Tuesday, 11 October 2011

They should really find another name

A stupid 'specialist' to whom S was referred when we were applying for ill-health retirement stated in an illiterate report that she appeared 'not so much demented as depressed' - this when she had already been attending the memory clinic for several years and when regular tests and several scans had shown that there was a real problem. No-one else felt that, at that time, she was depressed in a clinical sense though naturally she wasn't over the moon about what was happening to her.

Dementia has very unfortunate connotations, 'demented' is even more suspect. Like 'mental' and 'deranged' - no-one would want these words applied to them. The common usage of these words also seems to suggest a permanent state when, even at an advanced stage, there can be periods of 'normality'.

This is not some PC thing. The words just aren't helpful - to anyone.

Connected to this is the whole concept of diagnosis, of which more later.


  1. I know exactly what you mean - a better word might be "forgetful", although maybe a little too simplistic. My 86-year old father-in-law displays the condition - only this morning, after I fixed his central heating, he offered me a cup of coffee and said "I am sure I know you from somewhere". Sue and I have been married for 43 years, and I was only there at the house yesterday, diagnosing the heating problem.

    Most worrying is that he let me into the house without question, even though he didn't know me.


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