Anyone coping with a chronic illness or disease knows that it can be difficult at times to cope. Depression, anger, and discouragement are normal feelings especially for Parkinson’s patients. Because the disease causes chemical changes in the brain you may feel depressed or anxious and frustration occurs when you experience difficulty walking or dressing. Ordinary tasks become time-consuming and difficult, even eating becomes a problem. Your most reliable source of support and help will come from your family and close friends. Talking to others who are having the same problem can be especially valuable to Parkinson’s patients. You may benefit from the support that comes with a group of people that are having similar problems and struggles. Talk to your doctor to find support groups in your area or contact the National Parkinson Foundation or the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Keeping physically active is important in coping with Parkinson’s disease. You should take care while walking but continuing your daily exercise time will help you in many ways. Your body will stay limber and it will improve your mobility in the long-haul. Always contact your doctor if you are beginning a new exercise program especially if you have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Coping with Parkinson’s disease may mean a change in lifestyle. Planning will help ease the frustration of daily tasks that become increasingly difficult to perform. Allow yourself more time to get dressed. Choose clothes that have simple fasteners or pants you can slide into easily. Take your time and allow yourself the freedom to do tasks slower than you would normally. This will do much toward easing the frustration, and following depression that often accompanies Parkinson’s disease.
You could try a form of Tai chi or Yoga to help with mobility and to ease stress and tension. Tai chi is an ancient form of Chinese exercise that improves balance and flexibility. Tai chi can be tailored to fit people of all ages and physical condition. Yoga also helps improve mobility and balance and as with Tai chi, can be tailored to fit your age and condition.
If you find you are beginning to get stressed about doing normal, everyday tasks, take time out for stress relief. Understanding your disease will allow you to understand why you are frustrated, stressed or depressed. Find ways to ease your stress level, make time for personal fun and enjoyment, and assign duties where you can. Prayer and meditation are great stress relievers and natural antidepressants.
Enlist the help of your close friends and family. Help them get educated about your disease so they will feel comfortable talking with you about your symptoms and feelings. Don’t give in to your craving for comfort foods! Fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables and a nutritious diet will help combat stress and depression as well as help with constipation problems common to Parkinson’s disease patients. Drink plenty of fluids but stay away from alcohol and drinks with caffeine.