine. But due to the compounding mental issues that come with Dementia, it becomes increasingly difficult to care for them and can raise mental illnesses in the caregiver. That’s why it is so important to take care of the mental health of the patient and the caregiver and create a healthy environment where treatment can happen. The patient can live a relatively normal life even in the most severe cases of Alzheimer’s.