The article about dementia in today’s Melbourne Age is very good.
“I was very sad when I was diagnosed,” said Mr Bateman, who is cared for by Barbara, his wife of 35 years. “I nursed my mother with the condition and I was afraid of losing who I am.”
Mr Bateman describes the importance of the sense of self. He had seen his mother lose the sense of who she was as her dementia progressed, and he fears that same loss for himself.
There are many other symptoms he could have nominated as being the most worrying for him, but he knew the most profound symptom was to lose the sense of who he is.
The loss of self is seen in other neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s.
The sense of self is one of the subtle but vital symptoms improved by daily trans-cranial red and near infrared light.