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  • Coping with anxiety, depression and stress

    Posted by ally on November 30, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone in the world who doesn’t have some experience – either personally or via someone close to them – with anxiety, depression and/or stress. Many people with Parkinson’s also report experiencing these mental health challenges, and this is the subject of a recent column by Lori DePorter. You can listen to the column as a flash briefing here.

    What did you think of what Lori shared? How has PD affected your mental health and capacity for stress? What do you find helps you take care of your mental health and manage stress?

    kathleen-ernst replied 1 year, 3 months ago 8 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • fakhiuddin ahmed

    December 9, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Is there a description of advanced PD? Do they become immobile, incontinent, unable to feed themselves or by meds and other treatments, few if any patients ever reach such a state? Does cocaine or cannabis help?

  • derrickmyle

    January 18, 2022 at 10:16 am

    People with Parkinson’s disease often report that excessive stress and anxiety make their symptoms worse, such as bruising, dyskinesia, and tremors. People with PD also recognize that chronic stress seems to exacerbate non-motor symptoms, especially anxiety and depression.

    Well, anxiety in Parkinson’s patients can be treated by following steps.

    Behavioral psychotherapy
    Relaxation techniques

    • mary-beth-skylis

      January 21, 2022 at 7:42 am

      My dad has identified this, as well. He seems to think that his tremors are worse when he’s feeling stressed out or anxious.

  • ally

    November 1, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    Giving this topic a bump, as many of us are heading toward winter, which can exacerbate mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. Does anyone have any advice for staving off seasonal affective disorder/the winter blues?

    • derrickmyle

      November 21, 2022 at 8:33 am

      I think the first thing to do is to take a blood test to find out if you have a vitamin D deficiency, and if you do, then you need to make it up. In my case, what works best is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has completely changed my life. My therapist has made me as close to normal as I can ever hope to be. Happy that thanks to telehealth, I can see her even after I move (highly recommend Medvidi). I also have a light therapy lamp, but I’m not sure it helps me much 🙂

  • beth-t-browne

    November 22, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    This past week has been interesting.  I continue to have high blood pressure even with a BP patch.  Then I see my Parkinson doctor and she explained I was having high anxiety.  My breathing was not normal, and I was a mess.

    I am going in to my heart doctor’s tomorrow to see what is going on.  I had to start the anxiety medicine with tiny pieces, as I have issues w/a lot of drugs.  Not sure if I am better as my breathing is still not quite right but some better.

    • paulette-bennett

      November 24, 2022 at 2:54 pm

      What is cognitive behavior therapy?

      • kathleen-ernst

        November 25, 2022 at 2:21 am

        Paulette, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is basically retraining your thoughts and behaviors so that your negative thought patterns and your negative behavioral responses to circumstances become more positive or neutral, allowing less emotional and physical stress and reduction of depression and anxiety.

        one example: you ask your supervisor a question and they respond in an agitated manner.  Negative thought pattern—they don’t like me—I can never do anything right—I’m a failure and the behavioral response is to withdraw, avoid, get angry and slam the door behind you…Or the thought pattern can be they seem stressed today must be having a hard day—behavior not self critical

  • krukar

    November 24, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    Hi Ally,

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Mental Health sure can be an issue for Parkinson’s folks. I think it is partially the result of sitting around. So I am especially grateful for Fraya purposing we walk this morning. We have both had colds so that made it easy to give me an excuse not to exercise which helps so much. I have got to attack my condition.

    So lately I have been taking the probiotic Neuralli made by Bened. I have taken it for 40 days now. It has helped my digestion, mood, and I am walking without a stick now. See for me I have got to keep up my exercise regime for my physical and mental health. Neuralli is not a cure but it has provided some symptom relief for me. Like I told my sister it gives me some hope. Blessings, Mike











  • kathleen-ernst

    November 25, 2022 at 3:23 am

    I really liked what she had to say.  I’ve dealt with depression off and on most of my life but I never considered myself to be an anxious person.   In January of 2021 I came down with COVID and returned to work about 3 weeks later still very fatigued and brain fog. Within a couple of months I still had my COVID symptoms but I also became very anxious, I started stuttering when talking with people under stress my speech was slow and my thought process very slow and my left hand and arm would tremor and get worse as stress elevated.  Long story short, after seeing a neurologist, receiving trial medication, having a Neuropsych exam, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, depression and anxiety.  I wasn’t put on any meds for depression/anxiety at the time due to conflict with other meds but I did start seeing a psychologist for the recommended CBT therapy.  It was slow going at first but still helpful but when I changed therapist, due to change of insurance, my current therapist combined CBT and other styles of therapy that has really helped me so that I’m handling the depression and anxiety so much better and I am learning to communicate better and to read my body signals so I catch myself before I escalate.
    ‘Through therapy I’ve learned, and continue to learn, that we all have junk in our lives and if we don’t learn healthy ways to deal with it then emotions and negative thoughts build up.  For me, after  long-COVID and then being hit with diagnosis of PD my struggles with worth and value just sucked the air out of me as I thought of the hardship I’d bring on my family over time and I started comparing the abilities of the new me vs the old me. I am better now—as my therapist reminds me this is a practice  not a destination—at allowing myself the grace that I would so easily give to others and acceptance that I am still Me. My PD, anxiety/depression don’t define me but they are a part of me and when I become stressed my PD symptoms get worse so my relaxation techniques and my mindfulness  meditations help me to reduce the stress.   Therapy takes a lot of work and can be emotional as you dig deep but I would recommend to all who struggle!  I personally like zoom meetings with my therapist so that I don’t have to spend time getting to and from sessions and if the session is more emotional, I am already at home but I do know others who prefer in person therapy. The great part is we have a choice!

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