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    • #21110
      Ally
      Keymaster

      Is anxiety part of your life with Parkinson’s? Does your anxiety pre-date your PD diagnosis, or did it come after? If you had anxiety before your diagnosis, has Parkinson’s made it feel worse?

      New research indicates that anxiety will look different for everyone. What tends to trigger yours? What helps to alleviate it?

    • #21126
      Reuben
      Participant

      Yes, chronic and prevailing anxiety at least a year prior to diagnosis along with a number of other symptoms emerging prior to PD diagnosis. Continuing anxiety and depression (meds tend to increase fatigue I think and don’t seem to allay anxiety much). But they seem to help with sleep.
      I have been practicing meditation and mindfulness with online classes and sessions which I do find helpful. Nevertheless, chronic anxiety and fear along with other motor and non-motor symptoms and an uncomfortable (understatement) manifestation in stomach discomfort-clenching.

    • #21127
      Yekim7676
      Participant

      I have been a life-long nail biter—as early as kindergarten. Later I attributed it to ADHD. Given the individual differences, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an early sign of early onset PD. I would at least like to have known that it is organic (as I always believed) and not some “weakness of will power”.

      • #21131
        twok
        Participant

        BRAVO!

    • #21128
      Beth T Browne
      Participant

      I don’t believe I had anxiety before Parkinson’s.  No one every said I did or appeared to have it.  But it really comes out when my tremors are bad.  If I am home and not doing a lot, the anxiety is better.  But if I a preparing a meal, clean up, going shopping, getting gas, as I still can drive, I definitely shake a lot more and feel the anxiety.

      About two months ago, I started taking Xanax.  Because I only weigh 93 pounds, I started with 1/2 of a 0.25mg pill.  It left me feeling fatigued and not wanting to do anything.  So, the doctor said to cut the 1/2 into 1/2.  I take that when I know I am going to be out.  Can’t say it does a lot, but some.  I started taking 1/2 late at night, and it seems to help me sleep a bit better. Getting sleep has been very difficult.

       

    • #21133
      Cathy Chiaramonte
      Participant

      Had anxiety decades before diagnosis. Symptoms worsened greatly since diagnosis and seem to be resistant to medication. I have a wonderful psychiatrist who works with me, trying to find the most effective combination of meds. I do tai chi, yoga, Rock steady Boxing and meditation. The year of Covid living made everything worse because I was so isolated (I live alone and had just retired). What helps is being with people and having (I am still searching) a sense of purpose. I need not tell anyone who has anxiety how debilitating it is. For me , it is worse part of having Parkinson’s.

      • #21365
        Kate Rodrigues
        Participant

        Cathy

        Thank you so much for your response. Before PD I struggled with depression. COVID exasperated this condition living alone. Ended up in the ER  due to severe feelings of despair. Depression morphed into anxiety. After struggling for several months finally got connected to nueropsychiatrist. Now on meds for depression. And meds for sleep. Feel better but still struggle. My neurologist was not helpful. Anxiety is a very tough part of PD!!!!

        • #21372
          Cathy Chiaramonte
          Participant

          I am so very sorry for what you have endured and celebrate your resilience. What I have learned is that you must be your own advocate. There is no one answer and what works today may not work next month but you can have periods of relative peace. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and I hope that we stay in touch. I am preparing to move in the next few months and know that will heighten my anxiety. I am determined to take it one day at a time. There is no other way I know that works.

    • #21163
      Laura
      Participant

      Hi Beth, I was dealing with severe anxiety at one point, a result of having PD, my last anxiety panic attach ended in the ER, and yes Xanax did help take down my anxiety, but what my doctor did after discussing with him, was to put me on Lexapro, antidepressant, so I don’t get to the point of anxiety and panic. I don’t need the Xanax as a fast relief any more, the Lexapro keeps me feeling normal.

      • #21168
        Beth T Browne
        Participant

        Hi Laura,

        Thanks so much for your message.  Very interesting, and I say that because I recently changed primary care doctor.  I was having difficulty finding one who listened, cared, and was willing to work with me.  I discussed my problem with my heart doctor.  He recommended one and said in the meantime he would give me a small amount of Xanax.  I had a Zoom with the new primary as he cab not see me until late June.  We talked briefly about my anxiety and the Xanax, and he said we might need to put you on an antidepressant instead.  That was a bit scary, as I have never been on one, and I don’t feel depressed.  He said he would check my blood and go from there.  So, your comment helped me a lot.  Your doctor is doing exactly what this new doctor mentioned.  I am so glad it is working for you, and now I am anxious to see what he prescribes.  I will discuss Lexapro w/him also.  Thanks again.

        Beth

         

        • #21262
          Laura
          Participant

          Hi Beth,
          I’m so glad my information helped you and that you are trying a new doctor.   Don’t be worried about trying Lexapro, it helped me feel normal again, and I don’t need Xanax. Please keep me posted on your progress and if it helped.

          Lauraa

        • #21274
          Melissa Harrison
          Participant

          Please, if you are starting an  anti-anxiety or anti depressant drug, have your doctor order a genetic test which will tell you which drugs are best for your genetic makeup. I had horrible side effects from at least 6 drugs which, come to find out, were not compatible with my blood type.  Best of luck. Melissa

    • #21283
      Beth T Browne
      Participant

      Hi Melissa. My new primary just put me on Trazodone for my sleep. When he gets my blood work up, he may change it. However, I do not like the way it makes me feel the next day. I can’t even describe it. It is 50mg. So, now what do I do? Hopefully, he will try something else. I also was taking a small amount of Xanax for anxiety another doctor prescribed, but I have to take a tiny amount and it calms my tremors sometimes. But, my new primary isn’t sure I should be taking this. I am petite, 93 lbs, and I have always had an issue with drugs, so I starting with a small amount. I can not handle Rytary. It gives me more anxiety.

      Beth

    • #21287
      Melissa Harrison
      Participant

      Hi Beth, have you tried half a Trazodone? Xanax always helped me, but had to take it at bedtime as it knocked me out. From what I have read, taking Xanax and another anxiety pill is not a great idea.

    • #21293
      Beth T Browne
      Participant

      Hi Melissa,

      I did start off with just 1/2 of the Trazodone, and it didn’t do much at all to help my sleep. Xanax helped taking 1/2 at bedtime, but not enough for more then 4 hours. My doctor who gave me the Xanax told me to cut it in half, and that half in half which is the only way I can take it during the day. I only weigh 93. I stopped the Xanax when I started the Trazodone last week. Now I have stopped the Trazodone. Life, difficult. Wish I could find a happy medium, but guess no possible with PD. Thanks for thinking of me Melissa.

    • #21306
      Laura
      Participant

      <div dir=”auto” data-removefontsize=”true” data-originalcomputedfontsize=”16″>Hi Beth,</div>
      <div dir=”auto” data-removefontsize=”true” data-originalcomputedfontsize=”16″>I’m sorry to hear that you are still not having any luck with relieving your anxiety, but if I can make a suggestion, I think you should have your PD doctor managing your anxiety meds in conjunction with your PD meds, since they are intertwined. Parkinson’s stops the body producing dopamine, but also effects the production of serotonin, our body’s natural anxiety relief, so your PD meds and antidepressant meds should work together on a daily basis, and Xanax only in extreme attacks.  You should discuss with you Pd doctor/neurologist, and I hope you get some relief soon.</div>
      <div dir=”auto”></div>
      <div dir=”auto” data-removefontsize=”true” data-originalcomputedfontsize=”16″>Laura</div>

      • #21318
        Beth T Browne
        Participant

        Hi Laura,

        I saw a new PD doctor today. I didn’t seem to be getting much help from the first one. He could tell my anxiety was out of hand just meeting me. I asked him about an antidepressant I read about that was good for Parkinson’s. He knew of it, said he prescribed it often, but wasn’t sure it would help my anxiety, but sent in a prescription.

        The Trazodone wasn’t helping my sleep that much, and I did not like the way my head felt the next day. I stopped it after a couple of days. So, tomorrow I will try the new drug Azilect. Maybe it will calm me so my head is thinking so much at night. He wants me on it for 8 weeks and then I go back for discussion and other specifics. If I have a hard time with it, I am to call.

        I weigh 93 lbs. I have always had problems w/drugs, so I hope I do not this one. I hate I can’t the LevaDopa, but we may go back to just 1/2 3x a day, as I seem to tolerate that. It does take away my appetite some however.

        Beth

    • #21311
      Glen
      Participant

      One of my symptoms of Parkinson’s was anxiety.  Was put on Zoloft for a month, didn’t work.  Switched to Lexapro.  Within 3 days, no more anxiety attacks.   One pill a day keeps me sane.

      • #21320
        Beth T Browne
        Participant

        Glen, what about sleep. Do you have any problems there? If so, did the Lexapro help there. Or did it make sleep more difficult?
        Thank you,
        Beth

        • #21321
          Glen
          Participant

          As I recall,  the Lexapro let me get more than the 1 to 2 hours of sleep I was getting without it.  Usually 5-6 hours of continuous sleep with the Lexapro.  That is with an hour or so nap in the afternoon.  I also started taking Sinemet at about the time I started Lexapro, so it could be the combination of the two, but the Lexapro definitely took care of the anxiety I was experiencing.

           

    • #21312
      Laura
      Participant

      Hi Glen, same for me, Lexapro  worked within one day for me, felt normal again.

      laura

    • #21317
      Sherri
      Participant

      Hi everyone I had severe anxiety before I was diagnosed with PD. I actually retired early because of it. I try to be mindful and make myself happy as well as taking Paxil and Ativan when needed. Luckily that is not very often.

    • #21333
      Cap Sage
      Participant

      I try to avoid all med’s and currently only take Sinemet ER 50/200 3x/day. Natural supplements? Those I take after researching each. Things that help with PD anxiety for me are:

      Calm+Calcium, Magnesium drink by Natural Vitality B4 bedtime

      Vitamin B1, 1000 mg 2x/day

      Vitamin B5, 500 mg B4 bedtime

      Passion Flower

      Valerian root B4 bedtime

      Melatonin B4 bedtime

      Boxing exercise

      Jogging-Walking

      N-Acetyl L-tyrosine  (be SURE to avoid excess vitamin B6 as I used to take this that included B6 and that causes nerve problems….CHECK THIS OUT, IT’S IMPORTANT) Swanson’s brand contains no B6.

      Heatpad on tremoring foot

      Those are just a few. If interested, I use probably a dozen more natural supplements.

       

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