Hearing concern from friends and family
Worry sign #3: Friends or family point out mistakes and/or express concern.
Are your loved ones making comments about your memory or urging you to get it checked? If not, and you feel like you're keeping lapses to yourself, they may well be ordinary lapses. But if others are calling you on goofs, they may be onto something.
A 2010 study at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that family and friends tend to be able to spot the early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease even better than traditional screening tests and high-tech measures. What they're apt to notice: Symptoms that you may not even be aware of -- that you're repeating stories or questions numerous times, often word for word, in a short period, for example; or that you seem more apathetic and withdrawn than usual. Or others notice changes in your ability to independently conduct everyday life (work, cooking, money management).
What you may notice yourself: a sense that you're having to defend yourself a lot. "What happens is that relatives notice mistakes, and you -- the person with memory loss -- find yourself constantly in arguments with people about what you said or did," geriatric psychiatrist Robbins explains. "You're on the defensive a lot."