Without a strong ego-mind boundary, the cognitive symptoms of dementia increase as the subconscious spews out its contents uncensored. Everything in the subconscious is released without organisation or logic as the dementia sufferer hurtles further and further into the disease. Paranoia, changes in mood including aggression, memory loss and impaired judgement are just a few of the cognitive symptoms that may occur as the subconscious takes over the conscious mind.
Dealing With a Loved One who has Dementia?
I’ve being going through the difficult time of caring for a loved one diagnosed with one of the many forms of dementia. Despite many painful experiences and being on the receiving end of troublesome behaviours, I’ve actually discovered and learnt something valuable from this terrible disease affecting millions of people worldwide.
There is a tsunami of dementia coming soon as baby boomers age. The average age of dementia onset is 85 years and women are 3 times more likely to suffer from this terrible disease than men simply because we live longer. There is also a genetic component although we can be proactive now so we don’t go down the pre-programmed genetic track. A veritable tsunami of alcohol and drug related dementia is currently brewing with people in their 40’s being diagnosed now with compromised brain function. We can all take preventative action now both for ourselves and our loved ones as we do have a choice of what happens with our health.
I had a realisation when visiting a relative suffering dementia early one morning when she started talking about pushing buttons to give her anything she wanted. As she talked excitedly about being wealthy because she could just push a button in her head, I realised she was actually talking about a dream she had the night before. But there was no realisation that this was in fact a dream and she was currently living this dream right in front of me. My loved one was in the dream as we spoke!
It was then I realised the ego-mind barrier was in fact compromised with gaping holes allowing free reign of the subconscious to spill its contents directly into the physical world. This realisation set me onto the path of looking at images of brain scans and photos of brains from deceased dementia suffers who died from this disease. Autopsies show there were gaping holes in the actual brains. The brain architecture was completely compromised with masses of shrunken and missing brain structures.
The Importance of a Strong Ego
The ego-mind barrier was proposed by Freud in the early 1900s and it is formed around 18 months of age when a child begins to understand the word no. When a child is in the womb before birth, he/she has everything he/she needs… free food, free accommodation in a relatively safe environment. Everything is supplied instantly and easily. When birth happens, all those supply processes cease and the child is left waiting for sustenance. Or there might be pain experienced and he/she must wait for that to pass. The realities of the physical world come to the fore without the protection of the mother’s womb. Time becomes more important and thus the process of ‘waiting’ for what you want occurs.
Over time the child then realises at a deep level that their wants are not instantly fulfilled so a psychological process occurs forming an invisible barrier between wants and reality. This is the ego-mind barrier and it is designed to protect us from the overwhelming and seemingly illogical realities of the subconscious. We are separated and our personalities begin to form distinct and apart from our subconscious.
Jungian Model of the Psyche and Ego
4 Practical Steps on How to Dementia Proof Yourself
- To dementia proof yourself, it helps to do things that strengthen the ego-mind barrier… things like thinking. Start playing games, do maths in your head and be more creative. Be proactive about avoiding dementia by brain training yourself. Keep those brain holes at bay by exercising your brain as you would exercise your muscles.
- Dementia involves unbridled spewing of the unconscious so practise allowing subconscious contents to be relieved in an appropriate manner. Empty and transform all those hidden things down in your subconscious so they don’t come back later to bite you. Do not judge what comes out of your deepest brain recesses but write everything down that you experience. Do a daily practice by journalling everything that you feel regardless of whether it seems silly or unimportant, overwhelming or even shocking. You are venting whatever is going on down deep within you. You will bring light to darkness as you allow these forces a voice to express their own reality. They may be completely incorrect, inappropriate, ugly or even beautiful and surprising. Whatever is down inside of you, do not judge it but instead allow it to express itself freely and completely in a healthy way.
- Think of yourself as the Chairman of the Board of a very large and successful company. Now if you are to make a decision, you wouldn’t do that unilaterally. A wise move would be to seek advice and consult with people at various levels of your company so you can work out with the other company directors how you can best implement your new idea. After a thorough consultation period, then you would develop a research strategy and make a plan before taking action. This type of idea is useful when thinking about what goes on in your subconscious. You are the Chairperson of your life and when making decisions, it is wise to consult with all your energy, not only what goes on in your mind. Your immediate awareness is not all that you are. You are a complicated and huge energetic universe with some energies in direct conflict with what your ego located in your mind wants. Deal with all your energies so you can take better control of your life by releasing the pressure created by your subconscious.
- There are many preventative things you can do now:
- Living a healthy lifestyle by creating good blood flow through movement such as daily walks, yoga and/or other exercise. Get a dog to encourage you;
- Clean up free radicals in your blood stream by eating good whole foods and limiting processed foods;
- Create better peripheral blood flow by taking good supplements such as gingko biloba. There are heaps of supplements available, so do some research to find out what bests suits you;
- Have a good weekly massage to improve blood flow and relaxation;
- Meditate the stresses away and use your imagination. You can imagine a waterfall washing all the stresses and blockages away. Imagine the blood flowing around your body and to all parts of your brain.
- Ask your angels, spirit guides or whatever higher spiritual authority you believe in to help you improve your health. One good question to ask is “what single thing can I do to improve my well being?”
Do the inner work now and save yourself a whole lot of problems further down the track of your life. Remember, you do have some control over what happens to you as you are the architect of your own life. Your health and well being are of prime importance so be proactive and take preventative steps before choices now influence your future. Be the really awesome and immortal being that you truly are… BeYOUtiful You!