Hey, Rachael Wonderland here with another dementia car video. And I don’t normally do anything about pop culture. I just kind of stay away from it because I mostly just talk about dementia and it usually doesn’t come up in pop culture, too much, but this is worth addressing. And before we even dive in, for those of you who are new to my channel, why is this lady telling you about Britney Spears and why she doesn’t have dementia? Real quick background on me. I am a published author. I have two books about dementia from John Hopkins University Press. I’m a dementia care consultant. I have a masters in gerontology. I work primarily with senior living companies who want to build better dementia care programs.
So now…I have heard a number of times now from different people about whether or not Britney Spears has dementia. No, Ugh. I hate this thing where, you know, you see a celebrity, you see somebody act a certain way or do something. And people who have no business talking about dementia, because they know nothing about dementia, decide that a person has dementia. First of all, if you ever hear someone say that like, oh, this person has dementia. Your question to that individual should be, what is the definition of dementia? I guarantee they don’t know. So I took the liberty of listening to the entire recorded leaked tapes that Britney Spears went through. She went through this whole court hearing thing, right. Had to talk to a judge. And it’s clear there’s abuse going on there, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
I’m here to talk about dementia. Okay so taking this definition from Dr. Ray’s newer book and Dr. Ravens is a collaborator with Johns Hopkins university press, who’s also my publisher. So, what is dementia? I’m going to tell you right now it is an umbrella term that refers to any disease that has these four characteristics. One, it begins in adulthood. Two causes a decline in two or more aspects of thinking such as memory, organization of information, language, math perception, and judgment. Three, causes a decline in the ability to carry out at least one activity of everyday life related to self care work or independence. And four does not impair level of alertness or ability to pay attention. There are over 100 different causes of dementia. There are over 100 different diseases that make up this umbrella term.
The most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. So when you hear someone say Alzheimer’s and dementia, that’s a clue. They don’t know what they’re talking about because dementia’s the umbrella term. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause. Now what I want to really pay attention to here is this number four does not impair level of alertness or ability to pay attention. What we’ve learned as of late is that Britney was put on a number of different medications. The one that she mentioned in those tapes was lithium. I am not a physician and I’m not going to pretend to be, but lithium is a pretty serious medication that is used predominantly to treat people with bipolar type one. And if you don’t have that or anything worth treating with lithium, lithium is too intense and it will, like Brittany said, make you feel sick. It’ll make you feel drunk.
It will impair your level of alertness. So that’s the big one. I, like many people born in the late eighties, have been a fan of Britney, at least in some capacity forever. You know, I would not call myself a super fan. I’ve never seen her perform. Not really my type of music, but you can’t deny she is a hitmaker and yes, I’ve been following her Instagram, which has been odd at times. But think about it this way. This is a woman who has been followed, photographed unauthorized biographies, the whole nine yards, her entire life. Think about how that would feel. If that was you, think about the first time anybody ever said anything mean to you online, how did it feel? Did it feel like you were getting attacked, right? That part of your body you want to go into like this fight or flight mode, right?
Think about that times a hundred every day, day in, day out all the time and not to mention once this conservatorship started, it really sounds like Britney had no control over anything in her life, which is awful. And again, I’m not going to get into the whole abuse part of this, but really just to talk about dementia, this woman’s level of impairment isn’t there, right? The level, what you were seeing from her, any bizarre behavior really brought on probably by being stalked by the paparazzi forever. But with this conservatorship she’s being put on medication, she’s being watched like a Hawk, she’s being controlled. That’s not dementia. And I really would like people to stop trying to diagnose dementia who don’t even know what the definition of dementia is. Labeling people with dementia is not appropriate unless they’ve actually been evaluated for dementia.
And it sounds like Britney’s gotten a lot of evaluations done and she’s never been diagnosed with dementia because of course, according to these four things, she doesn’t have it.
So, please, stop saying people have dementia.