Old guy asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

Oleo - Loss of Executive Function, Cognitive Disorder, Delirium?

Although, my observation of my wife behavior suggests a loss in her ability to plan, organize, sequence, or deal with abstract information I have not seen any self care issues. Unless her hair, which I would just marked up as normal female compulsive behavior, except for the damage and the repetitive nature of her colorings and bleaching. Further she has shown a symptom of Aphasia. It may have remained hidden from me for 13 years because I chalked it up to a lack of education but there has been no advancement in her language and reading skills for 13 years. So, my question to you sir is this; based on my first two questions can a person with this history begin to cause a cognitive dysfunctional problem to themselves?

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  • Alex62
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I read your questions and will throw out some info even though I'm not Oleo.

    Bipolar is a progressive disease that causes loss of grey and white brain matter. It's not clear exactly what is going on but neurotransmitters, GABA, chloride channels and other neurological systems are implicated. Executive functioning can be hit hard if the illness is left untreated and kindles (gets worse). Most of the cognitive impairment is specific to an episode. Manage the illness, nearly if not all executive brain function returns. Bipolar is about affect which includes cognition, mood, behavior and so forth. It is not just emotional.

    The average time to find the right meds is 1-2 years. It is trial and error based on your psychiatrist's experience and the ability of the person to explain what they are experiencing. Explaining can be very difficult because insight can be hindered and if it's something one has lived with for years, it's difficult to recall anything different. It can be slow and insideously creep up on you. There is every possibility that your wife has been self-medicating for years - drinking, doping to quiet the noise in her head, excess energy in her veins, and dispair in her heart.

    Medication often has side effects. Some are minor given the non-medicated option - loss of hair, some nausea, weight gain, etc. Not great, but not life significant. Other effects can be debilitating. One of those is severe cognitive dulling or impairment. For example, I have literally been turned into a box of rocks for brains by one combo. Lamictal often is side effect free, but I ran into a lot of cognitive dulling over 200mg. These are unacceptable side effects. Seroquel can be great for some and extremely sedating for others. Living life as a zombie is another unacceptable side effect.

    If your wife is drinking on these meds, she's screwing herself and precluding the medication from doing it's job. It is impossible to tell if the cocktail is right, just needs dose changes, or is all wrong. Alcohol severely messes with the head while on head meds.

    My advise is to find a psychiatrist well versed in comorbid substance abuse who will get your wife into a detox center with a long enough stay for the right medication to show some positive gains (i.e. meaningful incentive to stay sober).

    Since you say her mood isn't all over the map, I'd also bet that she's dealing with some flavor of mixed state that in itself scrambles brains - racing thoughts, impaired judgment, little memory, etc, while feeling low enough to not be wildly energized. Bipolar Type II also is my guess.

    If she is bipolar, no she did not think herself into this place. A disease chomped on her brain and she is doing the best she can to survive. There also is a fair chance that she doesn't have a personality disorder (borderline is one). Until her BP is managed, no one can really ascertain as much.

    Get some therapy for yourself, too. What you are living through is very difficult on you and your kids very much need you to keep it together.

    A good site for info on psych meds is http://www.crazymeds.us Writes up are in English with links to manufacturer Prescriber Info sheets, med research, etc. There is a talk board to ask about meds. It is not a self-help site. Meds only. Another site to ask about what your wife is dealing with is http://www.crazyboards.org That one is a self-help place. There are other self-help sites, but CrazyMeds is by far the best one I've found on meds.

    ~bipolar, well over a year before finding the right meds and that was w/o any substance use. And yes, I did return from scrambled brains to a reasonably high functioning life.

    Btw...

    "a loss in her ability to plan, organize, sequence, or deal with abstract information"

    That is a good description of hypomania and/or mixed state hypomania. Same deal with the hair. Same deal with aphasia (which also can be a med side effect).

    Of course, there is the compounding overlap of alcoholism. Until the drinking stops, it's impossible to say where one ends and the other begins.

  • cognitive dysfunctional, repetitive nature, Aphasia. i don't know what the question means.

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