Dementia is not a disease in itself, unlike other determined illnesses such as cancer, hypertension or polio. Simply put, it is a string of symptoms caused by a number of disorders that affect the brain. People with dementia have severe intellectual impairment which leads to a number of problems such as lack of emotional control, memory failure and personality disorders. If you want to know if you have dementia, the following are some of its symptoms. It's important to note, however, that each person is different from another, and one may experience few or all of these symptoms at once.
Memory Loss. Because the brain is the primary organ affected by dementia, the memory capabilities of the brain are impaired. If you are suffering from dementia, your memory- especially short-term memory- may degrade over time, and you may find it hard to remember a lot of particular details. People with dementia not only forget facts but the context in which these facts occurred as well.
Language problems. A normal person may often forget certain words or terms but eventually find the right words to say, while a person with dementia finds it hard to articulate his thoughts and would often substitute it with unusual words. This makes his speech and writing very hard to understand for the normal person.
Disorientation to time and place. People with dementia have an impaired sense of time and place, thus they would often get lost and find it difficult to remember everyday roads and streets. It is also possible that people with dementia may confuse night and day.
Poor judgment. Our brain is the organ responsible in aiding us in decision-making, so a person with dementia may have faulty logic and do things that may not seem normal to other people. For example, he may jump into a freezing lake even if he is aware that he may get hypothermia from doing so.
Memory lapses. If you think you have dementia, then try and see if you tend to quickly forget or misplace things. Dementia is linked with short-term memory lapses which make a person forget an event that just happened.
Changes in mood and behavior. Our brain also houses the mechanisms that determine our specific mood and behavior. A person with dementia would often experience sudden changes in moods. For example, if he has been a jolly person all his life, he may be grumpy or resentful when stricken with dementia.
Neglect of hygiene and personal appearance. A person with dementia would rather go out without fixing his hair or opt not to take a bath at all. Dementia can erase a person's regard for his well-being and make him refuse to take care of himself.
If you have any or all of these symptoms, it is best to consult with your doctor right away so that further complications can be prevented. Again, recognize that dementia is not a disease in itself and that symptoms vary from person to person, so advice from a medical expert would be the wisest thing to obtain.