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Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

My grandpa yells at my grandma, what should I do?

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Q. My grandpa has HD he is always ragging on my grandma for some odd reason, this includes yelling and just breaking down in a tantrum, my grandma always gets down on this should I say anything to my grandpa about what he is doing to my grandma this has been going on for a long time but never get the courage to stand up for her, what should I do?

Kellie, 13, USA

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A. Hi Kellie,

Thanks for your email. Sometimes HD can make people extra irritable because it makes it more difficult for you to see other peoples’ points of view. People with HD also get frustrated with themselves because they can’t handle things the way they used to.

Also, I guess some people are just grumpy in any case (not to do with HD). In this case, the grumpiness has usually been going on for many years.

If you think your grandpa is getting more irritable because of his HD, it will probably be difficult for him to alter his behaviour on his own. The best thing you could do is to support your grandma to manage it.

There are quite a lot of things that can be done to help this kind of behaviour in HD. This can involve keeping a routine, not overburdening the person with HD and also looking at other reasons that might be making things worse (if he’s in pain, or not sleeping well, or has some other problem). Some medicines can really help this problem too.

I hope that you are sharing this problem with family members too. I wouldn’t like to think that you were taking this burden on by yourself.

Best wishes

Hugh