The emotional impact

Ian broke down in the car on the way home.  He was convinced he would be told there was nothing wrong.

Being told you, or someone close to you, has a diagnosis of young onset dementia is a life changing moment and will have an ongoing emotional impact on each individual.  

There may be confusing emotions, great sadness and grief for the loss of the life that had been planned or for the changes you will need to make over time.

Alongside the grief there may be other emotions including anger, frustration, fear, guilt and despair. These are all normal, understandable responses to the unexpected life change you are dealing with.

It may help to

  • Talk to a friend or family member.  It can be helpful to you and the person you talk with if you can say how you are feeling.
  • Try to write down something about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing.  Keeping a notebook allows you to express yourself in any way you choose and can help make sense of how you feel.
  • Do not be surprised if you find yourself wanting to shout about the injustice of what is happening or cannot stop crying.  These are ways of relieving the tension and strain you are experiencing.
  • Ask for some help if you feel overwhelmed.  You can talk to a counsellor, contact a local support group or talk to others online.  More details are in our Find support section.
  • Take time to find little joys in your everyday life.  From a cup of tea in the garden to your favourite walk with the dog – there is great pleasure to be found in small things and it will recharge your energy.
  • Understand that there is no right or wrong way to feel and you need time to work through what is happening to you and the changes in your life.

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