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Posted by Michelle on July 11, 2000 at 22:40:59:

I think my mother is in the early stages of AD at the age of 58 years. Her own mother recently passed away aged 80 and had AD for over 10-15 years. Before this and over the past year or so my mother has been quite angry and irritable, has had mood swings, is not motivated like she used to be and has become quite paranoid and very critical of others, even those close to her. She also seems depressed from time to time but won't admit it. She gave up smoking about one year ago now and at first we thought this was just a side affect after over 40 years of smoking. However, from what I have been reading in this forum and others, these may be some of the signs of the early on-set of AD and she does seem forgetful at times also. What I find is that because she is trying really hard to be aware of AD (because of her own mother) what she does is only half tell you a story and not the full story because she fears she has already told you the beginning. It sounds weird but she is a strong woman trying to fight what could eventually happen to her or what is probably actually happening to her. The family love her dearly but because of some of her actions and her anger lately, we have found it hard to be around her which is breaking up the family unit. My father is most affected and has even been reduced to tears on occasion because of her tantrums, anger and on some occasions, violence. She is also very critical of my father which he finds belittling and he feels constantly undermined. When my brother and I try to broach the subject with our mother, she gets defensive, is in denial and says she thinks we are ganging up on her, taking sides with her and dad and we are talking nonsense. In other words, she is totally in denial about the whole thing! It's a hard one because we want to protect Dad as well as the family unit but what's happening is that we are actually alienating our mother because she thinks we are all against her. All we want to do is help her! Obviously we can't actually tell her we suspect she is displaying symptoms of AD because that will make her even more anti. But then, is our prognosis the right one or are we just assuming that because her mother got it, that she will?? Somehow, and my instincts tell me and my family, that this is not the case.

To anyone out there who may be in the same situation of uncertainty or to anyone who has experienced similar behaviour, I would REALLY appreciate any feedback and advice you can give me. Especially how we can get her to see her GP and ask for help. I look forward to hearing from you hopefully soon!! Cheers.

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