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There are both psychological and emotional impacts of a dementia diagnosis. It is usual to experience grief, loss, shock or disbelief, feelings of anger, sadness, fear and even sometimes relief. It is normal to have a wide range of emotions after a diagnosis.  

Acknowledging and accepting emotions can be a first step in safe coping. This can include: 

  • Knowing that there are a wide range of emotions that are normal after a diagnosis, 
  • Setting aside or “burying” your emotions is an unhelpful coping strategy and may make it harder to cope as the disease progresses, 
  • Acceptance of the feelings, thoughts and sensations you are experiencing can help you care for yourself and seek out the social, emotional and practical support that you need.  
  • Acknowledging and accepting emotions is a part of living well with dementia

If you are finding it challenging to acknowledge, understand and accept the thoughts and feelings you are be experiencing you may want to reach out to your health care providers, a trusted friend of family, or to RDS Canada to take part in individual, couple, family or group sessions.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada offers this booklet on common emotions and coping strategies. While they acknowledge that the booklet has been created specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease it can provide helpful information to people with different types of rare or young onset dementia: