People often ask about the effect Parkinson’s disease (PD) can have on personality. Many PD symptoms are fairly obvious, but others like shifts in personality might be less clear to see. There could be many reasons for a person with PD to act differently, so it can help to learn more about the potential underlying causes.
Personality changes of PD may be due to side effects of PD medications, pre-motor symptoms of PD, or non-motor symptoms of PD. A better understanding can help care partners, family, and the person with PD approach the situation with some patience, calm, and kindness rather than blame or frustration. When it comes to quality of life, this can make a huge difference.
Personality changes are just one of many non-motor symptoms people may experience and a good example of the mental challenges and changes that are possible. The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) offers these resources that can help you learn more and navigate the complex world of personality and mental health concerns.
The Effect of Parkinson’s Disease on Personality: This blog post will give you some helpful background about the potential causes of personality changes, as well as some examples provided by care partners of the types of changes they’ve observed.
Mental Health Overview: There are many types of mental health challenges – depression, anxiety, psychosis, cognitive impairment, and more. This two-page fact sheet can help you understand the differences between these symptoms so you can better formulate a plan and find the resources that are best suited for your needs.
Personal Perspectives on Mental Health: It can help to know that you are not alone. This article shares the insights and experiences of two thoughtful people who are living with PD.
Mild Cognitive Impairment: On this recent episode of Dr. Gilbert Hosts, APDA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Rebecca Gilbert, MD, and neuropsychologist Jasdeep Hundal, PsyD, discuss mild cognitive changes and how to improve them.
Remember, not everyone with PD will face personality changes and mental health issues, but for those who do, the symptoms can vary greatly. Always bring any changes or issues to the attention of your doctor. In many cases there are treatments available that can provide some relief or improve your symptoms, so do not hesitate to ask.