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Husband obsessed with having Alheimers

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Husband obsessed with having Alheimers

Postby jessiepearl » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:17 pm

My 68 year old husband has had memory and cognitive problems for as long as I have known him. He had a couple of traumatic events in his childhood and has very low emotional/social intelligence. He takes meds for ADD and depression. A year or so ago, he became obsessed with the idea that he had Alzheimer's. He finally went to a mental health professional (whom he had had no previous interaction with) who talked with him for an hour and said "Yeah, maybe you have the beginnings of Alzheimer's." and gave him scrip for a couple of meds, including Aricept. I scheduled a complete physical with another physician who referred my husband to a doctor who specializes in cognitive problems. He gave my husband a battery of tests and, after evalutating the results, said that he had a terrible memory but that the tests did not show Alzheimers. However, the tests are not always conclusive and my husband thought the Aricept might be helping his memory so the doc indicated he could continue to take it. As a result, I cannot get long term care insurance for my husband - but that is another long, sad story. Anyway, my husband continues to believe that he has Alzheimer's. He is obsessed with it - and I fear that it is a self-fulfilling loop. All of the "symptoms" he exhibits are of long standing but he now interprets behaviors he has engaged in for 30 years or more as evidence that he is has Alzherimer's. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that he has long eaten a very unusual diet, which he believes to be healthy and he is addicted to supplements. He reads selectively and believes anything that fits his paradigm. I have always been the bread winner - he has never contributed to our support. I am now working about half time but instead of bringing me stress relief, the reduced hours mean more time with my husband and I am going stark raving mad. Any suggestions?
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Re: Husband obsessed with having Alheimers

Postby Chucky » Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:36 pm

Hey,

Perhaps Munchausen's Syndrome is more applicable here, if you genuinely think that he's only doing this for attention. Munchausen's is where the person feigns illness just for attention at first, but then it bciomes an addictive cycle. I am only 26 but I believe that older people are much more set in their ways than younger people, and therefore it might be tough to get him out of this way of thinking. If you perhaps present him with an official list of symptoms of Alzhimer's, then maybe he will notice that he doesn't have it. An alternative approach is to simply ignore him when he mentions that he has Alzheimer's - i.e. pretend that he didn't even speak.

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Re: Husband obsessed with having Alheimers

Postby Parador » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:33 pm

Tell him the best way to stave off AD is to stay mentally and physically active. Have him go out for long walks and do crossword puzzles. If you can get him busy doing things he won't think about it so much.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
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