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    • #21438
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      Living with Parkinson’s can be really difficult. And it isn’t uncommon for people with Parkinson’s to struggle with depression. Changes to our bodies, paired with a gloomy outlook can contribute to unhappiness. But you’re not alone. Do you struggle with depression? If so, is there anything you do to help to minimize its impacts?

    • #21694
      Manuel Fernandez
      Participant

      It is so sensible to focus on this topic Mary. True, we all have our ups and downs (also when PD isn’t there) but my experience with PD does have some positive aspects. All thanks to a young neurologist who had the sad duty of telling me with certainty that, indeed, it was Parkinson and not a minor ear ailment as I had hoped. But as soon as she uttered the news she gave me the best advice I have ever received: “Dear Manuel, there are medicines you’ll have to take but the main one is already with you. Movement, Manuel. Keep always on the move! Jump, dance, walk, work with your hands as much as you can. Our body is made to move! As for balancing movement with mental health there is nothing I can tell you as I notice you are actively writing up your research. Just put a limit to the time you are sitting in front of a monitor and go out to move.”

      As a young adolescent, at twelve, I was sent to a boarding school for poor children and I was there trained as a carpenter. I did work occasionally on that trade but I managed to move into the world of academia. After listening and pondering on the advice received, back at home I immediately made the arrangements to create a carpentry workshop in my garage, bought all tools and hand machines I could afford and began working with wood, sixty years after I had last done that.

      That’s how the initial moments of depression faded away as I began my humble production of various items of furniture that I now see every day around me. And I was so proud when my wife mounted an exhibition and friends and neighbours came to visit and see the work done. That’s the lesson I learned and every now and again when gloom fills my mine I immediately thing about what I can make (not what I can do) to lessen the depression. And that helps me at all times. My PD keeps its sad course but I always find something I can make. I seriously think that the compliance with that initial advice of the neurologist had much greater efficacy that Sinemet and I do not fail passing on the advice to friends about to reach retirement: “Be careful, retirement is not a time for resting. It is rather a time to increase and enhance physical action. It is also the best deterrent for the inset of Parkinson at a late age.” That’s something I always think as a moral duty to pass on to other friends and I feel happy to have now written it here.

    • #21698
      William Palmer
      Participant

      Yes, I do. With PD, my brain chemistry has changed. Antidepressants make me feel worse. I can’t tolerate cannabis anymore, which depresses me–smoking pot always gave me a lift. Now it makes my walking and balance worse. I can’t tolerate alcohol for the same reason. I see a great therapist. I pay close attention to being grateful. I practice mindfulness. I try to make art by writing and publishing poems. This helps. I’m working on my depression, not letting it define me. It’s a part of PD, as fatigue is. But I am more than both of them . . .

    • #21705
      Kris Butler
      Participant

      I do struggle with depression. One of my triggers is dealing with medicare advantage plans need for having to get referrals in place before I can see anyone.  It is frustrating how difficult the system is and we are supposed to navigate it when we have a neurological disorder.  Kinda like asking a blind person to get through a maze.   Anyway, I am too wound up to be able to meditate. I use cognitive therapy to help with coping skills.  I also paint. That is still soothing to me.  I have chronic pain from the dystonia caused by my young-onset Parkinson’s.  That for me is the hardest part.  I will always fight and never give up.

      • #21754
        Melissa Harrison
        Participant

        I am sorry you are struggling. I was diagnosed with Pd in October, and had been very burdened with high anxiety a year prior. Depression set in about a year later. I read about high dose thiamine (B1). I asked my GP and Neurologist about taking it and they said it couldn’t hurt. I began with 500mg and upped it every month by 500. I am currently at 1500mg. About a month ago my depression totally lifted my anxiety is much improved, and my hand tremor is almost nonexistent . I have been on C/L since diagnosed. 25/100 3 X a day. There are days when I forget I have this disease. Please note that I am extremely active physically. Golf, tennis, physical therapy, long walks etc.

    • #21706
      Sandy Harnagel
      Participant

      Yes, I struggle with depression every day. When it gets real bad I just want to get to a place where no one can find me. PS: I haven’t found it yet – – my husband notices the change in me and does something funny to bring me back.

    • #21707
      fakhiuddin ahmed
      Participant

      My wife with PD suffers from depression, at times severe. The covid has separated her from friends. She feels weak and spends greater time in bed and it is difficult to determine if her fatigue is from depression or PD or likely both. Her exertion tolerance has progressively decreased, which makes me want to know how close to the end she is. I want to know from caregivers the symptoms near the end to avoid pushing her to try harder which will make her feel guilty that she is not trying hard.

    • #21720
      Habib nazarian
      Participant

      My husband struggles with depression, the medication hardly helps.  He is tired and depressed 90% of the time.  What makes him come out of his shell is talking to his friends.  Talking to friends who care about his well being gives him a hope that his life is very important to all of us, and as hard as PD is for him and others like him, they should remember how important they are to many others around them, and that is a reason for them to TRY.

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