Why am I so angry that my mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease?
You are going through a grieving process when you are in a situation like this. A normal, regular stage of grief is anger. The key is to not let it overtake you or cause declines in your own physical or mental health. Grieving has several stages. Just like individuals experience Alzheimer’s in different ways, at different speeds, the same is true with grief. Some stages might be quicker than others, and some might not materialize at all. Be patient with the grieving process. Allow yourself to feel, allow grieving to run its course. When Alzheimer’s is involved, the 10 normal stages of grief are as follows: (REMEMBER: You might or might not experience all of these, and even then, to varying degrees.) Shock: Disbelief that Alzheimer’s has been diagnosed. Denial: It’s not really Alzheimer’s. It’s just a stage that will pass. Depression: Feelings of loneliness and isolation take over. Physical symptoms of distress: Sickness and tiredness consume you or your thoughts. Anxiety: What will the future hold? What might happen to me? And other worries. Anger: Everyone’s fair game: Anger at the disease, the doctor, your loved one, even at God for “allowing” this to happen. Guilt: Blaming ourselves — often for things we have/had no control over, or for doing things we think we shouldn’t have done, such as yelling. Hesitancy to keep up normal activities: Worries about how others will view or treat you and/or your loved one. Healing of memories: Realize that painful memories are actually part of the healing process. Acceptance: Coming to grips with the fact that your loved one has Alzheimer’s, it is here to stay and you simply have to make the best of it. Alzheimer’s is tough on the psyche. Because your loved one can go through several stages of the disease, you might experience stages of grief (as described above) with each one. Realize that this is normal. Allow grieving to take place. Let yourself be angry. Keep a journal with your feelings and thoughts. This is often a healthy way to express yourself. It allows you to vent, without hurting your loved one or anyone else around you. If you can deal with your feelings in this manner, you will be in better shape to help your loved one — and conduct your life as you need to. If you become dispirited and internalize your distress, it can damage you not only mentally or emotionally, but physically as well. That is not going to help you be there for your loved one’s needs. Here is something that will help you deal with your feelings: “The Indispensable Alzheimer’s Resource Kit.” These FREE books will help you deal with your feelings, as well as with dozens of other subtopics.