This first show in our series on the untold stories of dementia is an interview with Dr. Pauline Boss about the experience of ambiguous loss. She explains how dementia often creates a situation in which a person’s body is present, but the mind is absent. For caregivers, this can generate feelings of ambivalence toward the person with dementia, including wishing for this person’s death as a way to resolve the ambiguity. Dr. Boss says that these normal wishes can leave the caregiver feeling guilty and confused, and she stresses that caregivers need community support, starting with a recognition of the ambiguous loss that has taken place.
An anonymous interview with Rachel about her son’s severe depression and multiple suicide attempts. Rachel described the precipitous descent into depression that seemed to swallow her previously sunny, confident, artistic boy. She names the terrible and confusing sense of ambiguous loss [Read more…]