Living with Parkinson`s brings many changes and has the potential to affect all areas of life. Job, family, leisure, partnership, friends – much is not what it was before the illness and it’s natural to find it difficult to look ahead positively.
In this section, you will find tips and recommendations to facilitate everyday life with Parkinson's disease. Especially at the beginning of the disease, shortly after the shock of diagnosis, you may feel insecure and hopeless. Some of the changes you will need to make may be easier than others. But it’s important to realise that while Parkinson’s is life changing, for most people it is not life threatening. And the more you learn about the disease the easier it will be to come to terms with it.
You may feel fear of losing your independence as the disease progresses, but the aim of treatment and support from your family and friends is to ensure you can maintain your independence for as long as possible.
We have summarised some recommendations that can help you cope with your condition and hopefully help have a positive attitude right from the start.
Some days I find myself discouraged...what can I do?
Living with Parkinson’s disease, both the symptoms and treatment effects can impact your mood and it is common to have negative emotions and feelings of sadness and even depression.
A depressive disorder is not the same as fleeting feelings of sadness – sadness is temporary and fades with time. However, if feelings of sadness and low mood persist to the point where they are preventing you from living your daily life, it can become a depressive disorder.
It’s important to talk to your doctor, if you have any concerns.
The most common symptoms of a low mood are:
Your mood affects your health, as a patient you can do a lot to continue to lead a self-determined and happy life with Parkinson's disease, so being active and maintaining a good number of daily activities will help increase your wellbeing.
Some recommendations to adopt a positive attitude and look after your emotional wellbeing
Keep physically and mentally active
It's important to keep yourself as physically and mentally active as possible. In this way, mind and body functions can be maintained to the greatest possible degree. It will help you to have a positive attitude towards your condition.
Establish realistic goals
Your care team maybe able to support you in creating realistic goals. For example, doing activities that will help you maintain your quality of life such as joining support groups, rehabilitation, and regular exercise.
Find a way to adapt to your new lifestyle
Be aware of what you can change and what you can’t change. It will take time and effort to modify your life, but it is rewarding to know that you have control over it and can succeed.
Keep your social life actives
Being surrounded by friends can make a huge difference to your experience of the disease. Your friends can help you and be a positive influence in your daily life.
Try to keep a positive attitude
Try to keep a positive attitude and keep negative influences to a minimum whatever they are. Try and live in the present and take maximum advantage of the things you can do now.
What can I do If I have unpleasant thoughts about my disease?
When facing a chronic disease such as Parkinson’s, it is common to have unpleasant or unwanted thoughts about disease progression, symptoms or quality of life.
The best way of dealing with these thoughts is by addressing them.
Make sure you are doing your part. Following all your doctor`s recommendations and doing the things that are important to you will help you to take on health challenges and maintain control of your life.
If you find you are still having unpleasant thoughts then speak to your doctor about it so that you can get the help you need.
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