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Mental health: Young adults’ in the U. Young Adults’ Experiences of Depression in the U. Most of us, as we grow older, worry about lapses of memory, difficulty finding names, choosing a word, remembering appointments. We may worry that this is the beginning of Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia, and indeed in its early stages the changes in a person developing dementia may be so gradual that they are accepted as part of normal ageing for several years. Here, we record the experiences of carers who recall the months or years before a diagnosis was made when there were symptoms which hardly registered at the time. The husband of a woman later diagnosed with Picks disease describes how he failed to recognise symptoms at first. Was slow to recognise that his wife was developing Alzheimer’s.
Going back and starting from the beginning in hindsight, now the first stage is, is not recognisable I think, or certainly wasn’t recognisable as far as I was concerned initially – which were mainly the behavioural changes that were taking place. And that’s prior to the diagnosis because one is just not aware. So that’s, that’s the first stage. Once I realised then, once it was diagnosed then I think that if I sat down and gave it serious consideration I could probably categorise it into three or four stages up to this point’ pre-diagnosis. It wasn’t until I went into the cupboard at one stage to get a tube of toothpaste out that I saw that there were seven tubes of toothpaste, new in there.
My wife was buying a tube every time she, or virtually every time she went shopping, so there was a lack of recognition of understanding the need for purchasing. She knew we had to have it but she didn’t know we’d got sufficient in the home. I said one evening, she cooked me liver for a meal and I said how nice it was and then I had that for the next three nights on the trot. And so she was obviously trying to please and still understanding that she was pleasing but not understanding the fact that she wouldn’t normally have cooked me liver four nights consecutively. So I think on hindsight now the changes initially were difficult to recognise, difficult to interpret because you didn’t know there was a problem. Once I knew there was a problem and you began to understand the changes that were taking place and they became more frequently.