My 69 year old sister has always been a vivacious energetic woman. As her younger sister (by 9 years), I tried to be like her and she got me to do things I would not have done on my own. Like being the first to jump in the lake in the spring, or spontaneously decide to build giant snowmen. She would get fixated on doing something and sweep everyone up in her enthusiasm. This ability to get people up and involved served her well in her career as a community health nurse running several clinics for the elderly.
In the past several years however, this behaviour has become a concern to her family and friends.
She is always 'UP', unless she is sound asleep, which she can do anywhere. She calls them her 'power naps' and a bomb could go off and she would not wake up. I have seen her fall asleep with her clothes on following almost immediately after a period of high-exuberance/high-activity.
During these 'UP' periods, she often talks incessantly, mostly about herself, her life, her activities, but in a way that excludes others from getting a word in and about events or people that are out of context. Because she has a big personality and always has, we have only begun talking as a family about occasions when her behaviour has become inappropriate or embarrassing. It's as though she is losing her ability to edit what she says and this is most acute when there is an audience.
The exception is when she is in nature, but even then it takes a while for her to stop talking and just enjoy the beauty.
part of this is that she has gone from being the life of the party to being excluded because of her tendency to dominate the occasion with various attention-seeking antics. For those of us who love her, it's been a gradual change, but those meeting her for the first time have a much different perception. She appears to them as weird and makes them feel uncomfortable. She tries to force them to do what she wants to do and they are refusing, whereas those of us close to her would get pulled in, sometimes in spite of our objections.
Our immediate concern now is for her safety. She takes her grandchildren on outings and we worry about her 'power naps' happening while they are in her care. Or putting herself and others at risk with her need for 'adventure'. Also, her love of 'community' may be compromised if her behaviour causes her to be excluded from things.
Our father suffered from several mental illnesses, depending on the doctor making the diagnosis. Depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, combined with alcoholism, he was treated in hospital on many occasions. My sister however, never seems to be 'down'. She is always 'up' and it's exhausting to be around her, so it must be really hard to be her. Help us please!