What does a dementia diagnosis mean for an individual's sense of self? Christine Bryden shares her insider view on living with dementia and explains how a continuing sense of self is possible after diagnosis and as the condition develops.
Encouraging a deeper understanding of how individuals live meaningfully with dementia, the book challenges the dominant story of people with dementia 'fading away' to eventually become an 'empty shell'. It explores what it means to be an embodied self with feelings and emotions, how individuals can relate to others despite cognitive changes and challenges to communications, and what this means for the inclusion of people with dementia in society.
1. Am I losing my self? 2. Re-interpreted and re-packaged at diagnosis. 3. How can I write a book? 4. Challenging loss of self in dementia. 5. 'I who know that I exist inquire into what I am'. 6. Embodied self. 7. Relational self. 8. Narrative self. 9. Upheld by others in the fullness of our identity. 10. Who am I now if I no longer have dementia? 11. Conclusion. References.
Christine Bryden is a remarkable woman, and a pioneering dementia advocate, one I am proud to call a friend. Will I Still Be Me? is a tribute to her continued commitment to improve the lives of all people with dementia, gives us hope, and deep insight into how her spirituality has supported her to live positively with dementia. Christine has given the world another great gift; her writing, her research and her appraisal of an insider's view of how dementia affects so much more than one individual.
Christine Bryden has worked in the pharmaceutical industry and as a senior executive in the Australian Prime Minister's Department. Following her diagnosis with Alzheimer's Disease in 1995, she has been instrumental in setting up local support groups for people with dementia and has addressed national and international conferences. In 2003 she was the first person with dementia to be elected to the Board of Alzheimer's Disease International. Her first book Who will I be when I die? was published in 1998 and has been translated into several languages. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.