Alzheimer's Disease Community
The doctor's say this is depression, but it sounds like dementia?
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding Alzheimer Disease basics, Daycare Centers, Caregivers, Confusion, Decision Making (Poor), Diagnosis, Family Issues, Home Care, Identification Methods, Judgment (Poor), Living with Alzheimer’s, Memory Loss, Nursing Home Care, Prevention, Treatment

Font Size:
Blank Blank

The doctor's say this is depression, but it sounds like dementia?

Hello, just looking for any advice or experiences anyone can offer.

My dad is 57. For the past two years he has been on disability leave because he started having memory problems and depression. We discovered this when 1) he received a letter from a lady he had rear-ended while working out of town but he had forgotten it had ever happened, and 2) One night while talking to my mom on the phone he started slurring and stuttering his words as if he were having a stroke. When this happened he was put in the psychiatric ward at the hospital for depression for a week. He came out his normal self.

Since then he has slowly become worse. He would forget whole days at a time, movies he has seen, and what day it is even when you've already told him several times. He started having balance problems and would stumble a lot. He also had sleeping problems as well as changes in personality. He can't drive. He has problems with numbers and measurements. There have been days and weeks he has been almost back to normal, but then the symptoms start happening again. The longest he's been "normal" has been about 4 weeks.

This has been happening for two years but he wouldn't usually have all those symptoms at once. But over the past two weeks he has gotten really, really bad. He has fallen twice this week resulting in visits to the ER for stitches and a cat scan. There have been days lately where he slurs a lot and can hardly hold a conversation. He's also become really socially awkward... For example, my mom took him to McDonald's and he started yelling "I'm a pirate! Someone get me a sword!" in a pirate accent. He talks and sings loudly. His voice just sounds crazy most of the time, even when he's saying something that makes sense or having a coversation with you. He cries a lot because he'll realize every now and then that something is really wrong but he can't fix it. He has trouble walking, sleeping, talking. For the past week he's had blurred vision (double vision) and he was in the ER for that too. But they sent him home.

He's been treated for depression this whole time and has been taking large doses of depression medication. He had a PET scan which came up negative for Frontal-temporal Dementia. He's had several MRIs and CT scans which have shown no signs of brain tumors or strokes.

He goes to a neurologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist. The neurologist says he is 90% sure that all of these symptoms and problems are a result of severe depression and anxiety. He says it is not a stroke, tumor, or dementia or early-onset Alzheimer's.

The psychiatrist and psychologist both believe it HAS to be something other than just depression to be causing the physical problems he is having.

We are so, so frustrated and heart-broken to see him this way. My mom is trying to get him into a specialty hospital (like MAYO clinic) and see if those doctors can help.

If it's depression, then we just don't know how to treat it. The medication he is taking doesn't seem to be doing anything, and the neurologist just says to keep upping his doses. At this point we are a little tired of this doctor and are trying (under his supervision) to wean my dad off of all his medication and see if that helps at all.

I don't know where else to look. We are so worried and don't know what to do, so if this really is all depression I'm just trying to find out what I can to help him. If it's Alzheimer's of Dementia, we would at least like to know. My sweet dad is so scared right now, and so is his family.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and advice or opinions are welcome.
Related Discussions
does not sound like Depression at all to me.

falling is not good he could be having mimi strokes thats causing all of this, the slur talk and falling is good signs of strokes t.i.a.  cant belive drs say not stroke. has he had a mri of the head could be a tumor it could be so many things he needs to be checked from head to toe.

prayers are with ya as you go throught this i know its not easy.
my mom has alz/ and it started out her asking same question over and over , shes bed ridden now , but she never really had days like your dad and than come back to be her normal self.

hope ya can get him into a good dr that can give ya answers and get him on the right track.

Post a Comment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Alzheimer's Disease Community Resources