Working with Alzheimer’s

The email below was submitted for a Conversation with Byron Katie webcast from A. in Sweden.


Dear Katie,

Thank you for bringing The Work out in the world. It has helped me greatly. This past year there is an issue I have had trouble working through. Here it is coming from my scared thoughts:

My father is in his early 60s and has got a rare kind of Alzheimer’s or frontal lobe dementia. The doctors are not sure yet of which diagnosis it will be. If it is Alzheimer’s, then there is a medication that can slow down the process. If it is frontal lobe dementia the process will be more aggressive, leading to loss of speech and apathy. Eventually the body breaks down and the doctors do nothing to support it. You die at quite a young age. Frontal lobe dementia is caused by a mutated gene, and there is a risk that I have it and will suffer the same fate. It scares me terribly to have to see my father getting worse and worse and to not know if that same terrible disease will happen to me. I get thoughts of not having children on my own and have trouble functioning through the day due to anxiety, heavy thoughts, and fear. It can feel like my life is over. Please help.




Dearest A.,

Here are some thoughts for a sample Worksheet that you can put up against inquiry:

1) I’m scared because my father has Alzheimer’s.

2) I want my father’s Alzheimer’s to stop progressing. I want my father to be healthy, happy, and lucid.

3) My father’s disease should stop progressing. His disease shouldn’t be passed on to me.

4) I need this fear to go away. I need Alzheimer’s to stop being such a threat.

5) My father’s disease is unreliable, getting worse, and has been passed on to me.

6) I don’t ever want to have Alzheimer’s. I don’t ever want to have dementia. I don’t ever want to see my father becoming worse and worse.

These are just examples of fear-making thoughts. I suggest that you be thorough, sweetheart, as you write your own Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. If you need more help, don’t hesitate to go to and find one of our very fine Certified Facilitators to support you.

Loving what is and what isn’t,


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  1. Dearest A,
    I have just lost my beautiful father, the only man that has never let me down just 32 weeks ago with frontal lobal dementia, unfortunately he also had mytonic dystrophy, which caused the dementia….He was and will always be the most amazing Father, tears roll down my face now, just thinking about him……I don’t cry much though as I’m so desperately trying to hold my beautiful Mum up….My brother has mytonic dystrophy as well, so we watch him as well become weaker in muscle strength…Mum and I have chosen not to tell my brother that the mytonic has the dementia link….it’s a stress he doesn’t need.
    I feel so sorry for you, as the fear to thinking you may have it is awful….I’ve been checked out and haven’t got mytonic, so I’m blessed, but it still worries me….
    All I can say to you my sweets is tell your Dad how very much you love him and hug him always because when they are gone, they are gone….I often wished Dad to go, sounds terrible, but the suffering would break our hearts…..Now I wish him back selfish on my behalf, but just to have that physical presents would be enough for us….
    With deep love comes deep grief…..I know that I haven’t even begun to grieve….
    My love to you over this journey……

    1. Thank you Lisa for your words. The love you have for your father shines through every line.
      And thank you Katie for posting my letter, reminding me on how to work.
      Right now it is a rough time, but knowing that The Work is there as soon as I can manage enough stillness again is a blessing.

      Lots of love to you both, A

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