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    • #22189
      Mary Beth Skylis

      I’ve read that some PWP are very sensitive to stress and anxiety. But I was surprised to find that they’ve also experienced more stress as they’ve gotten older. Do you think your stress levels have gotten worse over time? If so, do you think it’s related to Parkinson’s disease?

    • #22377
      Alan M

      Mary Beth — you always ask the most insightful questions!!  Indeed… I have notice my stress levels elevating.  I’ve often asked myself if I just notice them more — or if it indeed a true elevation?

      My stressors mainly relate to work.  I have children at home still – so I have no choice but to work.  I’ve told myself I need to pull back on the reigns a bit lately.  I’m a self-employed therapist, so I have the luxury of doing this.  I’ve taken to dropping one day a week working and replacing it with relaxation time involving myself in playing music.  I find this helps me to ameliorate my stress somewhat.

      I plan to increase my exercise regime more too — boxing and running on my treadmill.

    • #22379
      Marlyne Wilder

      My stress levels have changed.

      In my 40’s I was stressed from working full time, having 3 children in 3 different schools, and a husband who worked full time and went to college at night.

      Now at age 68, little things stress me. What to make for dinner, what aches and pains will I have today, will I sleep tonight….  Being stressed does me no good, I know.  My mind is constantly spinning.  Time for another THC gummy that relieves stress and anxiety.

    • #22384
      Robert Harris

      If you connected a  “Stress Detector” to my nervous system, it would say that my genuine stgressors (I think that’s the name for the things that cause you stress, such as letters from the IRS) have objectively gone down as time has passed. I retired in about 2014, and I have had less stuff to worry about since then. But even though I’m ensconced in a cushy life, my feelings of being stressed are aiming for the sky. In other words, I feel or I react to stress much more than before.

      For example, when it came to  multitasking (actually, it’s rapid task switching) I used to be Dr. Multitask. “Four things to do at once? Gimme 5, or make it 7.” But now, several tasks needing attention at the same time can make me slow down, maybe feel a bit confused, and almost start sweating.

      As Marlyne suspects, I think that we somehow feel that our brains are diminshing, as they do for nearly everyone, and since stress is a common reaction to feeling ovewhelmed (and in my case, feeling rushed), then much of the unwelcome feeling in our  minds and bodies come from reduced mental horsepower. I have “word finding” issues now that I never had before (not finding just the right word you’re looking for is common, but I sometimes stop short after one or two syllables of a single word. And I ‘m too often stumped by spelling. I used to be a good speller.)

      Anyway, to cut the blab and make up a point, I experience stress more physically than ever before. My wife began to react to stress by flooding adrenaline into her bloodstream, causing rapid heart beat and so on. So I  have joined with her in switching our entertainment menu from murder investigations to the Hallmark Channel (no cursing, no sex, not much violence, just peaceful, though prefdictable).

      And I spend a certain amount of time reading and writing (yes! I can still type! For every three letters I type, two have to be deleted).

      Solution: Take a hot bath just before bed each night. When your body starts to cool down, it gets the idea that all systems are switching off and it’s time to get with the program.


      • #22434

        What a great answer.  Thank you so much for your time on this Robert.   Your answer reverberates with the way my husband is, he is young onset PD and I will show him your posting, as I think it will be very helpful to him as we are going through a lot of stress in our relationship and we are wondering where the dickens it is coming from.

    • #22392

      I like the idea of acknowledging that there is less horse power in the brain; Working, raising kids, no problem in my 40’s!


      I now, 22 years later, keep a much shorter to do list so as not to overwhelm myself.

    • #22412

      There is for certain stress as you learn how to live with PD. But my overall stress is much less.

    • #22444
      Barbara Ford

      Although the reason for the stress may have changed, there is little doubt that my stress level has increased. But then I ask myself, has my stress actually increased, or is it my ability to deal with it decreased?  Certainly the unknown causes much more pressure and anxiety now. There is a greater sense of having a lack of control. My MDS has recommended seeing a psychologist to learn how to deal with my new reality. Perhaps after the first of the year there will be time to that in!

    • #22451
      Jeffery Hill

      I subscribe to the theory that those of us with PD have a reduced capacity to handle stress, not that stress itself has increased.  I find that when anxiety and stress build, my tremor just starts hammering and I feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

      When I was diagnosed in 2016 I had an idea what I was in for, because my father had PD.  I set about to plan early retirement precisely because I equated full time work with stress.  I was able to make the break in early 2019.  As I had hoped, stress levels did drop, and I was able to throw myself into exercise, gardening and trip planning.  I consider myself very fortunate.

      I’m still very susceptible to stress when the littlest thing goes wrong (i.e. an appliance craps out or some other unexpected financial set-back) but I recognize it for what it is, and coach myself to get through it.

      • #22476
        Alan M

        I believe I’ve had prodromal PD since 2015.  But I wasn’t formally diagnosed until March 2021.  I noticed my work stressors made life untenable at times.  More from a cognitive aspect than from tremors.

        I wish I could retire.  But that’s not plausible.  I think if, like you intimate Jeffrey, were I to throw myself more into physical exercise, and my music, I might be in a better position to cope with stress in my life.  I’m just not too sure how “coaching myself through this”  might look like on the ground.

    • #22462

      Yes! I was diagnosed in 2014, age 75. Prior to PD I was able to multitask no matter the task. In the past few years, my patience has lessened while stress has increased. I had been thinking it is my age however, I’ve had discussions with my children and they agree that my stress level explodes in proportion to the number of people involved, the amount of noise, and my own expectation of what is required of me. I am working on my daily schedule, keeping it to 2 activities per day (exercise plus laundry or exercise plus book club with perhaps a short nap if required), especially with holidays looming. Listing daily activities on my wall calendar helps me keep to parameters. Stress limits enjoyment, and I do not want to do that!

    • #22483

      I was diagnosed 14 months ago. Parkinson’s has meant many things too me. My relationship with God is stronger than ever. “ His strength is made perfect in my weakness”. Today I accept Parkinson’s as my condition. Exercise, medication, diet, Parkinson’s  friendships and prayer are my anecdotes. My stress is well managed and seems to be diminishing. Blessings, Mike


    • #23001
      Fred Barnett

      I was diagnosed with PD in 2011 and have steadily progressed with my PD symptoms ever since. That includes the amount of stress I experience. The stress is proportionate to the intensity of my symptoms at the time. The more severe my tremors, the more severe my stress. I try to control my stress with relaxing music, quiet time, meditation, and what I call “self-talk”. I find that reading scripture helps a lot also. My quiet time involves sitting quietly with my hands under my legs, to stop the tremors, and concentrating on God and peaceful thoughts. This is not often possible when I’m experiencing severe stress out in public, so the stress continues unabated. Stress pills don’t seem to help a whole lot nor does exercise completely eliminate stress either although it helps to some degree. We need an effective pill to control our stress along with our other medications.

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