What is Cognitive Disorder?
Cognitive disorder is a category of mental health disorders in which the individual's cognitive abilities like learning, problem-solving get affected adversely. This disorder ranges from mild to severe conditions, including dementia, deletion, and amnesia.
As the cognitive skills are getting affected in this disorder, they will get stressed or anxious about their condition with increasing time. There is a lot of instability while making decisions, making the condition more severe than ever.
The symptoms of cognitive disorder vary according to the type of condition they are facing. However, some common signs of cognitive disorder overlap; they are as follows:
- Irritation, anxiety, and depression
- Difficulty in concentration
- Poor listening skills and difficulty in recalling oral instructions
- Difficulty in reading, writing, and comprehension
- Extended time to complete a task or test
- Complex decision-making pattern
- Alzheimer's disease: In this condition, the individual may start showing minor signs of forgetfulness in the initial stages. The sufferer might forget their name, and would have normal memory errors. But when the disorder progresses, the memory becomes impaired, and they won't get clarity about situations.
- Corticobasal degeneration: It is a rare case wherein an individual's areas of the brain shrinks as their nerve cells degenerate or die after some period. This condition causes stiffness, trouble in thinking or speech, and poor coordination. When the disorder progresses, they find difficulty in walking or balancing their body.
- Mild cognitive impairment: In this condition, an individual experiences a slight yet noticeable decline in mental abilities. They get distracted easily, and their ability to learn or process new information decreases. In the initial stage, the person will forget the ongoing conversation or a planned event. But gradually, these problems affect the overall functioning of daily living.
- Vascular dementia: Many individuals develop vascular dementia because of stroke blocks in the brain arteries. However, it's not necessary as it depends on the stroke's severity or location. The person will have constant confusion, and might face problems in concentrating. Their ability to analyze any particular situation decreases, leading to unsteady gait.
There is no test yet for cognitive impairment, but a therapist looks after specific symptoms to clarify the diagnosis process. You will be asked to answer several questions to identify your patterns of change. Here are some common therapies for cognitive impairment used by therapists to treat the disorder:
- Family Therapy
- Music therapy
In severe cases, the doctor might also ask you to go for brain imaging to check the pieces of evidence of brain stroke or neurological damage.
Self-help tips for managing cognitive disorder:
You can try a lot of tips to reduce the chances of your cognitive disorder progressing. Even after the therapy session, you need to take extra care. Sometimes, you will also be required to take medication so as to check your underlying health condition, as per the doctor's prescription.
- Make a list of your routine: It gets difficult to remember things on a daily basis in cognitive disorder. Many individuals find problems while making a decision, or they forget they develop poor listening skills. The situation gets severe when a person is under medication, and they fail remembering even that too. Make a calendar for yourself, and add all the essential details for the day to it.
- Control your emotions up to some extent: Through constant stress or anxiety, you might get aggressive. The reckless behavior of yours can turn into a physical injury. You might start bullying a person, or can cause self-harm as you will often find difficulty in controlling your emotions.
- Try setting realistic goals: Cognitive disorder is frustrating and stressful too. So, if you set goals that are difficult to achieve, you can trigger your mental condition. The best way of overcoming the cognitive disorder is by breaking difficult tasks into smaller chunks. Challenge yourself, but in the right way, and focus on aspects that are controllable and manageable from your end.
- Involve yourself in regular physical activity: Many individuals develop social anxiety because of cognitive impairment. They tend to assume things about society and avoid going out. But when you become more socially active, you will open up about your problems, and can stay off the risk of developing or progressing the disorder. Try doing regular physical activities like gymming, walking, exercising, or dancing, depending on what you like doing.
- Seeking help is not making you weak: Cognitive disorder builds a sudden transition in life that gets difficult to handle all at once. You will require support at each stage of life, and seeking it from a professional will give you effective results. You can also consider joining several support groups to talk about your problems freely.