Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Friday, July 24, 2009 cc47, Community Member, asks

Q: Dementia and narcissism

Does narcissistic behavior worsen with vascular dementia?

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Answers (3)
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
7/24/09 3:21pm

This would depend on the patient and certainly a doctor would have a better idea, but I'd think it could. Dementia is bound to make the person more self-centered in that they are frightened about what is happening to them. Most people try to cover up the symptoms for as long as possible. It's very hard to be other-oriented when you are totally caught up in yourself because of fear. Dementia can totally change some people, but in others it can magnify characteristics that were already present. It seems logical to me that this could happen with a narcissistic personality.

Carol

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cc47, Community Member
7/24/09 5:54pm

My husband refuses to acknowledge his dementia or depression. His primary care doctor has tried to get him on meds for depression and he refuses, his vascular surgeon has tried to refer him to a specialist for vascular denemtia and he refuses. He has always be a narcussist, but it has become increasingly worse!!!!! Nothing is discussed but him now, he never asks about anyone else....most especially me. He has drastic mood swings from one second to the next. He had surgery June 2008 for 5 aneurysms and things have been down hill since then. The fact that he won't acknowledge the problem makes it very difficult, everyone has noticed a change, but it can't be discussed.

Any thoughts, suggestions you might have I would appreciate!

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NC, Community Member
7/24/09 9:01pm

Hi, I am not Carol but I can share with you about this situation. 

My father-in-law has never admitted that he has Alzheimer's. So this is common that patients don't admit it. Either he misunderstands this dementia or he is too proud to admit it. He is able to recognize that he has memory problem at times and tried to take some AD drugs.

You can give him the medications, but don't try to make him admit it. It is no use. It is difficult if the person does not admit it. But in the end, the patient won't remember anything anyway. Try to distract him or find some reasons or white lies to calm him or persuade him to co-operate.

Take care,

Nina

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cc47, Community Member
7/27/09 11:23am

My husband still knows what is going on, he is forgetful, but the major problem with him are his mood swings, anger.......he is irrational.  Our primary care doctor has tried everything to get him to take medication and he won't.  Thanks for your input!!! cc

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Marie, Community Member
2/29/12 9:01pm

Hello, I hope I can help  

 

I'm a caregiver to my motherinlaw, and If a person' character was incorrigible when they were younger and never changed it only multiplies with dementia, as it has with my MIL. The best you can do to keep sane and protect yourself and family around your husband is to check your hubbies insurance and get a male nurse to come in.

 

Medication can also be crushed and put into meals when crushed add sugar if he is a diabetic splenda, can also be added to fruit juices or small cups of homemade jello. Many ways to eliminate the bitter taste of meds. I got an adult highchair for my MIL, she gets into everything as she always has and patterns were very erratic when she was younger worse now.

 

I keep the tray on no restraints yet, and I hope I never have to, yet when it does, I can no longer care for her as she doesn't allow anyone to touch her even her own children and never liked hugs either, Odd to say the least. My hubby, her son, because she likes to sweep, has made a safe haven for her in the backyard. She is still very strong in body for 88, never had surgery and walked a lot when she was younger.

  

She' always been verbally abusive and violent, she has been with me on several occasions, but I don't let her manipulate me, as you should not allow your husband to. 

 

Dementia can totally change some people, but in others it can magnify characteristics that were already present. It seems logical to me that this could happen with a narcissistic personality. As stated by: Carol Bradley Bursac.  

 

 

Keep yourself busy in positive things, crossword puzzles, reading, music, nature, and walks. Peace, Marie    

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MarieLu, Community Member
6/10/10 11:16pm

Hello Carol,  I'm Marie, I completely agree with what you stipulated. I've known my mother in law for 36 yrs and she has lived with us for over 4 yrs her characteristics have always been cold, dark, violent, and she's always had a lack of empathy for other's even her own children. Never cried, even during her daughters death or her grandson'. These traits are incorrigible, and they multiply with Alzheimer'.  Low and behold, I'm her caregiver. In what you said: Dementia can totally change some people, but in others it can magnify characteristics that were already present. It seems logical to me that this could happen with a narcissistic personality, is right on, narcissistic personalities would never think of committing suicide, they love themselves to much.

 

 

She had ten children one died of HIV, that is the daughter above. one.. I don't put up with my husband's flared up characteristic' that are similar to his mom's. All I know is that if I'm not disciplined and organized in my life, its total anarchy and chaos. So its wiser to also be firm with these types or they will make you their doormats even wiser for the fool is silence.  They rarely admit to a mistake or wrongdoing. They rarely apologize when the occasion arises. These individuals insist on having their way. They are grossly defensive, and unable to look at themselves objectively. When targeting a narcissistic personality disorder and in trying to reflect back to them perceptions of their loved ones and others around them, they become defensive, digging their heels into the sand, adamantly believing that it is "everyone else's fault."  I dealt with this for year's having my husband cast the blame on me for his ill-willed actions, no longer.

 

Be well

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
6/11/10 7:21am

Take care of yourself, as well. I'm glad you are educated on the matter. Your note will help others.

 

Carol

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NC, Community Member
7/24/09 3:43pm

My father-in-law is in his own world all his life and now he has stage 6 Alzheimer's. It is a type of dementia. In a way it is true he is more into his own world given Alzheimer's and it makes him more confused about what is going around him. He has been so self-centered that he does not even know his own son is not in the same field in research. For 30 years, I guess he thought he "trained" my husband to do what my FIL did at work but my husband just listened to him when he came home, that is all.

Anyway, the dementia seems to make him more self-centered. However, the forgetfulness in a way helps us, not that it is good to say. But for caregiving, this helps if he is not so self-centered because he forgets. The more he forgets about the details of the past, the less he would stick to the details wanting to do what he cannot do. He still wants to jog while he needs to walk with a cane. Often he stops trying to jog when he gets tired just after a walk around the block. Sometimes he forgot his son's role and temporarily forgot that he wants to work with my husband (they are both professors. My FIL is retired and is 88.)

 

He will never forget his need of being in his own world or self-centerness, but the forgetfulness in the end seems to offset this self-centeredness.

Just be patient and the person will be so confused that he/she is not going to be very self-centered, and instead, he/she will need your help for everything.

 

Take care,

Nina

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cc47, Community Member
7/27/09 11:25am

Oh joy!!!!

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AFA Social Services, Health Guide
7/27/09 4:52pm

Vascular dementia, also referred to as multi-infarct dementia, can be caused by blockages in the brain’s blood supply.  An individual with vascular dementia can suffer a series of mini-strokes that cause damage to the brain over and over again.  This damage to the brain can impair functioning with learning, memory, and language.  In addition to these issues, vascular dementia can cause mood swings or changes in personality, confusion, difficulty paying attention or following a conversation, trouble planning and organizing tasks, problems with calculations and decision making abilities.  Unfortunately, over time the symptoms of dementia may become greater with each new stroke.

Therefore, it is important to recognize that individuals may not be purposely self-centered or narcissistic.  They are suffering from impairments that are a result of damage to the brain.  Individuals may not have control over their behavior or may simply be acting out their frustration, anger or sadness.  Your husband may not necessarily be disregarding or ignoring other people; he just may not have the cognitive ability anymore to ask about how you are doing or rationalize that something is wrong.  It is possible that parts of his brain are damaged, which is hindering his ability to complete these types of conversations or thoughts.  These are important issues to understand but it is imperative to continue to monitor his behavior and contact the doctor with any new or ongoing concerns.

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cc47, Community Member
7/28/09 9:09am

I really do understand what you are saying...I have read "many" articles regarding vascular dementia and I try very hard to just agree with my husband to not "rock the boat", because believe me you do not want to upset him!!!!!! I know he can't help him self at times and that it is a sickness.....the same as if he had cancer, my heart goes out to him and I try to comfort him, but it is still very hard to live with 24/7. I am blessed in so many ways and I have family and friends that are very supportive. Our doctor has tried everything to get my husband to at least take meds for depression and he refuses...he refuses to acknowledge that he has a problem, so I guess until he reaches the point he can accept his illness or he doesn't know what's going on we just take one day at a time.  I do believe there is a reason for everything and I do believe in God and I pray for his or her help everyday.  Thank you for sharing your information.

cc

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By cc47, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/24/13, First Published: 07/24/09