is dementia a mental health problem?

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is dementia a mental health problem?

Post by assistant » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:07 am

I'm getting confused, can dementia be classified as a mental health problem? Thanks in advance for your help with my confusion!

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Post by steve79 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:45 am

I would say so definately - as it affects cognition. I would consider it as a mental health problem with biological implications e.g. brain abnormalities causing every aspect of life to be negatively affected.

steve :)

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Post by Enigma » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:03 am

It is a physiological one fundamentally, but as the previous person said, it can cause a multitude of mental health problems ranging from anxiety, depression, personality changes due to cognitive changes.

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Post by BlueCat » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:38 pm

I would disagree and say it isn't! It is an organic disorder which has implications for mental health. Its a few years ago for me, but when I was in older adults I am sure that they even differentiated services and wards along the lines of "functional" and "organic" problems?

If it is in the context of applying for a job that asks for "experience of working within the field of mental health" then I would say yes, it can be "mental health" for the purposes of that criteria. However, in another sense, I would say that it isn't.

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Post by vars » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:51 pm

I would say no

As above, when I worked in older adults the wards were functional (mental health) and organic (Dementia)

It can lead to mental health problems but isnt one in itself

Slightly like the discussion on whether brain injury is a mental health problem

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Post by Syd » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:53 pm

As far as I know dementia is a term used to describe various brain disorders that have in common a loss of brain function, most notably memory (although with frontal lobe dementia memory problems come alot later), that is usually progressive.

Each person is unique and will experience dementia in their own way. Common problems can include depression, anxiety, avoidance, denial, and loss of social identity. From experience working in an early assessment unit there are a number of psychosocial interventions that can be offered, aswell as medication, which aim to maintain an individual's functional ability for as long as possible and to reduce excess disability.

Not sure if that helps with regards the question

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Post by Kentucky_Freud_Chicken » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:10 pm

Come now, why are intelligent psychologists arguing about 'mental illness' in the first place? There's no such thing as any fule no.

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Post by assistant » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:54 am

Kentucky_Freud_Chicken wrote:Come now, why are intelligent psychologists arguing about 'mental illness' in the first place? There's no such thing as any fule no.
Hey that sounds like an interesting debate too! I'm glad it is a debatable topic, wasn't sure if I was just being stupid. My question arose from someone asking me the other day and I didn't know what to say, i know some people say that the disctinction between organic and funtional is to divide between categories of "mental health" problems but I wasn't sure if it was right to call dementia a mental health problem.

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