Memory Problems / Dementia
OUR SERVICES COMMITMENT
Our memories are a huge part of our personal identity. The thought of losing our memory becomes entwined with a sense of losing our selves. It’s a frightening prospect, and many people delay getting a diagnosis because they fear what’s happening to them. But not all memory problems are alike.
Some memory problems are associated with the normal process of aging. Other memory problems are caused by medications and are reversible. And although there are no cures for dementia, there are medications that can slow the progression.
Before you can do anything to address memory loss or dementia, you need a diagnosis. The sooner you know what type of memory problem you are dealing with, the sooner you can receive appropriate care.
Memory loss and aging
As long as having “senior moments” isn’t impairing your enjoyment of life, simple strategies may be all you need to function. You might rely more heavily on a daily checklist and need a pill organizer to ensure that you are taking your medications properly.
Medical causes of memory loss
Some illnesses and medications are known to cause memory problems. Before making any assumptions about having dementia, you should be screened for other conditions.
Some medications, or combinations of medications, can cause symptoms similar to dementia. Adjusting your medications can relieve the symptoms. A vitamin B-12 deficiency, often common in older adults, can cause memory problems.
- Stress and anxiety can cause temporary problems with the ability to remember things.
- Alcoholism, or alcohol use with certain medications, can impair memory.
- Hypothyroidism and brain diseases are also known to affect the memory and ability to think. A proper diagnosis leads to proper treatment.
There are many forms of dementia, but some of the most common signs of this progressively worsening condition include:
- Language: Forgetting or mixing up words; constant repetition of questions.
- Moods and behavior: Unexplained changes in either mood or behavior.
- Impaired memory: Misplacing items and getting lost in familiar places.
Treatment and support
Don’t delay a diagnosis for fear of having Alzheimer’s disease. Early intervention with medication can slow the progression, giving you or a loved one time to put affairs in order (legal, medical and financial), learn about resources, and put together a personal support network.
Contact Saginaw Psychiatry to schedule an appointment and begin taking care of your self.