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Question
Posted by: sally | 2008/06/18

poor memory with gaps

My 60 year old husband is a heavy drinker. I would go so far as to say he is an alcoholic although he doesn't believe he has a problem. Recently his failing short-term memory is becoming quite remarkable. He also voluntarly or involuntarily, blocks out whole segments of interactions/conversations.He is aggressively defensive and quick-tempered. He hates to be questioned about anything at all that concerns him, even if the subject of the question is not at all sensitive. This is naturally causing upsets in the entire extended family and I suspect at work as well. Is this alcohol-related, is it Alzheimer's, or does he have some sort of personality disorder? Is it reversible? More importantly, how can I trick him into being diagnosed when he thinks there is nothing wrong with him, only with everyone else?

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Our expert says:
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Most alcoholics dont believe that they have a problems, and their spouse generalyl experiences the problems. Some of that over-sensitivity can be that he partly recognizes that he is becoming incapable of dealing with such memory problems, and he grows anxious and aggressive then he fears it will become obvious and embarrassing --- not the topic, but his deficits being revealed. Alcohol is realyl bad for brains, alzheimers can also happen, or even both. And a personality disorder, which is common, may become more troublesome when someone either starts a dementia / alzheimers, or due to alcoholic brain damage. If he doesnt think anything is wrong with him in the way you do --- is there anything he DOES think is wrong, which he could be persuaded to see a doc about, with the doc being tpped off in advance to look into these real problems ?

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