by Suzzanne Stowe
(Santa Rosa, CA)

Hello! My mother has been saying things that have happened currently have happened in the past before that is not true. It's every day little things like I have a new landscaper that she says we hired 2yrs. Which is not true. She will say we had a conversation last week that we did not have. This used to happen once in awhile but now it's daily. She really seems to believe these things are true. Is this some kind of disorder? She suffers from depression and is under stress. I'm not sure how to approach her on this. Any suggestions?

Ben's response:

Sorry for the delay in responding Sue. While depression and stress can certainly cause a person to be forgetful, and in extreme cases depression can cause psychosis or delusional thinking, it is more likely that your mother is having symptoms of dementia. This is something that can only be properly assessed by a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologist and the like. She should have a full physical exam. If she is resistant, then tell her very directly that you are concerned about her memory and for your own peace of mind you would like her to see someone. If she has a doctor she has some trust with, perhaps that would be the place to start. It's important to rule out physical causes before making any assumptions about what this could mean.

Wishing you the best,

There are also many free and low fee resources such as NAMI and Council on Aging that may offer some support.

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