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Losing the plot?

(121 Posts)
Pollyj Mon 17-Feb-20 09:18:22

Can anyone offer reassurance? I am just over 60 and the last couple of days have worried I am going senile. I suffer from anxiety so maybe I am over worrying, but do any of you do things that make you wonder?

One example was this morning when I went upstairs and misheard the radio presenter say it was 8.25. 'Surely not,' I thought, it must be 7.25 but that can't be right it's definitely later than that.' So I checked the time and it was 8.05, not 25. Then my husband called up the stairs to say, 'Can the workmen come up and get started?' and I said 'but it's not 8 o'clock yet. Only half 7' - even though I'd just found out the correct time.

I did another thing the day before that set me worrying. My mother in law has just been told she has the start of dementia but she says really 'wrong' things.

Please don't say 'If you are worried, see your doctor or my anxious mind will translate that to: 'You are definitely up the creek, seek help now!'

Just wanted to know if other people did these things too?

Hetty58 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:27:40

All the time Pollyj, especially when tired or distracted by something else.

Then there's going upstairs for something and coming back down (having done other things) without it. Spending time looking for my reading glasses - before realising that they are on my head.

Going shopping, having run out of tea, to return with two heavy bags of stuff - and then realising - no tea!

Getting ready for a hospital appointment, looking for the letter - and discovering it's next week, not today.

Leaving doggie tied up outside the shop and getting half way home, then wondering what's missing.

Turning up at work - to discover that I'd booked the day off!

Do I worry about it? No, I laugh. I've been like it since the menopause so I'm used to it now!

Wheniwasyourage Mon 17-Feb-20 09:28:11

We all do similar things from time to time, I think. DH is pretty good at knowing the time without a watch, but I frequently find I'm an hour out either way. A common example of the brain not doing its job is going upstairs and forgetting what you went for, so you go back downstairs to see if that helps. (As Dave Allan said, after a while you find yourself on the landing, not knowing if you are meant to be going up or down...)

It seems to me that your anxiety is a large part of the problem, as I know that I get less efficient if I am worried about things. Is there anything you know of that will help you with your anxiety?

It's easy to say, but try not to worry! flowers

crazyH Mon 17-Feb-20 09:33:59

All the time Pollyj........these days I write 'to do' lists before I go to bed.

dragonfly46 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:35:19

I think you are worrying too much. We all have these moments but most of us don’t dwell on the. They certainly do not sound like the signs of dementia.
Be kind to yourself flowers

kittylester Mon 17-Feb-20 09:36:45

I went up in the lift at the car park as my car was on floor 5. The other people in the lift got out on floor 3 sk j did.

Realising my mistake I got back in the lift which was going down. A family got in and got out at floor 3 so I did again.

I took the stairs!!

But, I was really bothered by it for the rest of the day. Dh laughed like a flipping drain.

Davidhs Mon 17-Feb-20 09:38:46

This is lack of concentration - thinking about other things and quite likely your hearing not as good as it used to be. Don’t worry about it, slow down a bit and of course not everybody is at their best first thing in the morning.

Eglantine21 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:40:21

No, I wouldn’t worry about that.

Since I retired Im getting worse and worse at knowing what the time is because it doesn’t matter most days.

Sometimes I have to look out of the window to see what time of year it is!

Witzend Mon 17-Feb-20 09:43:39

Having had both a parent and an in-law with dementia, I do worry about it, but I honestly think the things you quote are pretty normal, especially if you’re at all tired or distracted/preoccupied.

If it’s any comfort, I once heard an eminent dementia expert on R4 saying that (among other things) people often worried that they were getting dementia if they forgot where they’d left their car in the car park.
He said that the time you need to worry is when you get into the car - and have forgotten how to drive it.

JackyB Mon 17-Feb-20 09:43:47

Keep your mind active with crosswords or word/number games (there are plenty in the papers, including freebies and the Radio Times.)

Practise concentration exercises - saying a times table or the alphabet backwards, learn a poem off by heart.

If you can still manage those, you should be OK for a while. You were probably just trying to think of too mamy things at once.

Oopsadaisy3 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:45:28

In my limited experience the Dementia sufferer rarely realises that they have said the wrong words, they just carry on . The fact that you know as soon as you say it that’s it’s the wrong thing probably means ( as others have said) that you are distracted.
Lists, lists and more lists are the key for me. Although I still wake up and wonder what day it is, and until I look at the calendar hanging by the kettle I never know the date.
Ageing isn’t for sissies!

Oopsadaisy3 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:48:49

Sorry pressed post too early. We knew there was a problem with MIL when she held up her teapot and asked us what it was.

DanniRae Mon 17-Feb-20 09:52:28

I did go to the doctors because certain things had happened to me and I felt it might be the start of dementia. She checked me out and said it's unlikely to be dementia if the patient comes in themselves - it's usually the patient's family who report their worries about the patient.

harrigran Mon 17-Feb-20 09:54:47

I have memory lapses, usually about names of things, so during conversations I often use substitute names. If I am in the kitchen DH can be instructed to put a dirty dish in the microwave and a quiche in the washing machine.
It used to bother me but as I know I am doing it I reckoned it can't be too serious.

Theoddbird Mon 17-Feb-20 10:33:25

I count my marbles into a bag every night. I am left with the most colourful ones....eminently suitable for a lady my age (68). Don't worry...It is normal grin

JacquiG Mon 17-Feb-20 10:37:47

Are you getting enough quality sleep? Not doing so floors me for the rest of the day. You might find mindfulness/meditation good for reducing anxiety too.

Some herbal teas might be useful, such as Valerian and calming teas?

Otherwise, I think everybody gets like this from time to time.

jaylucy Mon 17-Feb-20 10:39:00

I think that with your MiL's diagnosis , you have a lot on your mind and yes, anxiety stops your brain from working properly (whatever that is) as it's so busy thinking about something else!
I have certainly found that since going through menopause, my concentration and remembering things has certainly dropped - something my ex line manager used to her advantage accusing me of doing things that I know I hadn't done! I find that if I go back in time and start at the beginning, I can usually plot out step by step what I have done.
Take a breather, go for a walk, have a tea or coffee break, read the paper. You'll give yourself a chance to rewind and feel better for it.

blueskies Mon 17-Feb-20 10:39:31

Are you taking medication? I have been given six different types for blood pressure and have had side effects with all--muddled thinking balance etc. I now take nil! I am back to normal although often forget where I have left my specs. However I am starting a course of mindfulness which I hope will bring down my blood pressure..

henetha Mon 17-Feb-20 10:41:45

I think we all do stuff like that, don't we? I hope so, or else I'm losing the plot too! I often walk into the wrong room, for instance, and have no idea why I'm there. And quite often cannot think of a name or a word. I'm hoping this is normal at my age.
It's a good idea to try some mindfullness etc, as suggested above.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 17-Feb-20 10:42:49

Yes all the time. Driving to my daughters , which I do once a week, along country lanes I suddenly panic and think where the hell am I. Am I at point A or am now approaching point B. I have even forgot to take a turning and just drove straight on. Its lack of concentration.

I also muddle up the time especially now with the lighter nights. So try not to worry and just go with the flow.

Moggycuddler Mon 17-Feb-20 10:44:52

I am 63 and I have often worried about episodes of forgetfulness and silly things I' ve done or said, specially since my mother had dementia. My husband gets annoyed sometimes because I ask him something and he' ll say that he only just told me. My sense of direction seems to have got worse and I sometimes can't remember the names of very famous actors and authors, for example, even though I know their faces very well. I am sure it's just lack of concentration and distraction though, really. Always something going on in my head. I have recently told myself to make the effort to really listen when people are talking to me so that it doesn't just go in one ear and out of the other. And to concentrate more on what I am doing and take things in.

polnan Mon 17-Feb-20 10:45:44

oh gosh, I can`t even list the things I do "stupid" but then talking to people, a lot younger than me, 20`s, 30`s , 40`s and 50`s.... all do funny things...

I have come to the conclusion that it is sort of to do with technology,, there is so much "stuff" whizzing round the atmosphere, think of radio stuff.. when radios (wirelesses) were first mooted.. electricity... now all this technology..

where do you think all these signals go! and they must hit our brains..... come one.. tell me I am nuts even thinking this... but will take a lot to convince me otherwise..

where`s my glasses now? I just had them on my head.. oh gosh what they doing out there!! cups of tea...

and on and on and on.

Jue1 Mon 17-Feb-20 10:48:08

Based on this incident I am up the creek with you.
My thing is names, seriously bad. I can remember lots of stuff but I must say 20 times a day “I can’t remember their name but you know who I mean”.
Relax and join us 60 somethings in our wonderful but often confused world..
Now, what was your name again? 😀

Pollyj Mon 17-Feb-20 10:54:58


geera Mon 17-Feb-20 10:56:21

When my MIL started being 'forgetful', I asked her what position she slept in at night. She said "on my side". I told her this was not good as her marbles were falling out of her ears! At that point she wasn't very mad, and we had a good laugh about it.