I am in a real predicament and do not know what to do or how to handle this. My husband is turning 65 this year and is totally convinced he has Alzheimer's! He has been to his doctors and all of them tell him he is in great health but he insists they are wrong. He has had his thyroid removed and takes meds and is very well controlled. He had open heart surgery some years ago for mitral valve disease and it is now perfect. He recently saw his endocrinologist and told him that as he was now retired, he has nothing left except to wait to die! The dr was shocked and told him he needs to get out and do things and get on an anti depressant (he takes Prozac) and live but hubby wants something wrong. Maybe this is petty of me but I do have a fairly large number of very serious health issues and they are not curable or treatable. I would give anything to have his health! Things that are a problem for me, he is duplicating! I have memory problems so now he insists he can't remember anything. I have trouble walking so now he is staggering when he walks. He has hearing problems but will not take care of it. He insists I do it for him. He sits in the house and watches tv and sleeps! And insists this is "early onset" Alzheimer's!! He is going to see a neuro shortly but I am so uncertain where to go and what to believe. I don't want a dr to capitalize on what he is doing. If it really is Alzheimer's that is one thing but he has been reading up on the net to make sure he knows exactly what the symptoms are so he can "answer the questions correctly"! Please, does anyone have any ideas?
So sorry that your husband has this kind of suspicion. Like my sister who speculated that Mom has dementia while there is no diagnosis and no witness of accurate clinical proof.
First of all, it is common that some people suspect and worry that they may have dementia. At times we joke that oh I forgot this and that... Now I learn not to say dementia for nothing. Dementia is a serious brain disease and it is not just a word for random talking!
Probably your husband can be told what the true symptoms of the dementia are. So a proper diagnosis that tells him it is not helps. I don't think a true diagnosis kits will allow him to fool around or lie about having dementia. Usually it is the other way around, the patient would lie about the forgetfulness and pretend that he is doing fine. (e..g, lie to the person that he took a shower at night and etc.)
I will say that it is OK for him to seek for a neurologist for a diagnosis.
Find an expert and tell him how it works. It goes with diagnosis or true symptoms.
For early stage, it is hard to tell so it would be like some suspicion only.
Some people also have this mental illness that they imagine they are sick. This may require a psychiatrist or psychologist for therapy.
I personally hope a true diagnosis can calm him down (either he has nothing or he has something.)
Sounds like your husband is acting this way because he wants attention or maybe right now the world is in such a mess he just wants to be able to go through life in a daze. It sounds like he could use a counselor or therapist more than anything else. Has he always been this way or was it a sudden change?
obviously there is something wrong with your hubby. It may not be physical. It could be emotional. A neurologist will be able to tell the difference. Perhaps an antidepressant and some psycho therapy is in order. Or he might truly have something going on physically. It is better to find out for sure. I do hope you get to the bottom of his problems and yours as well...
If he gets the full 8 hr battery of neuropsych testing, I don't think there is any way he can fool the examiner on every test. Usually people with dementia don't think they have it--my husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia from mini-strokes and doesn't believe it at all. He says if I didn't tell every one he was "crazy" no one would think anything was wrong. I don't say anything, even to his family, unless I am asked. Since your husband is already on Prozac, antidepressants may not work, but as Nina says, psychotherapy may be recommended.
65 isn't all that old. I would guess he has too much time to think now that he is retired. He is probably worried about what the future holds. I don't think memory issues are all that abnormal for people in their 60's. From what I remember about the test (mom took it), if he were trying to qualify, it would be apparent.
Maybe he needs something in addition to the Prozac, or it's not working as it should!
Thanks so much to everyone who answered! Yes, he has been to several different counselors and psychologists and they have all told him the same thing-he needs to stop expecting everyone to "take care of him"! His father had some health issues but they were minor to a certain point. Yes he had a heart attack and a stroke but he was in his 70's and they were very minor. However, his family was expected to tiptoe around him. My husband's mother used "illness" as a way to control everyone. Someone did something she didn't like, she would have a "heart attack" and run to the hospital and that would be almost every Friday night so she would be in over the weekend and home by 9 Monday mornings. Everyone did what she wanted because they were afraid of getting her sick. Hopefully the neuro will come up with hope!
Sorry you are experiencing this with your husband, Momsolo. At the risk of psychoanalyzing from afar, I like to suggest that if the necropsych docs clear him of dementia, your hubby will likely find another ailment to hang his hat on. It seems to me that this is his way of getting attention from everyone, especially now that he feels a loss of self-identity (and likely self-worth) now that he is retired. After all, this behavior is probably deeply ingrained into him from having been raised in a family that behaved in that way.
So the neuropsych consult will come up with either he has dementia, or he does not have dementia. I am not sure that diagnosis will solve anything in the long run. If the results indicate that he has early signs of cognitive impairment, you will likely have to deal with someone who continually thinks he is sicker than he is. If the results come back negative, he will either persist in wanting to see another neuropsych, or he may move on to think there is some other, more drastic ailment.
This seems to run in the family like his mother and all. Going to the ER every Friday is a bit too much for insurance and all! It sounds like panic attack...
I have a sister who always likes to make up or think of something going on given her medical research info. from work. She always wants to say oh she must have this, oh he must have this... There is no proof. Often in the end, the medical test shows nothing. She also likes to speculate that someone has this and that and that someone is never tested anyway (nothing was wrong with his health - just his behavior issue.)
Again and again I have problem with her given such suspicion. My Mom is like that too regarding people. She would say oh this movie star must have killed the wife - no one can prove it anyway. You never know! Things like that. Not harmful but not respectful for other people.
When it comes to the person himself, it surely would add lots of stress to him. Nothing you can do to stop this suspicion. Try to make things positive. Give him something to do. Join a charity or church or something. Be active and do something. Do some housework or chores. Do the taxes or budget...
The only thing I can think of is to find more things to occupy his own time.
Nina, In my hubby's mother's case, it was not a panic attack! She knew what she was doing and unfortunately, her first cousin was a doctor and he played along with her simply because he was afraid of her....Everyone in her family was terrified of her temper! Apparently even as a child she was known for her meanness and how she would manipulate her family. She was an abusive parent to one of her kids but not the other, rather obviously my husband was the one she hated and abused. Anytime things did not go her way, she would either fly into a rage or as an adult, "get sick" and the doctors would go along.
Just picked up the hubby from the doctor where he had a complete physical and the doctor there told him he is in great shape and is being ridiculous to have an MRI. There is nothing wrong with him other than depression coming from being retired and he needed to "get off his backside and volunteer or do something for others instead of expecting others to do something for him"! And also that if he needs something to be jealous about with me, make it instead about me making friends and doing for others with my poor health and wanting to leave a good impression instead of having my poor health. Our doctor has been with us for 29 years so he knows the hubby real well!! So will keep fingers crossed!
Let's see how that works At least the doctor understands and gave him a good talking to (for whatever good that does). I had to chuckle because my dad had "nothing to do" but he enjoyed every minute of it. We tried hard to give him a hobby but he said it was too much like work and would rather do nothing. He did have dementia (Vascular) but was very happy. I guess some are just happy people and some are not. I will say that it is very difficult to change life long patters in old age. They are who they are and without chemical intervention that is what you get. Perhaps his antidepressant is not strong enough or he might need something to go with it. Mom was always head strong, stubborn, and determined. It served her well until Alzheimer's. She was determined that she was not bending to the disease. That didn't work well when she could no longer take care of herself, let alone take care of Dad as well so it became a huge problem with her. She did become mean and has been known to "take to the couch sick" when she didn't want to deal with life.... but with the right combination of medication she found contentment. So it might be worth asking about different medications to control his depression and anxiety about his health.
He decided to not get the MRI but will go see the neurologist....should be interesting as he decided to go and see mine! My neuro is not crazy about him as he has seen how my hubby has acted around me and his total lack of understanding and compassion for my situation really irritates my doctor. I do not see it going well and I suggested he go to one of the other drs in that practice but mr stubborn-head refuses! I am sure there will be explosions! Anyway he got up this morning "staggering" and is now certain there is something else going on the dr missed. Anyone got a winning lottery ticket they want to get rid of???