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Confronting the Existential Threat of Dementia

An Exploration into Emotion Regulation

  • Richard Cheston
  • Gary Christopher
Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 1-6
  3. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 7-25
  4. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 27-43
  5. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 45-60
  6. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 61-72
  7. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 73-92
  8. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 93-111
  9. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 113-127
  10. Richard Cheston, Gary Christopher
    Pages 129-137
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 139-141

About this book

Introduction

This book explores how dementia acts as an existential threat, both to people diagnosed with the condition, and to their carers. The authors highlight how dementia not only gradually erodes our most fundamental abilities, but that it does so at a time of life when the resources of individuals, couples, and families are already stretched. While over time many people who are living with dementia are able to adapt to their diagnosis and acknowledge its impact on them, for many others it remains too threatening and painful to do this. The book draws on examples from clinical practice and experimental studies to argue that a range of responses, such as searching for long-dead parents or clinging to previous identities, all represent ways in which people living with dementia attempt to protect themselves against the emotional impact of the condition. Finally, the authors set out new ways of intervening to boost psychological resources and thereby support people in facing the existential threat of dementia.

Richard Cheston is Professor of Dementia Research at the University of the West of England, UK, and worked as a clinical psychologist in the National Health Service for 25 years. He continues to work clinically with individuals and families living with dementia at the RICE memory clinic in Bath, UK.

Gary Christopher is a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England, UK, and leads the Ageing Well theme of the Psychological Sciences Research Group there. He has published widely on mental health, although his primary research focus is the impact of ageing on cognitive functioning, and in particular, emotion regulation in dementia.

Keywords

emotion regulation psychological threat defence strategies emotional distress Terror Management Theory progressive incurable disease Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s Vascular HIV dealing with dementia existentialism social psychology

Authors and affiliations

  • Richard Cheston
    • 1
  • Gary Christopher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health and Social SciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK
  2. 2.Department of Health and Social SciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12350-5
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science and Psychology
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-12349-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-12350-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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Health & Hospitals