View Full Version : Seriously, with age, how to know when ADD might be sliding into dementia?

11-15-16, 02:14 PM
Certainly I hope I'm just being a big worrywart. But the question has crossed my mind before. My ADD wasn't diagnosed until I was 35, because I'm female, was more daydreamy, not much hyperactivity, etc. I also have anxiety disorders, and OCD, and I know that doesn't help with working memory either, being all tensed up. Now I'm going to be 55 next year, an official "senior." My mind's pretty sharp on intellectual stuff - I'm a lifelong learner type. But executive functions are another matter.

Recently I had surgery, and noticed a lot of "brain farts" happening - difficulty finding words, more forgetting to do things, stuff like that. I attributed it to possible residual anesthesia/narcotics and messed up sleep schedule.

But now that it's several weeks out, after I had noticed an improvement for awhile, now I'm backsliding. I left the stove on yesterday all afternoon. I forgot to put the lid on the rabbit food bin a couple of days ago (the cat thinks the rabbit pellets are a litterbox :eek: - I had to throw away some before; this time fortunately I was able to scoop out a small area and the rest of them were okay).

I seem to be getting adequate sleep, but who knows. It's been stressful with the election and all; I haven't been allowed to drive for nearly six weeks (hoping that changes when I see the doctor on Friday). Maybe I just am still in an adjustment period and have a touch of cabin fever? I get to go out if people take me but it's been hard to find rides. My agoraphobia and our crummy system in my town preclude taking the bus to go anywhere.

Feedback? I just worry about brain farting something more dangerous than a stove burner . . . :doh:

11-15-16, 02:53 PM
As bad as it had been for years, it got worse when I was in menopause.

That's when I started taking a multi-supplement from Avon that had both
evening primrose oil and fish oil. Could not believe the improvement.

About a year later someone suggested my granddaughter had adhd, and when
I started reading about that the light came on. So I wasn't even diagnosed,
much less treated, until I was into menopause, about 53.

11-15-16, 04:08 PM
Do make sure to mention this to the doctor. If it was anesthesia related, they may be able to alter the protocol for future procedures to avoid this sort of event happening.

11-16-16, 11:21 AM
I guess the symptoms are like menopause brain, and tired brain, so maybe I just need more time and rest. They did go away for that 2 week or so period, then came back - but hopefully that is a sign they're temporary. Supplements are a good idea.

You know how sometimes with ADD-inattentive you have a vague sense that you're forgetting something, but you can't for the life of you pin it down? I'm familiar with that. Then there are the true blank outs where you don't even remember there was something to be remembered. That's what these recent ones are more like.

Or how you can remember what caused you to forget, why you got distracted, vs. a total lack of memory context? :eyebrow:

My fear is - did the anesthesia actually kill off some brain cells? I was under longer than expected due to complications.

11-16-16, 12:30 PM
Have you googled it? I just did. Post-surgery brain fog is a real thing.

Omega-3s May Curb Post-Surgery Brain Fog ( nEGvpyr%25cSBzrtn-dF-znL-pHEo-CBFG-FHEtrEL-oEnvA-sBt)
( nEGvpyr%25cSBzrtn-dF-znL-pHEo-CBFG-FHEtrEL-oEnvA-sBt)
Happily, taking Omega 3 (fish oil) can be helpful. :D

I decided to try and remember how many surgeries I've had with anesthesia,
never counted them before

First age 4 to remove a cyst or sty on my eye
Age 31 dental removal of wisdom tooth
Age 33 removal of gall bladder
Age 39 tubal ligectomy
Age 49 repair broken, dislocated finger w/torn ligaments

I don't remember any lingering brain fog after any of them. Guess I was lucky.

11-16-16, 01:47 PM

When did 55 become "senior"?

I know groups like AARP allow you to join at 50 ... but that's just to get people recruited early and thinking ahead of time about retirement and all of that ... But 55 a senior? You got to be kidding me. With some good denial, you're still young ... at worst, you're middle-aged!

Don't age yourself prematurely.... I mean the real thing is gonna be hard enough.

Surgery can be traumatic on the body even when it goes well. I think the healing process can suck up a lot of brain energy. Wait til you meet with the doctor and recover more fully ... And make sure your mood is good ... Decline in mood can lead to memory loss, for sure ... Yes, we lose some "fluid" quick intelligence as we age ... but apparently our knowledge and insight can grow into our 60s and 70s.


11-16-16, 04:06 PM
I just hope that when my brain goes, it goes real good.

I'd like to know what 'Ignorance is bliss' really means.

If I wind up being the 75 year old man pulling his pants down in Wal-Mart, so be it, that would mean that I have arrived, I know what bliss really is, and why mentally challenged people are always smiling and having a great day.

I don't really want that, but the thought has had me pondering it.

11-16-16, 07:49 PM
Well hate to break the bad news ... but demential or intellectual disability doesn't mean you don't experience sadness and pain and depression and anguish and all the other feelings humans go through.

For one, some older people can occupy a zone where they know enough to know their memory is failing but not enough to get to the correct memory. This causes a great deal of pain and confusion and depression. You know you need to do something, but you can't figure out how to do the thing.

It's sorta like ADHD. We know enough about getting organized to know we're not organized and we can feel enormous frustration with the condition.

Having intellectual disability can make it hard to communicate with people or tell people, for example, the nature of your pain and misery. I have a nephew who is intellectually disabled and he experienced all kinds of mood swings and when his parents separated he was extremely agitated and couldn't communicate clearly about this.

True, my father had a "happy dementia" his doctor said at the end. But ... the doctor's point was that a lot of people don't have a happy dementia. And my dad wasn't always happy.

So don't put too much hope in "ignorance is bliss." Very overrated and exaggerated.


11-17-16, 02:01 AM
Surgery is extremely stressful on the body. It can take a year even to fully recover. Lunacie's made a good point.

Tone.. Yes!

11-17-16, 06:18 AM
My aunt has a "happy dementia" - now; and really it is; yet some things she imagined were frightening. (she was convinced that my cousin was arrested on a DWI); but then her "upcoming engagement" (but it was a secret!) , well we couldnt help but be happy for her that day :)

Nevertheless, the year leading up to it, was terrible as she was lucid enough, to see it happening.
the saddest thing is that she couldnt read anymore, she said she would read a page and forget (she has no Adhd and was an avid reader).

Otherwise i think just the years of adhd add up and maybe symptoms seem worse?
I remember my Dad once, out of nowhere, saying he thought maybe he had early alzheimers or something. I'm very sure he had adhd.

11-18-16, 07:38 AM
The last years we had with my grandmother were much harder on us than they were on her. She mirrored our emotions, so we had to put on a happy front. When we did, she stayed relatively content. Which was a big improvement in some ways over the paranoid, unhappy person she'd been perhaps just prior to, and definitely in the first couple months after her diagnosis of Alzheimer's.

And even in those last days, I don't know how much of the happiness was genuine or a front. Every once in a while you'd get a glimpse of her former personality, for better or for worse.

11-18-16, 09:38 AM
Speaking as someone not too far from that supposed "senior" age, I've experienced flipping the script on my food/beverage intake offered me a chance to learn more about food-like substance ingredients, as well as external products that get absorbed into our largest organ, our skin, that reportedly help hurry along the dementia, alzheimers, and other symptoms we all fear as we age.

I didn't save all the stuff I've read through the years, but easily found them when I was purposefully researching in hopes of improving my overall health.

I was scarily stuck in a heavy brain fog more often than I felt comfortable with. I no longer struggle with that as frequently. I still have moments, but not days and weeks, as I experienced before.

I've not had frequent surgeries that required anesthesia. It's been about 7 years years since I had a dental procedure that required it. But I used to eat the typical Standard American Diet with lots of meat, dairy, eggs, "convenient" foods, fast foods, frozen foods, sodas, diet sodas, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate of any variety as my health continued to steadily decline in many ways.

I've gone through the pre-menopause routine, the trying to medicate all of my symptoms routine, the talk it out with a therapist (or a few) routine, the allopathic specialists routines, and finally found my greatest relief and success in the "alternative" routines I've tried and adopted, such as drastic diet changes, acupuncture, Gonstead chiropractor, iridology, traditional Chinese medicine, massage therapy, sound healing, energy work, etc.

I speak and visit with others quite often who are actively healing from and experiencing significant relief from so many things that we are typically given a routine death stamp for and just told to "make ourselves comfortable" as we wait to die off.

These folks are experiencing significant improvements via the end of their forks daily, but, since they're eliminating significant food groups we've been made to believe we HAVE to have, you don't hear much about it in any mainstream spaces that share updated medical happenings and studies and such.

Look at the food hospitals and schools serve to the most vulnerable, then actively question these places as to why in the world we aren't being taught more accurate and healthful info. It certainly doesn't feel like we are being taught these things for the health of it. Not from my direct experiences, anyway.

12-01-16, 01:52 PM
I appreciate the various feedback. :) Didn't mean to abandon my thread, just the holidays and such getting in the way.

I've been on a health kick since the surgery. I always make efforts to ensure easier healing, such as taking probiotics and thinking positive thoughts, and other things. This was my most extensive surgery, and with it being a reconstruction of my abdominal wall, I've modified my eating habits to ensure I start to take off excess weight so a) there won't be pressure on the repair, and b) just for general health and aesthetic reasons.

Several years ago I phased out soda, although I still had something of a sweet tooth. I probably always will, but I'm learning to enjoy a tiny bit of a sweet instead of large and frequent servings. Doing better at getting some vegetables in (I have sensory issues with food and am an adult picky eater so this is my weaker area).

The Omega 3 article was enlightening too - Lunacie, thanks so much for it. :goodpost: And the connection with aspirin was very intriguing. I can't do the inexpensive fish oil (picky eater, fish burps - blech!) and the ones that claim no taste are pricey. I'm still shopping around on that. I know there are some foods such as walnuts that I can get, and flaxseed meal that I sprinkle on cereal, toast, etc.

Right now, I'm kind of post-holiday confused - getting back into routine should help that (just in time for another round of holidays :rolleyes: ). Tomorrow I see my surgeon for the second followup, and next week my psychiatrist, with whom I had talked about the possibility I was going to have another surgery. So we'll have a lot of catching up to do and maybe she has some advice on the mental issues.

I guess I just need to not worry - and ToneTone I'm with you on the 55 seeming young to even be thought of as a "senior"! People are living so much longer, it does seem odd. Menopause brain can't be ruled out in my case either.

Bottom line, all I can do is keep doing brain-positive things like good nutrition and exercising both brain and body, work on de-stressing the things that set off my co-morbids (anxiety, OCD, depression), and pray and hope for the best.

12-01-16, 02:42 PM
This is just a test post to see if my signature displays.

12-03-16, 12:34 AM
I saw a preview for a news segment about a breakthrough in dementia treatment, but I didn't get a chance to see the actual story. Maybe do a little searching for possible furture treatments.

Also, I remember watching this goofy dude who does a lot of silly exercises with his opposite hand and he claims it's the solution for staying young. I can't remember where I saw it. I'll try to remember and if I do, I'll post back. But you could look into that kinda stuff too, I guess.

12-03-16, 11:22 AM
I saw a preview for a news segment about a breakthrough in dementia treatment, but I didn't get a chance to see the actual story. Maybe do a little searching for possible furture treatments.

Also, I remember watching this goofy dude who does a lot of silly exercises with his opposite hand and he claims it's the solution for staying young. I can't remember where I saw it. I'll try to remember and if I do, I'll post back. But you could look into that kinda stuff too, I guess.

Yes, I am dedicated to doing a variety of puzzles and exercises hoping that will maintain the "little grey cells." ;)