Vascular Dementia and Psychosis

trees and mountain range in distance
My husband, son & I are visiting my sister, her family, and the in-laws (my sister and I married brothers) in Oregon. Beautiful outside. We can see Mt. St. Helens peaking out in the distance, but it doesn’t really show up in this photo.

Trying to focus on nature’s beauty to give my mind and my soul a break from the burden of caregiving for my parents.

Had to have my mother psychiatrically hospitalized again. Vascular dementia due to her recent stroke in addition to pre-existing mental illness (she’s my mother, I’m her genetic legacy) led to psychosis. Hope that her new medication regimen will improve the quality of her life.

Painful process to watch, seeing someone you love devastated by a stroke. My mother’s vascular dementia is worse than my father’s dementia. He has no short-term memory and is aware of his memory loss, but still has verbal skills. My mother has lost her ability to communicate, which makes it very difficult for her.

Take care of your brain. Injuries to it can alter your life in terrible ways.

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48 thoughts on “Vascular Dementia and Psychosis

  1. heartspeak2016 May 5, 2016 / 6:06 am

    What form did the psychosis take? My father has turned on me. Said my son is taking his money. He has a lot of money but the government administrates it

    He was vile to me yesterday when i visited. Showed me up in front of the workers. They believe him as well. Am no longer able to visit him. Too upset. And my son and i are all he has left. Everyone else gave up on him except us

    He gets a hard frightening look when he is psychotic. Will not look at me. Keeps trying to turn people against me. He did it with mum. She would not obey him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 5, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      It’s scary, but it is the result of brain damage. Hopefully medication can help without over-medicating him. I wish you the best. Challenging. Really challenging.

      Liked by 1 person

      • heartspeak2016 May 5, 2016 / 8:22 pm

        They will not medicate him further. Its a nightmare. The psychogeriatrician is coming in though. As soon as he got my email he said he would go see him. He told dad once he hoped he realised how lucky he was to have such a daughter. The thing is dad knows what he is doing because before when my sister was there and was a witch i was unable to see him for six months due to her violence

        Once she was gone he rang and said he had done the wrong thing could i forgive him

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley May 6, 2016 / 3:44 pm

          Tragic. Overmedicating is dangerous. My mother was overmedicated for a while to keep her from wandering. Unfortunately, she fell repeatedly due to the sedation. Now she is doing much better. My parents are in a locked memory care facility now.

          Like

        • Kitt O'Malley May 6, 2016 / 3:45 pm

          Glad to hear that a psychogeriatrician will be visiting. Their expertise can be very helpful.

          Like

  2. vshakvamantz April 8, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    I am very sorry to hear this. I will be following you and hope to communicate with you soon

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. April 2, 2016 / 6:57 am

    Kitt, I can relate so much. Every person on my father’s side of the family for two generations had Alzheimer’s including my father who died three years ago. My mother-in-law died two years ago after living in our home for 11 years and becoming more and more disabled by dementia. Being a caregiver is exhausting, but having gotten some distance from it I can now say it was one of the most important and rewarding things I have done in my lifetime. I now work in nursing homes and see the devastation that dementia causes to people and their families on a daily basis. Let me echo your statement about taking care of our brains. I can’t help that I have the Alzheimer’s gene. But I can do many things to take care of my brain chemistry in order to delay the onset (exercise, diet, etc.). I wish you well during your time as a caretaker. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley April 2, 2016 / 10:27 am

      Thank you. I could do better in taking care of myself, in exercising more regularly.

      Like

      • Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. April 3, 2016 / 8:21 am

        Well, since I am now furiously exercising and trying to repair my 52 year old body following a decade of stress, I would say that’s the best thing you could do. If I could go back and do one thing differently in terms of the years of caretaking it would be that…I should have made the time to keep exercising no matter what!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley April 3, 2016 / 7:36 pm

          It’s one of those I know I should,…but I don’t often enough (sometimes I do).

          Like

          • Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. April 3, 2016 / 8:44 pm

            Yep. I get it completely. I’m doing it now, but my 52 year old body feels at least 70. Chronic neck and back pain, I am sure, exacerbated by stress and neglect. Two different forms of cancer, thankfully treatable with just surgery. I don’t know what would have been different if I had listened to my gut and kept exercising. I didn’t, and now regret it big time. I had all the legitimate reasons in the world not to…but I should have anyway.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Kitt O'Malley April 4, 2016 / 10:37 am

              Wish you the best as you mend. My mother has spent the last 31 years fighting cancer, and my son lives with chronic (intermittent) pain of migraines. Not easy. Continue to take care of yourself.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. TradeRoutz livingStyle March 30, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Kitt, through all your trials and tribulations, you are one seriously strong woman, and one we can all look up to. With your own limitations, you still are managing to care for, not just aged parents, but deeply disturbed aged parents, along with your own share of problems. Kudos to you my friend. You are a serious leader to look up to! thank you for sharing YOUR strengths.xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley March 30, 2016 / 11:14 am

      Thank you. Unfortunately, one of the results of progressive dementia is psychosis.

      Like

  5. los1937@aol.com March 30, 2016 / 7:23 am

    Thanks for your connection and networking; it is vital and key to be kepted informed; Your challenging journey; uplifting; your deep commitment to your parents is off-the chart!

    Please stay in faith, self-belief/keeping hope alive.

    Your neighbor and friend.

    Lee O. Sampson.

    LEE O. SAMPSON/LINKEDIN

    UNLeMoment@etsy.com

    los1937@aol.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just Plain Ol' Vic March 29, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Ah Kitt, my heart goes out to you and all you are struggling with. Sending some emotional support your way with a big ol’ virtual hug. Don’t forget to take care of yourself in all of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dyane March 29, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    I’m so glad you’re up there in gorgeous nature, Kitt, and with your family. (I always forget that you and your sister married brothers – that’s a book right there!)

    I mentioned you and Blahpolar as my two favorite bloggers in my 2nd Huffington Post submission. It’s about setbacks & what you can do about them (complete with links to each of your “about” pages) I really hope they publish it! Please say a prayer for me; I want that post out there! 🙂

    You are absolutely spot-on about the importance of taking care of our brains – that which we don’t see but shapes everything in our lives. I believe brains are resilient up to a point. (You know I’m living proof.) I even read a new study that proved that ECT actually can help bipolar disorder – here’s the conclusion in “med-speak”:

    “Electroconvulsive therapy seemed to increase free-intervals and reduced number of BD episodes and admissions. It is plausible that ECT, along with suspending antidepressant treatment, might carry intrinsic stabilizing effect on the course of BD. I sent the link to my psychiatrist and he got very excited about that development.”

    This is the link:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26896811

    Sorry to digress – you know how I get…

    Sending you my love. You know I adore you.

    XOXOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley March 29, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      Thanks for the links – HuffPo (best of luck) & NIH. Love research. Share the knowledge!

      Like

  8. Leslie March 29, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    Kitt, I’m really sorry to hear about your mom. Hopefully new meds will help alot.

    It’s really pretty cool that you and your sister married brothers! I’m sure there is an interesting story in there somewhere!

    I’m very glad that you have been able to get away for a couple days. It’s very important to take breaks. Caring for someone (2 someones) who is sick is very exhausting. Enjoy your visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. pjcolando March 29, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    Can you and your mother use augmentative communication devices? Hand gestures, body language?

    Want to meet to problem-solve care options or to merely emote?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley March 29, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      I’ll contact you when I’m back in California. In Oregon today and tomorrow. She can read facial expressions and body language. She has trouble with communication boards. Drawn facial expressions she gets. Right side of brain intact.

      Like

  10. Bradley March 29, 2016 / 11:28 am

    I’m glad that you’ve gone out and got some fresh air and enjoyed yourself for awhile. You deserve much more than that

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley March 29, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you, Laura. Hopefully new medication regimen will help.

      Like

  11. susurrus March 29, 2016 / 11:01 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your mum and hope she improves. How sweet that you and your sister married brothers!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. M. R. Wilson March 29, 2016 / 10:06 am

    Oh, Kitt…This is heart-breaking. I am so sorry. You certainly deserve this much-needed break with your family. Do life-affirming things. You are in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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