Depression and Alzheimer's Disease
Please note that this is a personal story submitted by an About.com reader.
Five years ago, it seems like a life time away, Natasha, my Mom, began to change. Its funny, the family did not notice so much at first. The changes were gradual. Well not really gradual. I think we tried to rationalize them.Her friend, not a close friend died, my sister was having big financial problems, the world seemed to be in turmoil. There seemed to be things going on that could explain her behavior.
Mom was 79 years old. She was in great shape for her age, outgoing, did work to help others in her community. My sister had moved away with college and work and had married and settled some distance from where she lived, but I visited regularly, as much as my job and family commitments allowed. I noticed that Mom started to get information confused, she would forget names of items and people but I thought it was just minor stuff. From being full of fun and happy she became subdued, morose. As far as I was aware she continued to do everything as before but as we found out later that was not the case.
This went on for months and months then I got a call from a neighbor who was concerned. Mom was in her chair. The room stank out urine she and her home looked terrible. Mom was just sitting there, she seemed unwilling or unable to tell us what was wrong. We called her doctor. He had not seen her in years. He admitted her to hospital for tests. There was nothing that would account for the changes.
Mom was transferred to a psychiatric facility for assessment. She refused to eat or drink, she was anxious, weepy, uncooperative, withdrawn. She lost weight and in the end the doctors tried CT (electro convulsive treatment). The family was reluctant at first but Mom was so ill that the doctors said it had to be tried.
It sort of worked. But over the next 2 years she deteriorated dramatically. She died last fall. Alzheimer's disease took her away from us. Her life which had been so full and good changed so much that our main feeling when she died was relief.