The anosognosia is a disorder that is characterized in that the patient is unable to perceive and understand the condition being treated ; he is unable to recognize its own symptoms and has a total lack of awareness of the condition.
Thus, we can define anosognosia as a clinical phenomenon that occurs in those patients with some type of brain dysfunction who are not aware of their situation , which is evident both to the doctor and to the people around them.
Thus, anosognosia affects those areas of the brain that are part of awareness; thus, the patient is unable to recognize symptoms and deficits. Their self, understood as self-awareness, is totally relegated, so that these types of patients cannot relate the information referring to the disease as part of themselves.
Anosognosia: types of disorders
Anosognosia is a relatively common situation in those patients who suffer from some type of neurological and psychiatric disorder , being just as frequent in both cases.
In the case of patients with some type of neurological disease, anosognosia is frequent in those who suffer from Alzheimer’s ; People are unable to perceive the symptoms of the disease, and it is in the vast majority of cases friends and / or relatives who warn of progressive memory loss. Anosognosia also occurs relatively frequently in patients with brain tumors.
Regarding patients with psychiatric conditions, this condition occurs especially in those who suffer from schizophrenia and complex personality disorders.
Symptoms of anosognosia
There are a number of symptoms that make it possible to diagnose this clinical phenomenon. Most notable of all is the lack of awareness on the part of those patients who have suffered some type of brain injury.
In addition, a sensory, motor and cognitive deficit is common in those with anosognosia.
Today there is no 100% effective treatment to treat this condition. As we have pointed out, it occurs in different neurological and psychiatric diseases; therefore, it is the doctor’s job to point out the cause of this condition and establish the appropriate treatment for it.
It should be borne in mind that anosognosia significantly impairs the daily routine of those who suffer from it. That is why it is very important to identify symptoms early and find the best treatment for them.
In general, the treatment of anosognosia is complex since patients must face information that they are unable to perceive . Therefore, it is common for mood alterations to occur: irritation, bad mood, depression … In addition, lack of consciousness is a disorder very little understood by society, which is a great disadvantage.
From a physical point of view, those with anosognosia may be at high risk of falling due to lack of consciousness; In some cases, there is a danger of self-injury since patients are unable to face a reality that does not exist for them.
A loved one has anosognosia, what do I do?
Lack of awareness of the deficit is a complicated problem to deal with in the family environment; and it is that patients are not able to recognize their problem. However, there are a number of tips and advice that are worth taking into account to make the situation much more bearable.
- Positive communication: when your family member or friend has any kind of problem with everyday tasks, you should be kind and always offer your help.
- Joint tasks: a good idea to normalize the situation as much as possible is to turn the tasks into joint routines; in this way, that loved one will not be continually forced to ask for help.
- Language: the language and the way in which you address that friend or relative who suffers from anosognosia is very important. For example, if you need help in the kitchen, you can use phrases like “let me help you cook, you know I love spending time in the kitchen with you.” This is much better than “you know you can’t do that by yourself, let me do it.”
- Professional Help: Of course, it is essential that you seek professional help to treat anosognosia. In the vast majority of cases, this happens by going to the psychiatrist.
The truth is that dealing with dementia and anosognosia in adults or older people can be very frustrating. However, it is essential to always maintain a positive attitude so that the person feels relaxed.
Finally, it is worth noting that anosognosia itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom of certain neurological and psychiatric disorders that have resulted in damage to the brain structure. Thus, such damage produces in people the feeling that they are not sick and that their bodily functions are working perfectly.
It is an extremely curious disorder for close people because sometimes they are not able to understand how patients cannot accept the dysfunction they present. Generally, sick people insist that they can perform tasks on their own; however, some such as cooking or driving can be dangerous. In the same way, not being aware of their deficit, they sometimes choose not to take the medication prescribed by the doctor.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.