For those who don’t know, dementia is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain and memory. It basically means that the person’s brain no longer performs the basic functions that it was designed to do, and the person’s memory becomes slowly impaired. So essentially it’s a disease that slowly destroys your brain. There is a small chance that it could eventually lead to the person becoming completely senile.
The main symptom of dementia is a loss of memory, which is why we’ve made so many movies about it. The problem is that these films tend to lack in the information needed to explain the disease in a clear-cut way. For example, one of the first movies that I watched on a trip to New York was called “Dementia,” and it seemed to be about a young man named Christopher and his sister who gets very confused after their mother dies.
That movie is actually pretty accurate. Ive seen people with Alzheimer’s who are just confused by what has happened. The trouble is they usually aren’t confused enough to do anything about it. However, we’ve made a bunch of movies where the main character just stays in bed. The trouble is, sometimes that does nothing to slow the problem down.
The movie Dementia is actually a great film. Its not going to be about a man, but its about the effects of a disease. That disease effects all the other areas of your life, like relationships, memory, etc.
The problem with dementia is that it changes the way you think. You think your life is normal, you think you can handle it. The trouble is, as you get older and your brain is more and more damaged, you start to think differently. You think things like “I would rather be a normal person than this person”, “I could handle this, but I’m not going to.” It’s a natural part of the disease’s influence.
In a similar vein, Alzheimer’s disease is more common in older populations, just like dementia. But unlike dementia, Alzheimer’s is actually quite insidious. The more you can avoid the symptoms, the more advanced the damage becomes. The same is true for dementia. You can avoid the symptoms, but the damage can be just as bad as that of dementia.
Alzheimers usually starts with memory loss and other cognitive issues. Then you may develop problems with speech, language, or behavior. By age 40, your memory may be so impaired that you can’t even hold a conversation. By age 60, you might not even be able to function as an independent adult. Now, that is not to say dementia is an inevitable part of aging.
One of the biggest problems in Alzheimer’s is the misattribution of what might be a physical problem to a mental one. If you have dementia, you may have trouble with certain physical tasks or even recognize your own body. So if you’ve developed a speech impediment, you may be talking to yourself.
So it’s not that you’re just talking to yourself. The problem is that you’re talking to yourself in an unthinking way. You’re going on about your day, and you may not be aware that you’re doing it. You’re not even aware that you’re saying it. It may be just a habit, but it’s not a coherent one.