Dementia – what is really going on?

By Samantha England, Health and Social Care Assessor, Norfolk, UK 

Having worked with many dementia patients in the past, and especially whilst working in a secure unit specializing with aggressive and violent dementia patients, I naturally began to look deeper into the causes of this distressing illness.

Often at the hospital where I worked we saw the same scenarios – a person who once had a respectable work and family life ending up living many of their days in a padded cell, because of the danger they presented to themselves and others.

On many occasions I was shocked to see both elderly men and ladies possess a strength that required at least four adults to restrain them, in order to keep themselves and others safe. The behaviour I have witnessed over the years has at times been shockingly aggressive and I have asked myself:

What on earth takes over these once fully functioning, aware human beings?

What possesses these people to act in such ways?

I have wondered if there is more at play here than we currently acknowledge.

Science has shown that everything is energy, and Serge Benhayon has expanded on this by saying: “Everything is energy, and therefore everything is because of energy.” Could it be that there is more than one form of energy and that these energies can act through us? And that it is our choice as to what kind of energy we will allow to run us?

So could it be possible that when we choose to not to be aware and fully present with ourselves, that we are allowing another form of energy to run us? The phrases, “What’s got into you?” and “They are not themselves,” come to mind as examples of everyday language that perhaps portray this reality of another energy running us.

As I write now statistics are not good. The Global Voice of dementia states: “As of 2013, there were an estimated 44.4 million people with dementia worldwide. This number will increase to an estimated 75.6 million in 2030, and 135.5 million in 2050. Much of the increase will be in developing countries.”

This is pretty terrifying and causes an unbelievably immense strain on our health care systems.

There is talk of this cure and that cure and every day we are told something different about the causes of dementia, from the kitchen frying pan to genetics.

Personally I feel there is more to it than this; that we need to look at how we are living every day and how this impacts our physical and mental function.

It seems to me that every unloving choice, if not dealt with, will eventually stack up against us. In fact every time we eat something our bodies do not truly want, use a stimulant, or say yes when we mean no, all these choices add up. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of ways we can numb ourselves to not feel the pain of the way we are living, a way that is not true for us, whether it is creating drama or drinking alcohol, or checking out in front of a TV or computer screen.

These behaviors in their many, many different forms all send messages to the body saying, “I do not want to be here.” In fact every time we “lose” ourselves in something or to something, we are actually saying no to life. The body registers everything that happens and repetition of any behavior along with avoidance of what is true starts to erode our cognitive function.

Could it be that our choice to be unaware of what is truly going on in our own lives and bodies builds up until it impacts our mental capacity?

Could it be that, for some of us, we have become so far removed from our real truth that we are now lost in a lie?

As my awareness of this illness grows, I know I have a responsibility for myself, my family and society to stay present and connected with myself and those around me, and to deal with my issues as and when they come up. For me this means embracing life and not giving up on myself when things feel tough and stressful, it means looking at the devices and distractions I use to cover up and numb out what is really going on, and lovingly ­– without criticism – bring honesty to the real reason for the need behind distraction.

It is also important to lovingly assess where we are at in terms of unhealthy habitual behaviour. If we are unable to live without substances such as alcohol, caffeine and sugar, are we saying that it is ok to check out of or abuse our bodies?

At this time in history as dementia gets more and more prevalent, the future for this disease looks very bleak and overwhelming. We all need to take responsibility and look at how we are living, we need to get very personal and honest and ask, “What is it that I cover up each day? What do I not want to feel? What habits and behaviors do I repeatedly use that get further ingrained and take me away from the reality of what I truly see?”

Years of not being true to oneself eventually take their toll on both the mind and body.

By staying lovingly present with ourselves and dealing with our stuff as it comes up, we are able to see life as it is, even if at first this is uncomfortable.

When we choose to override our own feelings and use methods of numbing, we are encouraging a reality that is not true.

Although the behavior of the dementia patients I have worked with over the years can be very distressing, I have a strong knowing that at their very essence they are still love and will always be that love.

No matter what they present to the outside world, their Soul remains pure and magnificent. It is only through a myriad of unloving choices and a lack of presence in the body that dementia is allowed to take its toll.

Unfortunately we live in a culture that condones lack of responsibility. If we want to see the dementia rates go down, then a whole new level of responsibility needs to be adopted, both our personal responsibility for ourselves, and our collective responsibility for society as a whole.

 

References

http://www.alz.co.uk/research/statistics

Read more:

1) Dementia – is it truly a mystery? 

2) Checking out – are we sowing the seeds of our own dementia? 

 

918 thoughts on “Dementia – what is really going on?

  1. What you have expressed here Samantha is profound and powerful; a new level of responsibility, on all levels, is certainly required;
    “Unfortunately we live in a culture that condones lack of responsibility. If we want to see the dementia rates go down, then a whole new level of responsibility needs to be adopted, both our personal responsibility for ourselves, and our collective responsibility for society as a whole.”

  2. “What possesses these people to act in such ways?” When we check-out we leave an empty space and as there is no such thing as a vacuum, there is always energy, that space can be filled, or possessed, with a harmful energy.

  3. It’s great to see people writing and giving us another perspective on an illness like this. As is highlighted the increases or even the levels now are surely a warning for us. I guess it comes down to the old thing of if it’s not hitting us directly, right between the eyes at times then we don’t open up to what’s going on. We live our lives looking after ourselves which you think would be great but it’s how we go about this. It’s about the quality and how we isolate ourselves which then allows us to all see each other as being seperate. It these type of numbers are being shown then it will effect us all, it’s just you won’t see it until it’s too late. More of these blogs please to wake us all up and show us where we need to support. We are all in need of a shake up, no matter where you stand.

    1. Indeed Ray, this other view on illness and disease needs to be presented to the world more frequently, however shocking it may be. Maybe we all need the truth right in our face before we are willing to accept that something is is really wrong in the societies we live in.

  4. An amazingly insightful sharing on the truths about dementia from your honest experiences and awarenesses. “It is only through a myriad of unloving choices and a lack of presence in the body that dementia is allowed to take its toll.” This is very empowering as it shows it is our loving choices and presence that is the prevention and cure all in one.

  5. It is truly sad to see people to completely retract from their bodies by choice and leave it to be played with by other energies. If we do not allow ourselves to truly see what is happening on an energetic level we will never find the ‘cure’ as it can only be prevented by another way of living, a way of living in which we commit to life in full and simply deal with whatever is being presented to us, how ugly or beautiful this may be, in our return to the way of being we innately all know so well and are from.

  6. When I was caring for my mom when she was diagnosed with dementia it seemed to me that she had a selective memory for things. It was like she only remembered what she wanted to remember.

    This was many years ago, and my mom has since passed, but with my own work with Universal Medicine, and the idea that everything that happens to us is because of choices, it makes sense to me that my mom was choosing what she wanted to remember.

    Is dementia something that the person has chosen? If this is true it brings up a level of self-responsibility that is scary.

    I feel that taking true responsibility for our own lives is the first step in making a real difference in this world.

  7. That’s it Samantha…. every unloving choice stacks up over the years, building to one disease or another. We can take responsibility and clear that ourselves, or else the body is going to reach its limit and will feed that back in one way or another (through its choice of disease).

  8. Facing a parent with Dementia is a frightening task in many ways. I agree that the onus needs to be for each of us to be responsible for wanting to escape life, to avoid things we don’t want to feel, and to “deal with our stuff” as you say. The challenge for many is that there is no known way to deal with their stuff. And this is where The Way of the Livingness and Serge Benhayon come in.

  9. The predicted rates of dementia in future decades are a serious world health concern. Looking around society, it is not just the elderly with dementia who are physically there but not actually present in their bodies. Checking out in front of the computer, TV, video games, or on our mobiles has become an everyday occurrence from young ages. One only has to look in their eyes after they have had sometime in front of the screen, and the eyes reveal a person who is not fully there. This is of great concern for our future health.

    1. Well said Fiona and it is a fact that as well as rates of dementia rising exponentially, it is hitting more and more younger people reflecting the trend in all of society to check out of life and not be present in their own lives preferring to become lost in a screen of some sort instead.

  10. Thank you Samantha for this informative blog on Dementia. I would agree that the fact that we ignore what our body is telling us would have a major influence on the fact that we could get dementia. Also not being connected to our bodies at all times and losing ourselves in books, TV and general zoning out would all have a great influence. By all supporting each other in this by reminding ourselves of the need to be fully conscious with ourselves at all times may be the answer, as you say.

  11. Some great questions to deeply consider here Samantha. It makes sense that with our body registering every choice we make that either confirms or goes against the truth of how we are truly meant to live, our body starts to check out from us giving up on life.

  12. This is a great question to ask, “what is really going on?” when this is the statistics, “”As of 2013, there were an estimated 44.4 million people with dementia worldwide. This number will increase to an estimated 75.6 million in 2030, and 135.5 million in 2050. Much of the increase will be in developing countries.”” This is happening in our developed world as well. We need to look further forward and I would expect that number to rise even more if we don’t take more care in what these illnesses mean. This is a possibility and to be honest it makes more sense then anything else I’ve seen http://www.unimedliving.com/living-medicine/medical-conditions/alzheimer-s-dementia-do-we-have-a-part-to-play.html We need to keep giving these type of illnesses airtime, not looking for a cure to something that has already happened but bring it back to prevention.

  13. Brilliant article Samantha. You hint at the possibility that dementia is related to possession of the physical body by another spirit and I feel that this is something that we should be more open to considering. Could it be that by not being present in our own bodies and giving up on life we create an opening for an energy to walk in and take advantage of the vacancy we have thus created? This might explain lucid moments. We often don’t even recognise our loved one except for brief “lucid” moments when they come back. I have heard that many psychologists and psychiatrists privately believe that possession is underlying dementia as well as many other mental illnesses but they are perhaps unable to say so publicly for fear of ridicule from their peers.

  14. Dementia is a sign of how much we register with our bodies and of how much that which we feel dishonours us. It is also a deep reaction to it. Such reaction of virtual rejection of that which we feel is the source of our issues (the outside world) makes us not wanting to be here. So, withdraw and start living off our own world and with our own phantoms.

  15. “What is it that I cover up each day? What do I not want to feel? What habits and behaviors do I repeatedly use that get further ingrained and take me away from the reality of what I truly see?” Great questions Samantha and ones that can really help us see what we are doing to ourselves. The choice is always there to change things and to come back to the present moment and stay with what is happening in the present moment. Becoming centred in ourselves and steady in the present changes everything. Last night I was hurriedly writing out an invoice when a friend remarked that it was difficult to read and he was struggling to make sense of it. I stopped and allowed myself to deepen my connection to myself, becoming centred and started again. He said the writing was different. I repeated the deepening of my centredness and stillness and wrote for a third time. This time there was a very marked difference and I could feel what a different quality I had left on the page. How could I have gone so far from my stillness? I realised I was doubting the exchanges I had made. I had just sold some old furniture and bits and pieces to someone and in writing out the invoice because I was doubting my previous actions I was no longer fully with myself and it was showing up in my writing. I did not want to feel this doubting energy that felt undermining but by ignoring it my natural movements had changed and my handwriting had become a scrawl, hardly respectful of myself or anyone else. I could see how often I allowed this kind of carelessness. I am very thankful to my friend for pointing this out to me and for supporting me in my growing awareness that can keep me on a path of harmonious activity including harmonious written exchanges.

  16. Great questions Samantha and ones that we really need to address if we are to halt the alarming rise in dementia cases around the world. Responsibility starts with ourselves and being willing to look at the ways we distract ourselves from being fully present with our lives. Only when we are willing to look at the ways we have found to check out will we have a chance to arrest patterns of behaviour that are self-destructive and can eventually lead to dementia.

  17. ‘Unfortunately we live in a culture that condones lack of responsibility.’ Absolutely and whilst we need to have a safety net for those who are unable to care for themselves our welfare system seems to have promoted a expectation of entitlement which allows people to abdicate responsibility for how they are choosing to live. We cannot expect our health systems to continue rescuing us from the consequences of our self-destructive choices whether it be from abusing our bodies with alcohol/drugs or the increasing prevalence of diabetes because of dietary choices. This can change and it starts with us taking personal responsibility for all our choices, no perfection needed just a willingness to be open to seeing what is really there to see and not being deflected when others question our choices.

  18. I do love how we are asking the questions about what is going on, when we are such an educated advanced race, yet we have dementia clouding our elderly senior years, at a time when they most need and deserve to be at peace within themselves. It smacks of something being very wrong in how they have lived up until that point…..we must keep asking what is behind this screamingly sad state of affairs- 44.4 million cases of dementia worldwide is no accident. We cant be blind and keep assuming it’s inevitable or even worse- normal.

  19. Great blog Samantha and some fundamental questions, when we allow ourself to be distracted from life and check out, there has to be some form of consequence and our health is compromised simply by our lack of loving choices.

  20. Whenever I choose to continually avoid taking responsibility for my choices, or something is rising to the surface that I avoid feeling, my mental state becomes very unstable. Whenever I am connected to my feelings is when I feel clarity, steady and loving in my thoughts. Our relationship with how we care for our bodies is so interlinked with a healthy mind!

  21. I have just started to work with people with dementia in a nursing home and the clarity and authority in your writing inspires me once more to not focus on their behaviour but to feel their essence underneath; ‘No matter what they present to the outside world, their Soul remains pure and magnificent. It is only through a myriad of unloving choices and a lack of presence in the body that dementia is allowed to take its toll.

    1. The challenge of the disease called dementia is to realise that by the time it has taken hold on someone years and years of life choices have culminated in this illness. So now, the person that they are, is covered by the illness and all that goes with it, whether that be memory loss, or violence. Nevertheless the person that they are is not the illness, and the path for their family, friends and carers now is to not see them as the disease, for underneath the illness they still are who they are, but at the same time support them very practically to manage and live their remaining years with the behaviour of that illness in everyday life.

  22. The energetic causes of illness and disease are often very simple, if only we wanted to truly see. For instance with dementia, it makes sense if we ‘check out’ and are not with ourselves this results in a disease where we are not there and other energies can come in. Looking at how we are living and dealing with our hurts or issues with the world and being in it is not something that is always easy to do but it is simple and then the answers to many diseases are there, if we only want to take this responsibility.

  23. I like how this article brings us to reponsibility. Self responsibility lived in full is living with a responsibility that is aware that how you live affects all. Let us not by pass this fact and begin now to assess our lives, how we live them and what they are truly bringing to humanity.

  24. There is no getting a way from the fact that by the time we are old every pattern and ingrained behaviour is registered clearly for all to see and reflects back via our bodies. So it makes sense that if we have had a life of checking out and not being fully committed to life and give up on ourselves and the life we have, then dementia could be on the cards for us, no different than any illness in old age.

  25. Understanding the effect of energies in our body and their impact on our health and wellbeing or our conditions and ill-being will bring an understanding of life we lack today and will help us to explain the explainable.

  26. We all have to be honest and accept that there has to be more to illness and disease than meets the eye. That it is far more than just chance, genetics and a few identified lifestyle factors that leads to our diagnoses and accept that every dynamic, every experience, every single detail that we do and feel accumulates and in turn, affects the quality of our health and wellbeing.

  27. When we are distracted from life and continually checking out, our bodies, and in the case of dementia our minds, inevitably suffer the consequences. Dementia is not something that happens overnight. Is it possible therefore that after years of checking out and numbing ourselves to the truth of what is going on around us, and in the world, and with little willingness to play our part in life to the full, that dementia is just the culmination of the seeds we have been sowing all along?

  28. What you have presented in this blog Samantha tells a sad and painful story about dementia and the human condition, however you have also expressed what is possible to find purpose love and connection to our true selves. A beautiful and insightful blog to read, thank you.

  29. Coming back to your blog again Samantha I am reminded that we are responsible for our choices and we live the sum of our choices.

  30. You are not at a moment T1 a perfect functioning human being totally in life and suddenly at T2 a person suffering dementia. T1 has to be a mere image and not a true account of what is really going on. Although if you suffer from dementia, you lose the capacity to answer questions regarding what happened to you, it is clear that they have made choices that landed them there. Although this may sound (falsely so) as a condemnation, in truth is empowering to those that may be undergoing that path to know that their choices make a difference.

    1. Well said. It is never too late to change one’s choices although we could say that once one has full dementia changing those choices may be hard to perhaps even impossible.

  31. Great to start the conversation on what is really going on with the huge increase rates in Dementia, the more we discuss this topic and bring more awareness to it, humanity as a whole can start taking responsibility for the changes that we so desperately need to make, as things can only get worse if we do not.

  32. Every choice matters and it sums to all our lived choices. The way we age, it’s not a random thing, but something we build moment by moment. Knowing and taking responsibility for this, offers to us the opportunity of rectifying the choices that clearly would take us to a disconnected old age.

  33. There is a big problem with our societal belief in us having only one life and therefore we want to extend it as much as possible regardless of the quality. The human body wears out and seventy or eighty years is a good guide but we have extended life to add 20 to 30 years in many cases but the quality of these extra years is very low and diminishing. Many can’t take care of themselves and give up on life which is of course not good. If and when we realise that we keep returning to earth school until we learn what we have to learn to break this cycle we will also realise that the quality we die with is the quality we are born with in our next life. So giving up and checking out of life to the point of dementia is not wise.

  34. What a great call out Samantha, to take responsibility for how we live in each moment, and your reminder that every choice impacts on us is well made and each time we over ride what we feel or in fact reject it, we set ourselves up on the road to a further check-out later, so given this it’s no surprise we have increasing dementia rates. While many of us can easily agree with this, it’s when it comes back to the personal and when you ask where we individually numb that I had a squirm for that’s how we address dementia, we start with us and being real and honest about how we feel as another choice to do otherwise in fact is in the same spectrum of the dementia we do not want to see in our wider societies. We are part of everything and our bodies show all the choices we’ve made.

  35. Those stats on the increase of people living with dementia and how they are very soon about to rise are terrifying. How on earth have we allowed this to happen. I agree completely with what you share here about ways that could prevent this from being the next plague, if we don’t count it as a plague already. What will it take for us to start paying attention to the bigger picture?

  36. “So could it be possible that when we choose to not to be aware and fully present with ourselves, that we are allowing another form of energy to run us? The phrases, “What’s got into you?” and “They are not themselves,” come to mind as examples of everyday language that perhaps portray this reality of another energy running us.” We take it for granted that a natural way of being is to live a distracted and stimulated life – not understanding what may lie in store for us later in life. The statistics are scary indeed. We only have one body this lifetime – why do we spend so much time not wanting to truly inhabit it?

  37. It’s a simple equation… if we choose to be unaware of what is going on in our lives over a sustained period of time, then it becomes harder and harder to focus and our lives and memories start to fray and fragment.

  38. To be aware of an energy running through another that is creating a lot of harm but also at the same time seeing that the energy is not who they are is very beautiful and therefore impossible to take anyone or anything personal. At the end of the day no matter what energy we choose to align, with our divine essence is forever present.

  39. It’s an intense but necessary read. Wow, four people to take on the abnormal strength of an elderly dementia patient, that is scary stuff and feels very indicative of how far someone has drifted away from their true being. I recently watched episode 6 on http://www.sergebenhayon.tv called “Understanding the beingness that constitutes the human being”, it explained a lot to me on how we are not valued or fostered in our beings, and that our being is very aware and multidimensional – we feel and sense many things. Living without the fullness of our true inner selves and without support to communicate all we feel and are aware of is a recipe to want to check out from life. If we do this consistently over life, even in small ways, we can end up with a body that is literally vacant of the being – we don’t want to be here and that could be part of the physical manifestation of what we call “Dementia”.

  40. “When we choose to override our own feelings and use methods of numbing, we are encouraging a reality that is not true.” So much pure gold in the article Samantha. This sentence I feel is a blog in itself in the depth and breadth of the awareness that we’re being offered if we accept it as the truth it is.

  41. ‘We all need to take responsibility and look at how we are living, we need to get very personal and honest and ask, “What is it that I cover up each day? What do I not want to feel? What habits and behaviors do I repeatedly use that get further ingrained and take me away from the reality of what I truly see?”’ These questions are very needed and not much asked, sometimes it seems that we are getting even more irresponsible with spending more and more time in the digital world, gaming not choosing to truly connect to the real world or even build relationships with real people. Where are we?

  42. Wow, this blog really makes you stand up and listen. It is a shock to hear what ageing now looks like. We champion the fact that we are living longer but it doesn’t seem we are having conversations about the quality of that life. The one thing Universal Medicine comes back to is quality, it asks us to not just take things on face value, it not about ticking boxes. It is our responsibility to choose a certain quality of energy that will guarantee a connection with ourselves and the universe. If you choose another quality of energy, that is designed to numb, distract, escape from what there is to feel, then there is a consequence to that choice. It may start of as an “innocent” checkout for a couple of hours but the end result is a life and body you are checked out of more than it is checked in. I really feel for the families and individuals that have had to learn this the hard way, I can imagine it would be a painful drawn out and sad thing to watch and or live through.
    It is a huge wake up call for me and us all.

  43. I love that you have exposed the responsibility and presence that is required should we want to see the rates of dementia reduce. The statistics are terrifying, especially considering this is just one of many illnesses that cripple society along with the medical industry. But pointing the finger, or picking up the pieces, will never address the issue like looking at the way we are living before the ailments surface in response and then changing the way we move through life.

  44. Feeling my issues and calling them out, expressing how I feel, whatever that may be allows the issue to clear out and heal. Avoiding my problems only builds pressure until it explodes. Either way it comes out be it gently or an explosion that takes longer to recover from.

  45. The aggressive dementia patient sounds similar to a drunk person who gets in a fight who is described as not normally violent. It is a possession of the body, a choosing of a type of energy to run our physicality that takes us out of control. A minor version of this you could say is when we say something mean, judgmental or unkind and then wish we could take it back. It is a choice we have made to source our thoughts and words from something far lesser than our grand capacity to love and care in everything we do and are. Perhaps dementia is a long term choice to source thoughts from that lesser place that takes away the faculties that give our life meaning and purpose.

  46. Thank you for a great wakeup call Samantha. I have not had a lot to do with dementia but it is frightening to think of it escalating to the levels you have mentioned. I agree we all need to be responsible for our selves and seeing what habits and disregard we live in that will impact our health and mental capacity in the future.

  47. How deeply inspiring this blog is, as it is written from your personal experiences of dementia patients. There is definitely awake up call for ALL to live with more responsibility for our choices and daily way of being or dementia is going to be even more widespread than it is now (shockingly so).
    “If we want to see the dementia rates go down, then a whole new level of responsibility needs to be adopted, both our personal responsibility for ourselves, and our collective responsibility for society as a whole”.

  48. Samantha a great reminder that we are responsible for our own choices and checking out will eventually catch up with us unless we make different choices and spend less time checked out, and more time present.

  49. ‘Years of not being true to oneself eventually take their toll on both the mind and body.’ As when we do not honour ourselves we leave ourselves wide open to the continual disregard of unhealthy choices and patterns that manifest as disharmony in all levels of our lives.

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