Dementia: Considerations After Diagnosis

If you have been told by your doctor that you have Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, you are probably in a state of emotional turmoil. The good news is that you are not alone in this and there are many resources available to help you adjust to this newest stage of your life. Here are some things to consider, and some suggestions for preparing you—and your family—for this part of your life.

Identify your emotions.

Without a doubt you will be experiencing a firestorm of emotions. These will range from denial to anger to depression, fear, and even—surprisingly enough—relief. Not relief that you have been diagnosed, but relief that at least now you know what you’re dealing with and you can attempt to prepare yourself accordingly. What the caregiver needs to know

Identifying the emotion that you are feeling is a good first step to managing it. For example, if you feel angry, you can either spend your days in the grip of anger or you can stop, take a breath, and say to yourself, “I’m angry right now, and that’s OK. I need to accept that this situation is not one I had planned for and some things are out of my control. I also want to focus on dealing with those aspects of this situation that I can control.” Once you admit to yourself what you are feeling, then you will have a way to proceed to deal with that emotion.

Emotions are not necessarily bad things. They can motivate you to do very good things, and they can serve as a reminder of what you are thinking. However, it is good to manage your emotions, and the first step to doing that is by admitting to yourself what you are feeling.

Dealing with emotions.

Although you cannot change your diagnosis, you can definitely change the way you allow your feelings to steer you. Put differently, the emotional state in which you allow yourself to remain can definitely affect the quality of life you will be enjoying from here on out. As such, you need to work towards cultivating those emotions that will allow you to get the most enjoyment out of your remaining years. Cognitive therapy behavior for Alzheimer’s Disease

Here are a few things that may help:

  • Keep a journal.
    Journaling can help you to cope with your feelings. Writing down how you feel about something can act as a cathartic measure, even if you never let anyone else see what you have written. It’s not healthy to keep your feelings bottled up inside you, and writing them down will serve as a release for you.
  • Don’t isolate yourself.
    For some people, the diagnosis of dementia is a trigger for an immediate desire to isolate themselves. This is done for a variety of reasons: a desire to protect loved ones, a desire to maintain self-dignity, and so on. However, isolating yourself can be harmful, and can even accelerate the speed with which the dementia progresses. Instead of isolating yourself, work hard at surrounding yourself with friends, loved ones, and other elements of your support group. This will help you to manage. Activities that can help improve your brain function
  • Educate yourself. There are many misconceptions about dementia and especially about what it will mean for your life from here on out. Rather than guessing or wondering, take some time to read up on the matter. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Conclusion. A diagnosis of dementia can be shocking, terrifying, and emotionally tumultuous. However, there are things you can do in order to help manage it and to help yourself adjust to your new situation. You don’t have to struggle through this alone, and you do have some control over the quality of this stage of your life.