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Old 09-16-2019, 09:16 PM
dropzone's Avatar
dropzone is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Posts: 29,977

Insanity or dementia? Or can it be both?

I live in Bedlam. I've come to accept it but I think some of my neighbors are not being treated properly. The guy next to me spends his entire days repeating words or phrases endlessly, like, "Waterwaterwater." The lady across from him spent two hours tonight yelling, "Nurse!" and something unintelligible over and over.

Waterwaterwater Boy has grown worse over the past couple months; before he was more generally unpleasant. This seems new out of the lady, but the aides have complained about her for a while. I don't know how or even if they are being treated for what obviously ails them but he, especially, seems completely insane, which is outside this place's purview. He can't be happy like this, but maybe five minutes with a pillow over his face some Thorazine could help.
Old 09-16-2019, 09:25 PM
susan's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Coastal USA
Posts: 9,599
The guy could have Broca's aphasia.
Old 09-16-2019, 09:28 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
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That sounds extremely unpleasant. Jeez, I would be insane myself.
Old 09-16-2019, 09:35 PM
Lancia's Avatar
Lancia is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Denial
Posts: 1,798
Both insanity and dementia are umbrella terms that encompasses several different personal, social, and behavioral characteristics. Additionally, insanity is a legal term that means a person has a mental illness severe enough that they can't tell right from wrong (IIRC, IANAL).

So a person can be insane, demented, or both, or neither. Fundamentally, neither are actual medical diagnoses but rather a descriptor of symptoms. For instance a person can exhibit dementia but the underlying cause is Alzheimers. Similarly a person could be legally insane but actually have schizophrenia.

Story time: in my hospice worker days we had a patient who would wail almost constantly and make these weird gestures like he was trying to rip his shirt off. He could not talk, only make sounds. Most of the staff -- nurses included -- thought he suffered from dementia and probably another mental illness. One day we had a new CNA on shift and she was giving him a bath. She noticed that he had this massive wad of... gunk, for lack of a better word, in his navel. Like this raisin-sized ball of hair and other crap. Well, she got a washcloth and cleaned it out well, then cleaned it again, then asked the RN to put a dab of Neosporin on it as it was, for obvious reasons, pretty raw. What happened? The guy quit making noise and ripping at his shirt. Immediately. So that was his problem. Not dementia or anything like that, but his damn belly button hurt and he was trying to tell us that.

Always think outside the box.
Old 09-17-2019, 04:17 PM
Doctor Jackson's Avatar
Doctor Jackson is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Jawja
Posts: 10,539
Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
Always think outside the box.
Or inside the bellybutton, as the case may be. My project teams are gonna be so confused when I spring THAT catchphrase on them!


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