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Aggressive behavior...


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Old 10-09-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
scorptired
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Aggressive behavior...

My husband was very belligerent and aggressive this morning. He came to me with his clothes so I dressed him. He picked up the shorts he had been wearing so I told him to give them to me and he got agitated and angry. To avoid getting into a tug of war over the shorts, I told him to put them in the laundry and walked away. He then walked up to me and put me in a headlock. It took everything I had to bring him down cause I had to grab at him with my back to him so I grabbed his ear and cheek and he relented a little and I was able to pin him down on the couch and keep him pinned until he promised to stop fighting. My husband is 6' 3" and about 190 lbs. He has almost a foot on me and very fit from running all his life. We were both bleeding by the time it was over. I has a skinned shin and his ear and cheek were gouged from me trying to hold on to him. Gave him some melatonin and he's sleeping now. I also called the neurologist and they're supposed to call me back. Has anyone experienced this?

 
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: Aggressive behavior...

Yes, yes, yes... this is what can happen and definitely a danger to you both. Hopefully your neurologist will call back quickly and be proactive.

You husband can misunderstand what is going on. Add in their lack of ability to respond correctly and the absence of their social filter..... you get extreme behaviors. It's not what you do but how his diseased brain interprets it. Sometimes there is no way to avoid such confrontations and not a simple way to deescalate them. What you have to know is that it will probably happen again.

Your neurologist will probably want to use medication to control the outburst of aggression. They like to start with PRN (given as needed) meds. This is probably not going to work because by the time you know he needs it, the worst of the confrontation is over. He needs to be on something that can mellow his aggression continually and consistently. It is not necessary to drug them into a stupor... but it does work better if they are on the right meds all the time.

Also be careful with Ativan, Xanax, Valium, or other meds in that classification. They have quick but short term effects starting with sedation. In the elderly, they can have an unwanted side effect of agitation. Uh huh... it creates what you want to eliminate. So if those are prescribed (usually the first PRNs they try) watch for this side effect and let the doctor know it is not working.

We had the same situation in our house. Dad was 6'1, 180lb and Mom (his caregiver at the time) was 5' 115 pounds. Altercations were very dangerous! I was just glad Dad was usually mild mannered. Our problem started when Mom was in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Her inappropriate responses to Dad's inappropriate responses escalated until one of them ended up locked in a room

Just a suggestion that you might want to ask your neurologist about is Trazodon. I know many who have used it successfully. It has a slight sedative effect so it is usually given at night but can be given at other times as well. It does seem to have a calming effect without as many side effects and can be given on a regular basis as a proactive preventive rather than a reactive after the fact measure.

Just know, if this continues, you will want to consider other arrangements. Please do not put yourself in danger!!

Love, deb

 
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:26 PM   #3
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Re: Aggressive behavior...

Thanks, Deb! It's been a rough day for him. After that altercation, he seemed like he was exhausted and didn't have a lot of lucid moments all day. His speech seems more strained as well as his motor movements. His neurologist hasn't called back cause he's out of town but, I'm hoping we don't have too many of these episodes before he calls. This disease is so cruel.

 
Old 10-09-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
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Re: Aggressive behavior...

I am not surprised he has been exhausted and less lucid today after the altercation this morning. Those types of episodes are very exhausting to him and usually brought on because he is having a bad day. Good days and bad days... it's an up and down roller coaster. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you both.

When Dad would have "those days" I always tried to remember that they were more disturbing for him than they were for me. They are brought on by confusion, fear, anxiety, and the inability to deal with all that is going on in his diseased brain. Hopefully the neurologist will call back soon and can help you both!

Oh, just a thought, if he has a GP, get a urine sample and take it to his GP for testing. Ask for not only the quick test but also a culture. He could have a urinary tract infection. Many times when sudden worsening of condition occurs it might point to a UTI!

Love, deb

 
Old 10-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: Aggressive behavior...

I think I will do the urine culture with the GP. He seems to be going to the bathroom just fine but, it wouldn't hurt to check anyway. I'm hoping he sleeps well tonight. He's been having sleeping problems lately, too.

 
Old 10-10-2013, 12:10 AM   #6
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Re: Aggressive behavior...

It never hurts to be sure I do know that many times when behaviors change it's can be a result of a UTI... not always but many times.

Sleep disturbances are common. Their Circadian Rhythm (how we know when to be awake and when to sleep) seems to get out of whack. Mom spent years sleeping very little. She was up rambling most of the night with short naps at night and during the day. Dad on the other hand slept more and more. Each has their own pattern. The Melatonin did help Mom. It doesn't put them to sleep but is the chemical our bodies produce naturally to create the Circadian Rhythm. It is absent during the day (when we are awake) and is produced at night (when we sleep), There have been studies that show a decrease in the levels of melatonin in the elder and even more so in those with dementia.

There is also the misfiring of the brain which can prevent sleep. I have watched my Mom pace when I was not sure how she was even upright. There was something driving her forward that was beyond my understanding. Those were the time I just let her pace Statistically, it is the sleep disturbances and the aggressive behavior that usually leads to placement in a care facility.

Some will have these behaviors and disturbances and some will not. For some they are short lived and disappear as quickly as they manifest themselves. For others they are long lasting.

I do hope you get some sleep tonight.... and I am headed to get some myself

Love, deb

 
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