Dementia: Talking Therapies Needed

I have decided to change my plans on my second Blog of the day.   Rather than dealing with Christmas I need to focus on an issue that Maureen has to deal with day after day: low mood and grief.  She woke up this morning, once again, confused and grief stricken; even depressed.   Her thoughts had taken her into negative territory and by the time I had tea beside her in bed her mood was definitely low.

Some time ago I mentioned that the Memory Service had offered to keep her on their books if she admitted to low mood.  A Care Co-ordinator said she could understand if her mood was low, and if it was they could help her.  As the only reason they could keep Maureen on their books was to monitor medication, I think it is fairly safe to say that antidepressants were around the corner.  I am bemused here because Irving Kirsch was only across the Humber Bridge at Hull University when he proved that antidepressants were no better than a sugar coated pill for mild to moderate depression.  He used Freedom of Information to prove that drug companies had not disclosed details of tests that did not cast their medication in a positive light.

When you consider what Maureen has been through lately why would you prescribe tablets that are likely to give her side effects?   Her own G P is reluctant to prescribe medication unless it is essential because he knows that her body does not react well to tablets.  Why on earth is talking therapy not part of NICE Guidelines when someone is diagnosed with dementia?  Once again I’m back one of my hobby horse that we need to move dementia out of Mental Health: it is not an affective disorder it is brain injury.  This might just lead to an acceptance that talking about the potential of the condition to lower your mood might be helpful.  Wasting time and money on tablets that don’t work is crazy: talking therapies are needed!

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