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    • #20403
      Ally
      Keymaster

      Do you notice that your symptoms worsen when you’re under stress? Research suggests that mindfulness can help. Is this a strategy you’ve tried or do you have other coping methods that help?

      For me, mindfulness is challenging, and I have to do something “mindfully-active” (like mindfully washing dishes or going for a walk) to feel any positive effects.

      What about you? What do you think about mindfulness?

    • #20417
      Jo S.
      Participant

      Oh yes! Stress is my worst enemy and exacerbates all my symptoms (esp. tremor and anxiety). I practice mindfulness, but I think when it comes to PD and stress, mindfulness is exceedingly difficult to apply. Your idea of keeping “mindfully active” makes an enormous amount of sense to me and is something I also find helpful. The secret is to remember to find a suitable activity and then do it. 🙂

      • #20424
        Ally
        Keymaster

        I agree, Jo! Mindfulness is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. What kinds of mindfully active activities work for you?

    • #20435
      Marla Wise
      Participant

      Stress definitely makes my symptoms worse, especially the anxiousness!  I’ve dabbled in mindfulness practices, but haven’t really pursued more information, which I think I will do.  At this point, physical activity seems to help me the most.

      • #20447
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Physical activity works best for me too! I also recently heard someone on a podcast say they start their day with light, hydration and movement within 30 min and that helps them get ahead of their anxiety for the rest of the day. Have you ever tried cognitive behavioural therapy?

    • #20444
      Beth T Browne
      Participant

      Oh yes.  I was diagnoised July 0f 2020, but we believe I had it a year before, as I had tremors, and sleep problems.  Now, the anxiety has been bad and if I have a problem with something, that is a daily, monthly or whatever issue, I really shake and get very upset.  I do NOT like having anxiety.  I recently was prescribed a very small dosage of Xanax, as I only way 93lbs, and I do not do well with a lot of medications.  I have tried taking 1/2 of the dose morn and night and it just wiped me out.  I couldn’t do any thing, so now I have the small dose and then 1/2 the 1/2.  I take it morning and evening.  Have not been on it long but not sure it is helping.  My new primary suggested I might need an antidepressant, even though I don’t believe I am depressed, and my daughter agrees.  He said it could be a chemical imbalance.  So, I guess I will be tested for that.  I have not been told about mindfulness, so I will read more about it.  I do try and walk 30 min a day, other than the time I am up doing things, but it is not happening daily.  I am 83, with osteo arthritis through out my body, which does cause me pain, but some days are better then others.

      • #20446
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Thank you for sharing, Beth. Have you tried cognitive behavioural therapy to help with your anxiety? Medication is great but augmenting with CBT could be really transformative. 🙂 Happy to answer questions from my own experience if you have them.

        • #20452
          Beth T Browne
          Participant

          Hi Ally,

          Thank you for your response.   I have not tried cognitive behavioral.  No one has discussed it with me re my anxiety.  I have not tried CBT either, but would not be afraid too, if I had the right person to assist me.  Don’t know of any doctor to discuss that with.  Being sensitive to medications, I would need responsible assistance.  Not sure who can help with cognitive behavioral therapy either.  Help is appreciated.

    • #20453
      Andrew L.
      Participant

      Stress makes everything worse, however it has been said that the only time we (humans) have no stress is when we are in a coma or dead. That said excessive stress is best eliminated when possible, as the disease with its fluctuating brain dopamine levels  is stressful enough, thank you very much. CBT has been around for decades and is a widely used treatment in conventional psychology. Many therapists “specialize” in this area. Personally I prefer mindfulness but agree it is difficult (but not impossible) to be mindful when in a Parkinson’s off period. One way I try to do it  is when I am in off period I try to get present and remind myself  that I am safe and nothing threatening is actually happening in my environment (in fact nothing has changed).  I am aware that my body is having uncomfortable  sensations and I may name them, and I aware that any negative thoughts I may be having about these bodily sensations are merely thoughts.  Then it is back to the breath. While  the uncomfortable body sensations and negative thoughts can be quite uncomfortable, I may again remind myself that they are in fact 100% meaningless. Moving around and if possibly exercising at these times definitely helps me as well, and I have come to believe that exercise helps in the uptake of dopamine into my brain, so I like to do it especially right after I get a dose. Personally don’t like taking benzodiazepines (drugs like xanax) for anxiety as that can be a slippery slope I would prefer to avoid (but to each his own). Anyway that is what is working for me for NOW , the only time there is…..Hope that helps a little….

      • #20471
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Thanks for sharing, Andrew – loved everything you said! Such a helpful reminder about “now” being the only time there is. I need that tattooed on my forehead. 🙂

    • #20461
      Marla Wise
      Participant

      Thanks for your response Ally.  Have been doing some reading on CBT.

      Andrew, I like your approach with the positive self talk and staying in the present. It helps keep the mind from “going down the rabbit hole”!    Also the breathing technique is helpful. When I was teaching, we did breathing with the students each morning to get ourselves ready for learning.  I just need to remember to do it!

      I bought a mini trampoline to keep in the back bedroom for times I feel stresses and just NEED to move!

       

      • #20472
        Ally
        Keymaster

        That’s so cool, Marla. Where did you get the idea for a mini trampoline? Is there anything a person should look for in terms of size, bounceability (? is that a thing?!) when purchasing one?

    • #20462
      Jo S.
      Participant

      Hey there, Marla! I also have a mini trampoline. I use it to supplement my exercise program when I’m unable to get outside for a walk. But it’s also great for relieving stress or when restless legs or akathisia kicks in.

    • #20463
      Marla Wise
      Participant

      👍 I use it for restless leg too, although meds make it better!

      Happy jumping Jo!

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