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I've Received a Diagnosis...Now What?
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Now that you’ve received a diagnosis, you’re probably experiencing a number of different feelings such as shock, disbelief, fear, sadness, anger, or even relief. You may also be struggling with the idea that you have an irreversible illness, yet you don’t feel sick. These are all normal reactions! Allow yourself to experience whatever you’re feeling.

Here’s what some people had to say after they received their diagnosis:

“I was upset to hear that I had AD because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me.”
“I was very sad. I knew it would be a gradual thing – that I would be losing it.”
“I knew something was wrong so I just accepted the diagnosis. I looked for what I needed to do next.”
“I was relieved. I thought I was losing my mind. Now that I know, I can deal with it better.”

It can often be helpful to talk about what you’re feeling and thinking rather than to keep things bottled up inside. In addition to talking with people who are close to you, you can contact us at the Alzheimer’s Association®…we’re always here to listen. Call us at 1.800.272.3900. 

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Telling Others About Your Diagnosis

Once the initial shock of receiving your diagnosis has worn off, you may also want to think about who else you will tell. Telling people about your diagnosis can be a difficult thing to do. You may be hesitant to tell others because you’re concerned about what they might think or how they will react to you. Or your hesitation may stem from feelings of embarrassment or simply from not feeling ready to share such private information with others. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way of deciding who and when to tell.

Here are what some early-stage people have to say about sharing their diagnosis:

“I tell everyone. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. People need to know that we’re just like them, even though we have this condition.”
“I don’t want to be treated differently, so I’m careful about who I tell.”
“Some people act like they don’t want to get near me because for some strange reason they think they might catch it, too.”
“It’s a funny thing. Some of the people I was most worried about telling turned out to be really understanding. There were others too, though, that just didn’t understand at all.”

Although it’s hard to predict what people's reactions will be; you’ll never know unless you give them the opportunity to respond to your news.







e Partner Tip

You may have a different opinion than the person you’re caring for about sharing their diagnosis with others. Talking openly with one another about this issue is a helpful way of deciding whether or not to tell, who to tell, and when to tell.

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To speak with someone about Early Stage Services, please call 1.800.272.3900.


Return to the Early Stages Services main page here.


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.