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?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Caregivers: Dementia group.

@becsbuddy

@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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Thank you. Yes, I do have a lot of support and a therapist. Anger management is an issue for me. Burt's anger does make me reactive, and it is hard not responding
Working on it.

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I think it may be, especially if it's a new behavior. I have a friend whose husband does that a lot and if she tries to walk away, he follows her! Does your husband sometimes perceive a question as a criticism? At times, mine does, especially when he's doing something in a difficult way, and I suggest an alternate. Then he explains why it must be done in that way. He can get very upset and really yell. I just let it go. I'm more careful not to do anything to trigger him. I also keep a notebook of his behaviors so I can update the neurologist from time to time. He just prescribed a low dose antidepressant to see if it will help his mood. All the best to you.

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@tsc

I think it may be, especially if it's a new behavior. I have a friend whose husband does that a lot and if she tries to walk away, he follows her! Does your husband sometimes perceive a question as a criticism? At times, mine does, especially when he's doing something in a difficult way, and I suggest an alternate. Then he explains why it must be done in that way. He can get very upset and really yell. I just let it go. I'm more careful not to do anything to trigger him. I also keep a notebook of his behaviors so I can update the neurologist from time to time. He just prescribed a low dose antidepressant to see if it will help his mood. All the best to you.

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Hello:
I am a LBD patient. Your comment “ Does your husband sometimes perceive a question as a criticism?” made me want to chime in.
I definitely have that behavior. Seems like many things feel confrontational – then I react. Not the yelling but very unpleasant to be around sometimes.
I also really dont like to be told that how I am doing something could be better.
I’m not the person I was and things I used to be ale to do arent as easy or even possible anymore. So when I am doing something – I’m actually happy that I am able to do it – at least give it a good try.
In my mind – I am being told – you dont know what you’r doing. Take it very personally. Just wish someone could see I am trying and let me do it my way – as long as I’m not causing harm. It might take longer and even not be logical – but I’m trying and will most likely get to an outcome that is close to what I wanted.
Sometimes I feel like I know there is a better way to do something after my lovely wife and caregiver mentions. I have to try and defend my way – like you are describing.

Not sure if any of that might help from a perspective of someone that is seeing it from “in here”.

I’m going to start a new discussion dealing specifically with communication challenges in the next few days.

Hope that might help to have caregivers exchange ideas and have some input from LBD patients for a different perspective. I”t will help us patients to understand the challenges from your side and then when we can see both sides – everyone will benefit.

Peace
Larry H

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I am excitedly waiting for this new discussion! Your reply here about letting you do it your way even if it takes longer is some much needed advice. Since I was a teacher for 36+ years, it is almost impossible to sit back and be QUIET. However, this is something I can work on starting now.
Our friend, Larry, do you have any idea how valuable you are to so many? Your worth is priceless!

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@larryh123

Hello:
I am a LBD patient. Your comment “ Does your husband sometimes perceive a question as a criticism?” made me want to chime in.
I definitely have that behavior. Seems like many things feel confrontational – then I react. Not the yelling but very unpleasant to be around sometimes.
I also really dont like to be told that how I am doing something could be better.
I’m not the person I was and things I used to be ale to do arent as easy or even possible anymore. So when I am doing something – I’m actually happy that I am able to do it – at least give it a good try.
In my mind – I am being told – you dont know what you’r doing. Take it very personally. Just wish someone could see I am trying and let me do it my way – as long as I’m not causing harm. It might take longer and even not be logical – but I’m trying and will most likely get to an outcome that is close to what I wanted.
Sometimes I feel like I know there is a better way to do something after my lovely wife and caregiver mentions. I have to try and defend my way – like you are describing.

Not sure if any of that might help from a perspective of someone that is seeing it from “in here”.

I’m going to start a new discussion dealing specifically with communication challenges in the next few days.

Hope that might help to have caregivers exchange ideas and have some input from LBD patients for a different perspective. I”t will help us patients to understand the challenges from your side and then when we can see both sides – everyone will benefit.

Peace
Larry H

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I think that's a great idea, Larry H, about starting a communication challenges group. I am learning myself through trial and error. You have articulated your position beautifully and I thank you for sharing your perspective. I realize that I can't stay stuck in my old ways and I have to relate in a new way to the different person my husband is now. Loss of abilities in one's self or a loved one is hard to face, but we must and try to do our best. All the best to you. TSC

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@teacher502

I am excitedly waiting for this new discussion! Your reply here about letting you do it your way even if it takes longer is some much needed advice. Since I was a teacher for 36+ years, it is almost impossible to sit back and be QUIET. However, this is something I can work on starting now.
Our friend, Larry, do you have any idea how valuable you are to so many? Your worth is priceless!

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My sentiments exactly! I am trying to be as patient as I used to be in my classroom; however, I find as my husband's disease progresses and my stamina disappears, it is more and more difficult to "sit back and quiet." Yes, Larry, your experiences, insights, and knowledge is invaluable to many of us. My husband is unable to articulate his thoughts as much as he used to be able to do… and he has two doctoral degrees in English! He was a strong communicator throughout his life as a professor, coach, and superintendent of schools. He struggles to put words together now.

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Wow…I feel as if we should be best friends. As a wife of a wonderful man who was always the funniest guy in the room and now to see the opposite is emotionally and physically draining. I find myself just wanting to do so much and have the life we had planned, and now having to adjust to a life we don't want is quite depressing at times. Yet, just to be able to hold his hand, to be beside him to protect and encourage is a great gift as well. I have learned that my role is different now, and I am his best friend, biggest supporter, and constant protector. It is not an easy role, but I know that it is the path of life we will walk together. I do miss our old discussions and hashing out problems together to find solutions. I miss conversations and being predictable. I miss having energy just to put away dishes and wipe off counters….but there will be a day for all of those things….as of now, I will look forward to still being best friends as long as possible….and pray for energy to meet both of our needs.
I do feel your pain….Advanced Literature and Grammar and Written Composition is my love and was my career. I cannot imagine the loss your husband must feel and you have to stand by and watch all of this unfold. Yet, you are the one that has a front row seat to this sad disease, you have many new roles to fill and I pray for peace, energy, patience, and stamina for you. Keep writing on here. Your experiences, while they are hard and sad,are a comfort to me and to others to know that someone understands. You are not alone in this journey. Take care….

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@tsc

I think that's a great idea, Larry H, about starting a communication challenges group. I am learning myself through trial and error. You have articulated your position beautifully and I thank you for sharing your perspective. I realize that I can't stay stuck in my old ways and I have to relate in a new way to the different person my husband is now. Loss of abilities in one's self or a loved one is hard to face, but we must and try to do our best. All the best to you. TSC

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I have started the discussion on Communication Challengess with Lewy.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/communicating-challenges-with-lewy/
Come on by!!!

Peace
Larry H

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@hbjuniperflat

My sentiments exactly! I am trying to be as patient as I used to be in my classroom; however, I find as my husband's disease progresses and my stamina disappears, it is more and more difficult to "sit back and quiet." Yes, Larry, your experiences, insights, and knowledge is invaluable to many of us. My husband is unable to articulate his thoughts as much as he used to be able to do… and he has two doctoral degrees in English! He was a strong communicator throughout his life as a professor, coach, and superintendent of schools. He struggles to put words together now.

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Must be so frustrating for him. My husband, too, is struggling with remembering names of common everyday things. I have to put all the heartbreak that comes with this disease behind me and just be there for him now. I had to learn to not focus on what we've lost, but live with what we have now and make our home his safe place.

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@tsc

Must be so frustrating for him. My husband, too, is struggling with remembering names of common everyday things. I have to put all the heartbreak that comes with this disease behind me and just be there for him now. I had to learn to not focus on what we've lost, but live with what we have now and make our home his safe place.

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@tsc. I really like your statement and approach to life: ‘learn to not focus on what we’ve lost, but live with what we have now and make our home a safe place.” Have you found some new projects or pastimes that you both enjoy?

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@tamarab

Thank you. Yes, I do have a lot of support and a therapist. Anger management is an issue for me. Burt's anger does make me reactive, and it is hard not responding
Working on it.

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@tamarab How have things been going for you? I imagine it IS hard to remain quiet when words are spoken in anger.

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/619985/ Have you seen this new discussion by @larryh123 ?

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@becsbuddy

@tsc. I really like your statement and approach to life: ‘learn to not focus on what we’ve lost, but live with what we have now and make our home a safe place.” Have you found some new projects or pastimes that you both enjoy?

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That's a tough one, @becsbuddy. I used to be able to get him to play Scrabble with me, but he won't anymore. He's given up the piano. He hardly watches tv. He is interested in the walk I take every morning and asks me questions when I come home – where did I go, who did I see, were there any changes on the street, etc. Also, when I'm on the computer, he comes in the room, sits down and wants to talk – so he's trying to engage me more, it seems. I've always been a cook and he wants his three meals a day, on time. Now since I have a shoulder injury, I ask him to help me more – with lifting heavy things, mixing ingredients, etc. He likes to do it and I think it's good to keep him engaged. His neurologist put him on a low dose antidepressant and he's less tired and anxious on it. He can't drive anymore, but he can gas up the car for me (bad shoulder, a good excuse). His mood is pretty good, he's pleasant and nice to be around and I learned that when he's digs down on something, just to let it go. He sleeps the night through, a good nine hours at least. This morning he asked me to drive all around town to find the cereal he likes and I said no. Reminded him of all my ailments and that I need to do what's easier for me too – so he apologized and said he'd eat oatmeal.

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