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Anxiety, Apathy, & Parkinson's: My Approach for Coping with These Symptoms

Part of what has sustained my mobility and my sanity with living with Parkinson’s disease for 30+ years has been a combination of good neurological assistance, medication, and basic common sense. As symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or side effects of the pharmaceuticals are revealed, I choose to attack back not with a drug, but a meditation, exercise, or spiritual practice that eases the mind and relaxes the body.

Part of living well with an illness like Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years and just being able to function at all, by some standards, is an accomplishment, to be savored. I dare say, the club of young-onset patients that are living with this disease for over 30 years is difficult to find. Many of the discoveries that I have made, were made from necessity, trial, and error, or just out of self-exploration.

Coping with anxiety & Parkinson's

Stress has a way of making what is working sometimes, to fall short, due to a lack of focus. Anxiety feeds itself on the past, our self-identity/self-image, and our own limitations. Identifying the need for change and the realization that you are open to a change in your quality of life is empowering and a shift that may lead you to finding benefits.

Illness and stress go together like a hand to a glove. Both will propel each other to accelerate quickly and feed off one another. If left unchecked, anxiety can exacerbate symptoms and stress the body.

Counteracting anxiety may mean taking time for yourself. It may also mean finding spiritual and mindful practices that may help to bring back some sense of calm and balance. The key is to practice, meaning to repeat devotion and commitment to the modality. There are some symptoms that some medications just cannot help—that is when many people with Parkinson’s seeking solutions turn to complementary therapies, often out of frustration and a lack of options. Exploring the wide range of therapies that are available to you, sooner rather than later, is an important part of adding tools to your dealing with illness.

Coping with apathy & Parkinson's

Caring for yourself or someone else requires interest and an investment of focus. Should apathy set in, that ‘do nothing sense’, can lead to regression and setbacks in performance and finding solutions to help ease stress and reduce symptoms. It is quite remarkable what kind of results can be made when you drink more water, tweak your diet, exercise, and reduce your anxiety level.

If you can time your medications to a schedule that works in conjunction with some of these recommendations to help yourself, I really believe that Parkinson's symptoms can be improved greatly.

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