Parkinson's Disease and me

My blog about my experience with Parkinson's Disease

Anxiety 

on June 8, 2016


There has been a lot in the news about anxiety lately. Anxiety is one of my main Parkinson’s symptoms. I think this article sums it up really well, particularly the bit about how to spot it. I believe my Parkinson’s began several years before the tremor that led to the diagnosis. Anxiety was the first symptom. I couldn’t understand the way I was feeling. It was only after some internet research I realised that there was a word that summed it all up “anxiety”. Before that I’d never given the condition a second thought. I knew what the word meant but, I didn’t realise it was a medical condition.

At that time I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because it seemed I had unresolved issues following a rather nasty assault when I was working away from home. Before that I had been pretty fearless and felt invincible. I opted not to take medicine and went for counselling which worked fairly well. Eventually I was able to take a voluntary redundancy and lead a much less stressful life. The anxiety symptoms abated but I always feared they could return some time and they did, just before the tremor in my left hand started.  

Now that I have Parkinson’s Disease confirmed I am always slightly anxious and on the lookout for new symptoms. It’s a loop. The best way seems to be to treat it with humour and laugh at myself but it’s not always easy. I worry about the most stupid things and even though I know they are silly it doesn’t stop me worrying. For example a few months ago my neurologist increased my medication slightly and at the next visit he said I seemed a “little better”. He said there would be no change and he would see me again in 3 months time. He asked me if I had any more symptoms like freezing and I replied that I had not. Really it was all very positive but my anxious mind twisted it so that I worried because I was only a little better and I interpreted the rest to imply that he expected me to start freezing in the next three months. All ridiculous but none the less real. As I said to LSO – I get on my own nerves! He replied that I must get the trait from my mother and reminded me that many years ago I went for a chest X-ray for a school medical and when the results came back marked “satisfactory” my mother was most upset that they weren’t marked “excellent” or even “very good”!

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4 responses to “Anxiety 

  1. Sharon says:

    You are so right. Anxiety plagued me long before other PD symptoms. And it creates a loop, as you said. A vicious circle that feeds upon itself, worries creating more worries. The right medication and therapy have worked well for me, but there are still those occasions when the anxiety returns to make my life hell again.

  2. Jellywoman says:

    Well put – and very relevant.

    And you’re absolutely right about the check-ups. Every time a dr wades through the list … “Do I have problems swallowing/ concentrating / dribbling / with continence / with hallucinations etc etc”, then there leaves a lingering thought – is this what’s coming in the future? They wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t a possibility. I know logically that PD affects different people in different ways and one can’t predict – also, there will be a cure – but sometimes it’s hard not to worry.

    I guess the key thing is to try and keep focused on the present. Which, at present, is fine.

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