Michael J Fox Foundation, ‘Faces of Parkinson’s’, 2014
When facing a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, it is understandable to feel anxious or depressed. But mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are real clinical symptoms of Parkinson’s, just as rigidity and tremor. In fact, at least half of all Parkinson’s patients may suffer from clinical depression at some point during the course of their disease, according to some estimates.
The good news: Over the past decade, researchers have placed increasing focus on investigating these aspects of the disease, and today we have a better understanding of how to treat mood disorders in Parkinson’s and increase quality of life.
Feeling worried is an understandable reaction to a Parkinson’s diagnosis. But when feelings of constant worry or nervousness go beyond what is understandable, a person may be experiencing anxiety, which is more serious.
Anxiety is a common nonmotor symptom of PD. It is important to note that anxiety is not simply a reaction to the diagnosis of Parkinson’s, but is instead a part of the disease itself, caused by changes in the chemistry of the brain. Estimates show that between 25 and 45 percent of people with PD experience an anxiety disorder at some point.
Read more at http://www.pdf.org/anxiety
There are two main types of treatment options for anxiety: medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy). Depending on the severity of symptoms, psychotherapy can be used alone or combination with medication. NPF recommends a personalized, holistic and comprehensive strategy for the treatment of mental health problems, meaning that care should be tailored to each person’s individual health needs and preferences.
There are many different ways in which a person with Parkinson’s can experience anxiety. The following is a list of common anxiety disorders and a description of symptoms associated with each form. As many as two out of five people with Parkinson’s will experience one of these forms during the course of their illness.
Some people with Parkinson’s may experience anxiety including feelings of unease, worry and fear.
It is often a natural reaction to situations we find threatening or difficult. There are a number of ways of managing anxiety.