Remember the “This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs” demonstration used by D.A.R.E. and other programs working to prevent kids from using drugs and alcohol?
How funny to show a cracked egg getting fried, but there is a lot of truth to it.
Alcohol stops the brain from using oxygen and glucose (sugar) correctly, so lots of brain cells die when you drink. Alcohol-induced dementia happens when you drink to the point of many killed brain cells over a pretty long amount of time.
How do you deal with alcoholic dementia when someone you love is showing signs of it, or has been diagnosed with it?
It can be difficult. Intellectual ability and memory deteriorate to a scary point, and the orientation to the world and ability to problem solve are out the window.
How do you cope, especially when you are the primary caregiver? Can you remove yourself from the alcoholic’s life? How can you live your life without guilt and continuous worry for the person who has drank to the point of dementia?
One thing you can do to deal with someone’s alcoholic dementia is try going to Al-Anon meetings. Just like Alcoholics Anonymous is a gathering of people who identify as alcoholics, Al-Anon is a gathering of people who identify as loved ones of alcoholics. Peer support can greatly help you cope. You can share your story, listen to other experiences, and give and receive advice.
You can also seek individual therapy. The effects your loved one’s alcoholic dementia can have on you emotionally needs to be monitored. Your own mental health is just as important as anyone elses.
Do you have at least one person you can talk to at this point? To make it through this process of trying to care for someone with alcoholic dementia, you need an outlet and confidant. Watch a video on the benefits of residential alcohol treatment: