Stigmatising Ourselves

I’ve been doing a few talks for members of the Alzheimers Support Groups that operate in Tynedale. Introducing them to EFT as a way of helping them to reduce the level of stress in their lives. I’ve had my eyes opened to what carers have to handle, my worries seem quite small in comparison.

After one of the meetings I took a copy of the Alzheimer Society newsletter Share, which had an article about how different people tell others about their conditions and what happens to them when they do. This segment caught my eye:

I try to behave as normally as possible, but if I’m on the train and the guy opposite notices how I move my head down to the table to drink my coffee because I shake a lot, I’m not embarrassed about it.

I will pre-empt anything they may wish to say: “You probably notice how I drink. That’s because I have a type of dementia,” and it’s suprising how many people react positively

I think the stigma is in the minds of the people who have dementia, not in the people who observe it.

We’re stigmatised by ourselves. This is the irony of it

Peter Ashley, Share, Dec 05 / Jan 06

The last line really caught my attention, I can think of many occasions where I or people I’ve worked with have judged themselves far more harshly than others. It’s striking to me to see it described in this way.

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