Is yelling and over-talking a part of dementia?

Posted by maryflorida @maryflorida, Dec 23, 2020

His doctor said he has early onset dementia. Normally he is very pleasant, but about once a month, he answers a my question (not an angry one) with a tirade of "explanation" which is loud and overtalking me, lasting for maybe 10 min. Sometimes I leave, but I can't always if it is late at night. This last time I got angry back, which is scary and not part of my personality. We live far from our children so I have no one nearby. My question is: is yelling and overtalking a part of dementia?

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@larryh123

Hello – hope you are doing well. I am a LBD patient and if you don't mind will give you a bit of what it feels like from inside here for some of what you are talking about. Warning-I am told by my lovely wife that I take the long road to explain anything these days – so be kind:-)
For reference I am 59 and was diagnosed ~2 years back. I also have the Parkinsonism aspect which these symptoms started earlier.

My neurologists tell me that LBD is like a degenerative traumatic brain injury, With that in mind:
**A good psych dr with experience with treating dementia patients is a must. Many of us can use the help of some anxiety or depression meds. Some anxiety and / or depression can be a trigger for some less than desirable behavior.

Overtalking – this is one that I can identify with. For me – I can have a hard time following a conversation. When I think I have something to add – I often just jump in – no matter if someone else is talking. For me this is due to my forgetting what I want to say and feel I need to get it out before I forget. Other times I know in some social situations I don't do as well. It is getting more difficult to recognize emotions from peoples expression and voices.This makes it much harder to communicate.

With the mask wearing it makes it even more difficult since I cannot see the whole face.

Yelling – I don't have a big issue with this so far (and pray that I will be spared that part). When I do yell – it is like a trigger goes off and yelling starts.I think one o the main triggers for me is the feeling of being confronted. Which opens another can of worms. With it being more difficult to gauge expressions and tones of voice – I often mistake normal questions as being confronted. Then I will sometimes yell – but not for a long time. My more common reaction is to lash out but not yelling – just can be somewhat not a nice as usual. So far I have lashed out (yelled) to my oldest son and my wife. For stupid things really – but they sure got me going.

Sometimes I get frustrated because of not being ablate do things I was a Navy guy for 11 years, Army National Guard for 4 years and I was a. network engineering manager for 30 years in my secular career. Man the stuff I used to be able to do – which now I can't anymore. Or when I cannot grasp a concept or follow directions.

Having a routine has become important to me – don't know why – I used to be kind of a spur of the moment guy. Now I need a routine / schedule.

I don't do well with change. If an appointment changes times or if the Dr is running late – it really gets to me. Or if we are running errands (I don't drive – doesn't go well when you don't know where you are a good part of he time.

A big change for many is giving up the keys. I was lucky – I guess – in that respect. We had talked about me stopping driving in late 2019.
It is very hard to not make that decision and even harder to have it made for you.
In my case in early 2019 I had a full retina detachment (macula off). I have vision in that eye – just distorted and no peripheral vision which comes in handy when driving – so that made the no driving decision for us.

I do get frustrated as I used to do most of the driving. Now I am a full time passenger.

I bring up some of this extra stuff as food for thought to maybe think about how he/she is feeling about the changes they are going through. Maybe that will help in working on coping mechanisms for now and in the future.

What we do, how we act or react are many times things that we don't have full control over anymore. Please know it is the disease. Deep down – even if we can't express it -our love, caring and feelings are still there – if nowhere but in our hearts.

I know that most of us want our caregivers to know that we love them and appreciate what you do for us- even if we don't always recognize it or convey it.I am blessed with my wife to be with me during this journey – a journey for both of us. A journey for all of you that are caregivers / patients.

What I can say fro those that are still in the early stages – to start taking about things like communication. Look at your lives and think of the situations you are frequently in. Think of ways to work around communication issues. Only you and your loved one can dive into specifics. For us it was thinking about some common places like Church.
I am a retired Pastor so I am used to talking over people in that setting 🙂

Mayo has a GREAT program for folks – patients and caregivers. It is a several day program where both caregiver(s) and loved ones work together. They can help with planning and looking to the future to help identify areas of potential issues and to learn coping mechanisms for both patient and caregiver. You can work as more of a team.
One of the moderators might remember the name – I can't right now – imagine that!!!

2 words about living with dementia's – "It stinks" – for all involved.

I will leave you with a few items from the Mayo website –

Alzheimer's and dementia: Tips for better communication

To improve understanding in both directions:

*Be patient. Take time to listen and allow time for the person with dementia to talk without interruption.
*Learn to interpret. Try to understand what is being said based on the context. If the person is struggling to get an idea out, offer a guess.
*Be connected. Make eye contact while communicating and call the person by name. Hold hands while talking.
*Be aware of your nonverbal cues. Speak calmly. Keep your body language relaxed.
*Offer comfort. If a person with dementia is having trouble communicating, let him or her know it's OK and provide gentle encouragement.
*Show respect. Avoid baby talk and diminutive phrases, such as "good girl." Don't talk about the person as if he or she weren't there.
*Avoid distractions. Limit visual distractions and background noise, such as a TV or radio, that can make it difficult to hear, listen attentively or concentrate.
*Keep it simple. Use short sentences. As the disease progresses, ask questions that require a yes or no answer. Break down requests into single steps.
*Offer choices. Offer choices when making a request for something a person might resist. For example, if someone is reluctant to shower, you might say, "Would you like to take a shower before dinner or after dinner?"
*Use visual cues. Sometimes gestures or other visual cues promote better understanding than words alone. Rather than asking if the person needs to use the toilet, for example, take him or her to the toilet and point to it.
*Avoid criticizing, correcting and arguing. Don't correct mistakes. Avoid arguing when the person says something you disagree with.
*Take breaks. If you're frustrated, take a timeout.

If you would like to know what it feels like from in here on other topics I will do my best to tell you about my situation since everyones situation is different. If you have 10 people with a dementia illness – you will have 10 different sets of issues. There isn't a one size fits all.

Hope you will be able to find a few words in this to help you to at least understand a little from this view.

Peace
Larry H.

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A really wonderful post @larryh123 I’m so glad Colleen asked you to be a mentor! Becky

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@becsbuddy

A really wonderful post @larryh123 I’m so glad Colleen asked you to be a mentor! Becky

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Becky
A humble thank you

Peace
Larry H

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@maryflorida i wonder how you’ve been doing. Have things improved since you started this post?

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@becsbuddy

@maryflorida i wonder how you’ve been doing. Have things improved since you started this post?

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Not much.

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@snowwhite77

I am dealing with some of the same kind of issues. My husband gets annoyed at something and gets angry at something and storms out. He says he is leaving but is over it the next day. The yelling and impulsiveness shakes me up quiet a bi

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It is very difficult for all parties involved. I (as a patient) am not in control of some of these things. I as well mistake what is being said as confrontational and will either lash out or go to my room. I feel stupid after. Sometimes it will linger with me for days. I cant let it go because I didnt want to hurt my wife’s (my blessing of a caregiver) feelings.
We are starting to notice this more and are working through it best we can. We know it isn’t going to get better.
We do know that we love each other.
I always tell her that it isn’t anything she did or said. It is the disease.

Shaking you up is definitely a normal response to this. It shakes me up as well and I’m not on the receiving end.

Have you worked with your neurologist and / or psych doc on this?
They were able to give us some advice we are pouting into play daily.

They might be able to help you too.

Peace
Larry H.

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Being stressed or surprised by unexpected responses to behaviors is a pretty common part of life, and just exacerbated by MCI or dementia. As a caregiver, I just have to stop and breathe. Personal safety does not always transfer into physical safety. It's a continuous balancing job for me.

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In reply to @fredflorida "Not much." + (show)
@fredflorida

Do you have a therapist who can help you as you navigate this journey? It can help.

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@becsbuddy

A really wonderful post @larryh123 I’m so glad Colleen asked you to be a mentor! Becky

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This is one of the best articles/posts/ letters I have seen on this diagnosis. My husband was diagnosed at age 64, but because we had had so many different doctors not familiar with LBD he was probably a few years into this disease at that point.
You gave me clarity on things I was doing right, and great suggestions on things I can do differently to be a better helper to this man who I consider to be God's greatest gift to me. I am grateful for your excellent dialogue and pray that you are able to write more and often.
Thank you again….
Jan

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In reply to @fredflorida "Not much." + (show)
@fredflorida

Oh, Mary @fredflorida I am so sorry to hear that not much has changed for you. Have you checked with your towns Area Agency on Aging to find out what resources might be available to you?

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@larryh123

It is very difficult for all parties involved. I (as a patient) am not in control of some of these things. I as well mistake what is being said as confrontational and will either lash out or go to my room. I feel stupid after. Sometimes it will linger with me for days. I cant let it go because I didnt want to hurt my wife’s (my blessing of a caregiver) feelings.
We are starting to notice this more and are working through it best we can. We know it isn’t going to get better.
We do know that we love each other.
I always tell her that it isn’t anything she did or said. It is the disease.

Shaking you up is definitely a normal response to this. It shakes me up as well and I’m not on the receiving end.

Have you worked with your neurologist and / or psych doc on this?
They were able to give us some advice we are pouting into play daily.

They might be able to help you too.

Peace
Larry H.

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Thank you, @larryh123. I so welcome the perspective from "INSIDE LBD". My beloved is not able to articulate as clearly.

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@snowwhite77

I am dealing with some of the same kind of issues. My husband gets annoyed at something and gets angry at something and storms out. He says he is leaving but is over it the next day. The yelling and impulsiveness shakes me up quiet a bi

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My beloved accuses me of having tirades and I am admittedly explosive but these are a projection and he gets enraged. His recovery is rather quick though he remembers the "fight" and carries his grievances for a long time. Oh where is memory loss when we most need it? I just realized that his overtalking me is often the trigger as I then [heaven help us] try to repeat my message.

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@tamarab

My beloved accuses me of having tirades and I am admittedly explosive but these are a projection and he gets enraged. His recovery is rather quick though he remembers the "fight" and carries his grievances for a long time. Oh where is memory loss when we most need it? I just realized that his overtalking me is often the trigger as I then [heaven help us] try to repeat my message.

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@tamarab it sure sounds like you’ve gotten into a vicious circle with no winners, only losers.
There is also some good information from Mayo Clinic on managing anger. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/anger-management/art-20045434

“While you can't cure anger, you can manage the intensity and effect it has upon you. Effective therapeutic strategies exist for managing anger and can help you become less reactive. You can even learn to develop more patience in the face of people and situations you cannot control.”
https://www.psychguides.com › treat…

Do you have someone to talk to who can help you learn how to manage anger or just to talk with?

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