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ecr1987 posted:
For the past 11 years my mother has progressed from depressed to schizophrenic bipolar suicidal and dementia. today her nurse told me that my mother has now been diagnosed with alzheimers. When I was a little child, my fathers father had alzheimers. im told its terminal and i feel absolutely helpless. my mother and i have had the worst relationship my whole life but im more afraid of how my father will handle the news and the turnout. please someone give me some advice so i dont go crazy and i know what to expect in the years to come! god bless!
cjh1203 responded:
Hi ecr. How sad for your family that your mother has had so many problems in her life. They all have such a huge effect on everyone around her.

Alzheimer's progresses differently for everyone, and the life expectancy after diagnosis can vary greatly. What kind of symptoms is your mother having now? You said that her nurse told you about her diagnosis -- is your mother in a facility of some kind? How old is she?

You said that you're afraid of how your father will handle the news -- what kind of reaction are you afraid he will have?

The Alzheimer's Association web site can give you a lot of information. The best thing you and your father can do is join an Alzheimer's support group. The people there have been or are going through many of the same things you are, and they can give you practical advice and moral support. We will certainly do our best to do the same, but sometimes it helps to be with real people, having real-time conversations.

Please tell us more about the situation with your mom, and we'll answer your questions and concerns as best we can.

Judith L London, PhD responded:
Dear ecr1987,

First of all, obtain an accurate diagnosis from a physician. If the onset of her symptoms were sudden, or even gradual, a thorough physical is in order.

If it is Alzheimer's, the 11 years of other brain disorders may have weakened her brain to be more susceptible to Alzheimer's disease.

Definitely get assistance from your local Alzheimer's Assn. for both you and your father. Support groups are so helpful when facing this illness. Call 800-272-3900 or go to

Keep us posted - our community is supportive, too.

Remember to take care of yourself during this stressful time.

We're here for you,


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