This term comes from a Latin word related to emotional disorders; It is used to refer to a disorder in the rational and communicative functions. Its most common use is in the field of psychic health and is used to talk about a maladjustment of reason, which is colloquially known as madness.
In everyday speech, the insane concept is used to name all those people who have strange behavior, without it being necessary that they have been proven to suffer from a certain mental pathology. Some phrases where the concept is used are: “The artist began to show signs of dementia at an early age”, “Jorge, in his dementia, thought he saw the devil and jumped out the window”, “Sometimes I feel that I am on the verge of insanity and it scares me a lot”, “The accused alleged temporary insanity and said he did not remember anything of what happened”.
For medicine and psychology, dementia is a progressive and irreversible deterioration of the mental faculties, which generates important conditions in the behavior of the person who suffers from it.
The brain disorders of dementia produce damage to cognitive functions and end up disabling the subject to carry out their daily activities. Memory, attention and language are some of the areas that can be affected by dementia.
Throughout the disease, it is likely that the subject will lose their spatio-temporal orientation and even their awareness of their identity and that of their loved ones. In very severe cases of dementia, patients do not know the year in which they live, the place and with whom they share their lives; it also often happens that they ignore even their own identity.
Dementia often includes delusions and psychotic features. The insane person can ensure that she talks to people who have already died, among other hallucinations or confusions.
Since it is an irreversible disorder, dementia cannot be cured. Experts suggest different types of treatment that may include drugs (such as pain relievers and central nervous system depressants) and psychological therapy (with activities to preserve mental activity); however, they have palliative objectives, which help the patient to face the effects of the disease in a less violent way.
Causes and symptoms
The causes of dementia can be very diverse: from strokes to physical conditions such as brain tumors, sudden changes in the levels of sugar or calcium in the body or low levels of vitamin B12.
Among the conditions that most commonly lead to dementia are: Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, certain infections such as HIV/AIDS and Lyme disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, among many others. Some of these conditions can be controlled if detected early, otherwise they could lead to the complete loss of rational control of the person.
Among the most characteristic symptoms of this ailment are language and memory disorders, difficulties in maintaining coherent behavior emotionally and rationally, and distortion of perception in the environment. In addition, cognitive abilities (calculation, abstract thinking and discernment) are clearly affected. It is worth mentioning that until the clear deterioration of a person’s abilities is perceived, a process is developed that goes from invisible to tangible; slow and gradual.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is known as the phase characterized by normal forgetfulness typical of aging and the clear appearance of dementia. Many times there are people who seem insane but are in this phase, where it is very difficult to declare this pathology as such. In fact, many people with mild cognitive impairment never become insane.