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“See me, not my disease,” say those stigmatized because of dementia diagnosis

Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press

Toronto – When Elizabeth Allen was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, her first reaction was outrage that she had developed the progressive dementia. But it was the reaction of many of those around her that made the blow even more terrible to bear. “More than that, I think it was my friends’ reaction,” said Allen, 72. “What they would say to me was: “Oh, I forget things, too. You’re OK.” And my attitude was “I’ve just been diagnosed with an incurable disease. My brain is dying and you’re telling me I’m OK!”

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