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#mental disorder

COVID AND DEMENTIA

“Dementia sufferers are dying at an alarming rate in this epidemic, one of the worst affected groups.

These are the reasons why and what could change it.

First some numbers:

Approximately 42% of all those who have died in a care home setting have Alzheimer’s or dementia.

25% of those who have died from cover overall have Dementia.

Overall excess deaths for dementia patients have rocketed- 83% above normal in England in April.

And this isn’t just about their vulnerability. Data from Alzheimers Society and shared exclusively with BBC Newsnight shows 79% of care home managers feel lockdown is damaging their dementia residents’ physical health and wellbeing. There are a number of reasons for these figures:

The first is there isn’t enough dementia specific guidance for care homes. Eg: the primary virus containment method in care homes is confinement of residents to their rooms. This is basically impossible for dementia patients. I was in St Cecilia’s, a specialist dementia home in Scarborough today: Staff there told me they have to keep repeating to their residents why they have to stay in their rooms. Some can understand for a while.But some can’t understand at all- and they go wandering. There are things they can do- including reverse isolating, isolating residents who can understand as opposed to those who can’t. As a last resort they can try and put PPE on residents but this isn’t easy either. Imagine trying to put a mask on someone who doesn’t understand why. Dementia homes are having to recognise they have to let deeply affected patients wander the corridors. But the infection risk here is very obvious. Residents often try and hug others, if they’re infected or not. As a manager told me “it only takes a second”. But there often isn’t enough staff to watch someone all the time. Locking in a room would cause huge distress. Charities and homes want govt to start focussing on specific guidance on this point for the autumn and winter. Given the fact that this is such a physical group of people (they often really want hugs and physical intimacy and it isn’t sensible to deny them) PPE is all the more important. This has improved- but there are still some problems. Staff in dementia homes are desperate for routine testing of residents and by routine, we’re talking at least once a week. This is all the more important to suppress dementia cover death because often these are people who might not be able to describe and express their symptoms.

But people with dementia have been affected in other ways. Dementia and depression are often connected and many dementia residents are falling into a deep sadness. They can’t see their families, they don’t understand (or can’t retain) why not and it’s profoundly affecting them.

When depression comes and lack of stimulation and routine sets in, I’ve been told that the speed of cognitive and physical decline can be remarkable. Residents are stopping eating, drinking and losing the ability to speak.

I spoke to Trevor, whose wife Yvonne developed Alzheimer’s at 53. He worries she’s forgotten his face, having not been able visit her in 2.5 months: “The sparkle went from her eyes. She’s in a lost world. Carers wearing masks made it hard-scary. She doesn’t recognise them.”

As Kate Lea of Alzheiners Society told me: “social isolation has a huge and disproportionate impact on people with dementia"-this is why so many of our non-covid excess deaths seem to be coming from our dementia sufferers:“if this was our children we’d be screaming from the rooftops”

It won’t be a case of simply allowing visitation- but there is a recognition that blanket prohibition of visitation for dementia sufferers is very, very damaging and probably needs to be altered. This goes back to the point of needing dementia specific guidance from DHSC.

There are also reports of some GPs being reluctant to visit care homes on site- so the other medical needs of dementia residents aren’t always being attended to. Care support plans aren’t always being created or maintained. As one manager said to me: “it’s all slowly unravelling”

Structurally though, it all comes back to the same thing. I’ve said it before, it’s not original but it’s true: care is the poor relation of health. It is crazy that the NHS will pay in its entirety for a heart attack but not necessarily for your dementia related costs.

Frankly- this is killing people. If the sector were properly funded, those with dementia might have the 24hr care they need. Carers are trying v hard but for reasons I’ve explained, it’s not always enough.

Worse, the cost pressures are getting worse as this crisis proceeds.

It’s worth just saying this: people with dementia are still people, they’re just not the people they used to be. Sometimes, there’s a real tendency to write them off. That’s wrong. They can live happy, full lives. Some are dying before their time.

Also worth saying- one of the silver linings for me in this crisis is the time I’ve got to spend with carers. I’ve truly not met a more extraordinary dedicated group of people. We are a lucky country- they’re often more than we might deserve.

In terms of injustice little can rival the needless deaths of those who might not know they’re dying, who can’t know why, who cannot help themselves- who aren’t even aware they need help.”-Lewis Goodall

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⚠️⚠️⚠️ TW

I’m one step away from jumping in front of a fuckind Bus or just slicing my wrist open and bleed the fuck out. I’m such a failure I can’t believe it.. wow someone kill me please because I know I’ll probably mess this up as well. I’m done

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Когда-нибдуь в моей жизни что-нибудь поменяется. А пока… Переезд обратно в родовое гнездо немного сорвал остаток стабильной нервной системы. Тут абсолютно все как в прошлом году. Я надеялась, что оставила его в прошлом. Обещала больше не возвращаться к этим воспоминаниям. Но как не вспоминать, когда тут все кишит этими гнилыми чувствами

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Something that happened to me a few times the last days:

I wanted to make tea! The water must be boiling already.

Go to the kitchen

Did I even start the water boiler?

See steaming mugs next to me

Oh, seems like I already brew it…

Is the water even hot or did I use cold water?

Checks water - hot

Well, I should probably take the teabags out

And I am not even shocked by it. I am so used to it that I think fine, now I have tea

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you wake up, and look at your room. hes there. hes right there. you hide under the covers, but then it gets too hot. you are suffocating from the heat trapped w you under the covers. you feel like hes the one suffocating you, again.

you grab your phone. you scroll through social media. you see all the bad in this world. so much death and destruction. you blame yourself. someone moves in the corner of your eye. your room is dark. you keep staring at your phone screen. if you look away from the screen you will see him. keep staring at the glow, even if it hurts your eyes.

a fly buzzes by your ear. its a sign. they know. the bugs know. youre dead. theyve come to feed off your rotting flesh. you feel bugs crawl all over you. you look and the bugs all run off your body. where they really there?

you go to shut your window so no more bugs enter your room. you sprint to the light switch to turn on the lights. the switch is on and you realize you have to run to the ceiling fan to turn the light on. you panic in the dark. you look in the mirror. the person staring back isnt you. it cant be you. that person looks grown and mature, but you are still just a child. you think. you manage to turn the light on. it blinds you momentarily. its just like the blinding light from that door opening. you dont want to think about that. you shut the window, but feel as if someone is in your backyard. watching you.

you go to the bathroom to wash your face. outside the bathroom window, across the street, is his house. a monster lived there. he still haunts it, you can feel his presence when you get too close. you close the shade. you look at the toilet and consider sticking your fingers down your throat. you want the poison from inside you gone. you want your body mass to be gone because then there will be less of you for him to own. you decide that you cant right now or else someone will hear. you wash your face. you scrub with hot water for 20 minutes. it burns. you apply more soap. then scrub. more soap. scrub. soap. scrub. soap. the running water is deafening. you shut off the sink and dry your face. its red and hurts.

you get back into bed and call a loved one. you need company. you cant be alone. you fall asleep on call. you wake up to birds singing outside your window. the birds are a bad sign. you can feel it deep in your gut. the call has ended. you are convinced the loved one hates you. you cry and try to figure out what you did wrong to upset them.

you cant get out of bed. hes pinning you down again. you dont even try to fight. youre too tired. eventually, hes done with you. he disappears and you climb out of bed. you put on your sweatshirt to cover your arms. you need to hide what you did to yourself. you get lightheaded and think that means youre going to die.

you hop in the shower and scrub until your skin is raw. and then scrub some more. you look at your body and want to cry. you feel disgusting. you fall to the shower floor and cry. but the water droplets landing on you feel like fingertips. it feels like a thousand hands touching you. you get out of the shower feeling dirtier than when you got in.

you take your meds when youre reminded to. if you arent reminded, you will forget. you dont know what the point in taking them even is anymore. do they even work?

you have work to do. you sit down at the table and stare at the paper in front of you. you can hear a clock ticking. theres no clocks near you. its just in your head. you know youre running out of time.

you cant do your work. you dont understand it. you stare at the computer screen. the words are blurring together and the video audio is distorted. the assignment is due at noon. 5 minutes go by. 20 minutes. 1 hour. 1 hour and 45 minutes. its noon and you did nothing. the assignment is late, you are failing. you panic. you know that the hands get you every time you fail. nothing can stop the hands.

you return to your room and open the drawer. you grab the sharp silver piece of metal, debating on where or how or even if you should use it. you use it. you don’t even clean it up, just cover it with clothing. the blood dries and the clothing sticks to you. you feel even more trapped in your jeans and hoodie.

your friends and family are concerned. you tell them you’re fine. youre not fine. you havent been fine for so long- you don’t even know if you ever have been fine in your life. you are struggling.

you want to die. you want him out of your head, off your body. you never feel safe. you never feel at home. what he did to you replays in your head on a loop. its exhausting, you’re exhausted.

you don’t even know who you are anymore.

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I really have to get my medication back but there’s no way i can afford it at the moment.

Today will be a bad day… I’m gonna get my test results back later today and that makes me so anxious. I just know my health will have gotten worse and with every day that my pills are missing it will only get worse now..

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Dear Internet,

I want to see a psychiatrist or whatever you call the person who tells you what’s wrong with your brain. I want to see one so they can tell me what’s wrong with me. Because I know that something is. And if some fancy doctor says that I’m on the OCD spectrum or something I can explain to people why I need something. Because I’ve learned that most people won’t take ‘because’ as an answer. But that’s all I can give them. But if I could tell them, something definite then maybe they’d listen. Some wouldn’t, but if even one more person would trust that I need something done a certain way it would be worth it. Because I wouldn’t be ‘over reacting’ I could tell them that my brain chemistry is bad and then it would be fine. It would be fine. It would be fine. But what if the psychiatrist tells me I’m wrong? Tells me I’m fine. Because I’m not fine. I’m not fine. But what if I am over reacting? What if I don’t have whatever it is that I think I have? I need to have a diagnosis. Because I know people who would trust me if only I had a doctor’s note.

I’ve seen first hand how differently you get treated. When I was in school my teachers would tell me I was over reacting and I needed to calm down. In front of everyone. And that only made it worse. But I had one teacher who treated me as if I had a mental issue and she gave me a very specific, calming task. And I did calm down. And if I had a name for whatever I am, then maybe I could get more of that treatment. Maybe. Maybe. I can’t type anymore, I can’t see through the tears. Somebody help me.

Sincerely, C

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According to Hannah Baker, “it [depression] looks like nothing.” Right now, you see nothing; and when I’m gone you’ll say, “I saw nothing. I didn’t notice.” But if you saw nothing, you saw exactly what you were supposed to see; and if you saw nothing, you saw all you would have needed to know something was wrong. With depression, nothing is everything. See how that works?

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I think, my point is… anyway I’m just writing this out here because

For one, not a lot of people will read it.

Second, nobody I personally know knows this blog

And three, it’s 2:17 a.m., I’m crying because my head hurts and I’m confused by everything in my life and I need to get this out.

So yeah, where to start… Let me tell you that my Hogwarts House is Slytherin and that I’m proud of that. I’m also a big BTS ot7 stan, with a slight but unchanging Jimin bias. I grew up with Heavy Metal though and I’ll probably always feel most comfortable within that genre.

My life is what a lot of people would call, picture perfect. My parents are religious, however, not strict, I myself considered myself Catholic. I attent university to become a psychologist. I have many friends, as well as a full time job.

People would expect me to be happy, and I am, immensely so. In a very intense way, that never lasts too long and comes with Atypical Depression.

Technically I am an adult, and I take my responsibilities, I pay my rent, my electricity and water bills, my own food and doctor’s appointments. Plot twist, I am an age regressor, and before anyone comes at me for being disgusting (I’ve heard it too often) it isn’t a kink, it’s most of the times a trauma induced coping mechanism, do your research.

At the moment I am dating this really sweet guy, I think I’m starting to fall in love with him and honestly, it’s the best feeling ever. He’s my sunshine yellow. But I only met him after being in love with my Blue Polar Bear Boy for 8 long years. A toxic relationship, from which I will probably never move on, but to tell you the truth, most days I don’t want to and still wish for him to come back.

My life is perfect, should feel perfect, could feel perfect. But it doesn’t. Because I’m too conflicted by all those little parts, which seemingly contradicts each other, but are all a part of me.

So, now I just cry, waiting for morning to come, because it’s dark in my room, I am alone, and while we’re being honest I am also scared, scared of the dark, of being alone, of myself and what I might do. Praying I won’t get myself drunk again like Sunday, when I woke up on Monday, realizing the miracle of me not having choked when I threw up that night.


There you have it, it was long, pathetic and sad, it was my mind. I apologize.

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//TW/CW//: diagnosis, mental health, bipolar, anxiety, depression, OCD

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This is gonna be a hard thing to post, as I have eyes watching my ever move, and it makes me anxious, but it needs to be done.


There are people who seriously believe I’m faking my mental illness, and say I’m lying about my diagnosis. That in and of itself is wrong, and unnecessary, and a shitty thing to do. Just because you personally don’t have proof, doesn’t mean people are faking.


So because of this, I’m making this master posts. Explaining my diagnosis, when I was diagnosed, and with what.

—————————-

As a child, I can’t remember/pin point exactly when, I had a child psychiatrist who diagnosed me with anxiety and OCD.


In 2017 I went to a Psychiatrist, I didn’t stay long, as we were kicked out of our housing arrangement soon after, she diagnosed me with PTSD, as I’ve had traumatic experiences.


In 2018, we’d moved to the state we are currently in, and I had another psychiatrist, this one, however didn’t listen to me or what my problems were and just pumped me full of pills, I didn’t know of any other places to go at the time, as i was new to the area, and stayed with him until early 2019.


In early 2019 I met an amazing psychiatrist, he listened to me, understood me, actually paid attention to my problems and feelings. I was then diagnosed with bipolar (unspecified) w/ psychosis, major depressive disorder, and anxiety.


I do not have to prove this, nor will I ever. But I struggle DAILY with debilitating symptoms. I struggle every single day, with my mental illness. And saying I’m lying, just because you don’t like me, won’t fix or heal me. I am the way I am, regardless of what anyone thinks or believes.

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