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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
Strange reaction from friends when I tell them of my diagnosis
I want to know if anyone else has this or something similar happen to them. On two separate occasions, I have told friend that I have dementia to explain ahead of time why my behavior might seem a little off. Both friends, on these separate occasions, have said to me, "well we all have dementia". I have been pulled up short by these responses and have no idea how to address this. I end up sounding offended, which I am a bit, and say "not everyone has a diagnosis".
Anyone else? What do you do?
I was told by my best friend that I talked too much about my memory loss, because " we all have senior moments." Her lack of support and rejection was part of the reason for my plunge into a deep depression for several months. I got out of the deep depression with the support of the members and Care Consultants on Alzconnected. Because of her reaction, I choose not to disclose about my memory and cognitive difficulties to anyone that I know. There is just too much risk to my mental health.
It is possible that your friends are simply feeling overwhelmed. Alzheimer's is a powerful diagnosis and it can take time to wrap one's head around it - even for friends.
If they are feeling overwhelmed, they are probably also feeling anxious. And if they are feeling anxious, they might react by trying to minimize the situation.
It may also be that they want to help but simply don't know how. Reassurance is a very common way people try to help. So even though it doesn't feel appropriate to you, they may be trying to ease your fears and theirs - the way a parent reassures a child about the boogieman in the closet.
Be patient with your friends, they probably are simply at a loss as to how to react. It they really care about you, their concern could possibly make it even harder for them to figure out the right response.