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Suffering from depression, anxiety and memory problem. Chances of getting alzheimer ?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1851 Questions
Good afternoon Doctor,

I’m writing to you today in desperation as I clearly need help but I have no idea whom to seek it to. I will try to be as detailed as possible and if you would be so kind to reply to all my questions I’m about to post on here.

I’m 28 years old male.

I have always been a generally paranoid person, what I mean by that I have always been paranoid that I’m going to catch something. If I cut my finger for example, I would get terrified It would get infected with Flesh-eating Bacteria for example. If I’m in a relationship I would have trust issues and only insist on safe sex so I don’t catch STDS and HIV. That’s just a general example of my paranoia.

Two months ago, I attended a friends wedding, and through the bride’s speech, I found out her father passed away from an early age "57" from Alzheimer Disease. This furthered my paranoia and anxiety and I started researching the internet to a point you could say I’m an expert now on all the symptoms of this horrible disease.

I didn’t really think much of this paranoia but as I’m getting older I noticed it has begun to interfere with my daily life little by little, and I believe I have formed some sort of depression now, always overthinking, can't focus, memory problems, anxiety, you name it.

I have noticed for a while now that my memory has been not so good. I will list examples for you from what I have noticed:

1) I am a smoker and every time I tend to lose my lighter. It’s not in any “odd” place but I would always look for it and I would find it shortly after. Sometimes its on a table, sometimes its in a different place like my bedroom or my pocket. This lighter issue has been going on for few years and it always wants to hide in a different place.

2) I noticed sometimes I get lost when someone is talking to me so I would kindly ask them to repeat themselves. I find that sometimes my mind wonders so I have to ask them to repeat what they said. It’s like I can’t focus properly. But like I said, It’s only sometimes.

3) About a week ago one of my friends was asking me if I wanted to invite my friend XXXXXXX to his Christmas party. I met XXXXXXX about 3 months ago and I asked my friend XXXXXXX who XXXXXXX was and I had no clue to who he was until XXXXXXX started describing him. I immediately felt dumb and angry.

4) Awhile ago, as I was going to buy a coffee from a shop, the drink name is “ICE-CAP”. I completely blanked and asked the cashier to wait and I pretended I was trying to choose an order. This only happened once.

5) This is the scariest example I have for you, this started about 2 years ago, I was driving my car and I was day dreaming as usual and I heard this phrase on the radio, I immediately got frustrated because I couldn’t remember where I heard that phrase from. It was like I couldn’t move on with my day until I remembered which movie/TV/or person said it. Ever since that incident, whenever I hear something That I thought I heard in the past I would dig XXXXXXX in my memory to remember where I heard it from. If I’m unable to retrieve this memory whether it happened a year ago, 5 years or longer I would get really frustrated and I have a hard time pretending that it’s not getting to me. It’s almost like I’m not happy until I remember. Thoughts doctor?

I started to think what could be causing my lack of focus and my “slight” memory problem. I haven’t spoken to my doctor about it because I’m not comfortable on talking about all of this yet so I did my own research.

My bets are on: B-12 Deficiency or Depression or ADD or Alzheimer.

I plan on going to the doctor to rule out B-12 Deficiency and maybe get a referral to a digestive system specialist as I have a history of diarrhea, about 2-3 times a day for many years "loose stool, never any blood". This could be a possibility for my lack of focus and memory.

As for the other “bets” im talking about “Depression or ADD or Alzheimer“, could you provide me with your insight regarding those?

Is it possible for me to get Alzheimer as such a young age? I spoke to my parents about it and they said that our family history no one has got this horrible disease so we do not have that defective gene in our body to worry about early-onset. So apparently I should be safe of early-onset but no one is safe from late-onset as anyone can get it. Could you clarify that?

I would really greatly appreciate it if you could guide me and tell me where to go and who to talk to. I will be a very happy man if I do have ADD, better than Alzheimer at 28 :(

Posted Fri, 7 Dec 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 7 hours later
Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

I would like to consider multiple possibilities in following hierarchy:
•     Anxiety disorder: need to be rule out by detailed interview by psychiatrist
•     Vitamin deficiency: Get serum B12 level. Start multi vitamins as they are easily available.
•     Side effect of substance use
•     Thyroid related problem: get thyroid hormonal (t3/t4/tsh) assay done

I would not like to consider Alzheimer due to your young age and ability to write such a nice description of problem. ADD is also least likely as your problem is only few months old and your lots of symptoms can be explained by anxiety and depression.

From your description we should strongly suspect presence of anxiety disorder. Other symptoms of anxiety which may or may not be present in your case: nervousness, restlessness, mild irritability, excessive worry regarding own health, tremor, muscle spasm, heaviness in body, easy fatigability, headache, sleep disturbance, palpitation and dry mouth. In anxiety memory become poor due to reduction in attention and concentration. Symptom as you describe ( It was like I couldn’t move on with my day until I remembered which movie/TV/or person said it) is related to Vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid hormone imbalance also lead to anxiety and depression, so it is better to check them.

Anxiety and depression occur due to neurotransmitters imbalance in brain most commonly involving serotonin neurotransmitter. It is not clear if you received any treatment in past, but believe me people life changes after treatment.

In drug treatment two types of medicine used. For immediate relief of anxiety benzodiazepines group of medicines are used and for long term relief most commonly SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are used. SSRI takes around 3-4 weeks to show its effect. Non drug treatment like cognitive behaviour therapy (form of psychotherapy) also takes weeks to show its effect.

All these process is complex. I have just simplified it to make you understand it. So, first step in your treatment is to XXXXXXX psychiatrist.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from depression, anxiety and memory problem. Chances of getting alzheimer ? 6 hours later
Thank you very much doctor,

I feel like I'm starting to get somewhere.

I would definitely do want to speak to a psychiatrist, will I have to go to my doctor to get a referral?

Could you also explain to me why some people, like myself, will get lost listening to conversation sometimes? I was around friends in a happy place, with no distractions at the time.

Also just this morning, I forgot if I shampooed my hair or not in the shower, this has happened before but it's nothing new. If I would guess, 2-4 years. I'm I just not focusing enough? I do tend to think a lot in the shower as I find it private and peaceful. Sometimes it is intentional, sometimes it's not, thinking in the shower that is.


Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 4 hours later
Hello again,
Thanks for follow up.

Yes, you can request referral from due to:
-Poor attention and concentration even in quit surrounding.
-Vitamin deficiency.

Please accept my answer in case there are no further queries and recommend our services to your friends too if you have found it helpful.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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