Parkinson's Disease and Depression
People living with a chronic condition can sometimes feel
depressed, not just sad. The National
Parkinson Foundation (NPF) notes that “depression and anxiety” are more
common for people living with Parkinson’s disease than other chronic diseases.
“It is estimated that at least 50 percent of those diagnosed
with PD will experience some form of depression during their illness, and up to
40 percent will experience an anxiety disorder,” the NPF states. They recommend
that people living with Parkinson’s disease get screened for depression
annually and talk with their health care provider about changes in mood.
Depression can be caused by a variety of factors including
loss of control over one’s life, frustration, and anxiety about the future.
When someone is depressed they may withdraw socially or reduce physical activity.
There are treatment options for depression. The NPF
“recommends a holistic, comprehensive approach to depression.” This approach is
a combination of antidepressant medication, counseling, exercise, and social
support to combat depression.
Additional tips for fighting depression from “Living a
Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, 4th Ed.” (Bull Publishing Co.,
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Eliminate negative influences such as drinking alcohol, staying isolated, taking painkillers, and being angry and yelling a lot.
Do something for someone else like volunteering or lending a friend a hand with a chore or errand.
Get some exercise—dancing has been found to be a beneficial activity for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Think positively about yourself and quiet the negative self-talk.