The importance of self esteem
I have written quite a lot about the lack of self esteem in those diagnosed with dementia but actually those of us sharing that life can also have problems in that direction. I know it's been mentioned before but think it's worth saying again, when a person is diagnosed with dementia they have probably been covering up the problem for at least five years before that eventful day and that can be a long slog for the whole family. Even without a diagnosis most partners or those close to the person with dementia will notice small changes in behaviour and attitude and it's only natural to take those changes personally. It's very hard not to think it's you that causing the emotional withdrawal, the lost sense of humour, the anxiety and the unwillingness to move out of the house. What was I doing wrong? what could I do differently? what situations should I have avoided? I still have a feeling that a stressful situation I got us into was the trigger for all of this even though common sense says that it would have happened anyway and that doesn't do a lot for anyone's self esteem. What has really kept me going is the support that's come from family and friends which has been, it seems, totally unconditional. They read the blog, join the facebook page, invite me out for lunch and let me talk about it all. There are certain friends that I hoped would stick by me throughout (and in every single case they have), in several cases this situation has cemented friendships and, in one particular case, a brand new friendship has been created. That has done great things for my sense of self esteem and I actually feel more grounded and confident than I have for a very long time. As I keep saying, there are positives to everything if you look hard enough.