Mental health is defined as emotional, psychological and social well-being and is an essential part of everyone’s overall health. It is particularly important to understand mental health as it relates to someone with Parkinson’s disease (PD).
As with every symptom of PD, there is a tremendous amount of variation between people experiencing mental health symptoms. Most people with PD will have some mental health concerns including anxiety, depression and cognitive changes.
Here at the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) we have developed many resources to help you learn more about the different mental health issues that might affect you or your loved one. We hope you find the insight and advice below to be helpful. We encourage you to learn more and to talk to your doctor about any mental health concerns you may have.
Patient Perspectives: Hearing how other people deal with their mental health challenges can help you craft ways to deal with yours:
- Learn more about mental health and PD and get the personal perspectives of two people who are living with PD, the mental health issues they deal with, and the strategies that work for them.
- Read messages from others in the PD community about their own mental health concerns and observations.
Stress and Anxiety: Anxiety and stress are two different things, but can often manifest themselves in similar ways, making it challenging to tell the difference. They can often worsen PD symptoms, so it is helpful to learn more about these issues and what you can do to help minimize their impact.
Apathy: Apathy is defined as a feeling of indifference or a general lack of interest or motivation in activities, and can be one of the most challenging and puzzling non-motor symptoms of PD. It can also be very frustrating for the person with PD as well as for care partners, friends and family. Learn more about apathy, including lifestyle modifications that can make a difference.
Psychosis:PD psychosis is a non-motor symptom that causes patients to experience hallucinations and/or delusions. More than half of all patients with PD eventually develop symptoms over the course of their disease so it is important to understand more and learn what can be done to help.
Spotlight on Brain Heath: This APDA Spotlight on Parkinson’s Disease webinar offers important information on brain health and helpful ways to address mental health symptoms:
Tips for Talking to Your Doctor: Don’t wait for your doctor to ask – be sure to talk about any mental health concerns you may have so you can start working on ways to improve your situation. This fact sheet provides valuable advice about how to talk to your doctor about your mental health.
Tracking your Symptoms: The free APDA Symptom Tracker can help you to track mental health (and other) symptoms, easily and accurately so you’re providing a full picture when talking with your doctor. Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.