Depression is a lousy thing. To have. To be around. It steals, it kills, and it destroys. It comes straight from the pit of hell. It changes your life and the lives of those around you. It’s unpredictable when it will strike and it seems to have no end.
You can try to think it away, will it away, but it has a mind of its own and so it wreaks havoc on yours. It robs you of joy, energy, life itself.
How can you know it’s depression that is residing within? How can you know it isn’t some kind of illness that is robbing you of your energy?
Depression itself is an illness. It is not a sickness. It is not a ‘condition’. It’s an illness.
For some, it feels like a black, dark cloud residing directly overhead. Some feel down for more than a day or so. A week. Months. Years. They can’t concentrate, they are anxious, despairing.
What does this have to do with Parkinson’s disease (PD)? Did you know that depression is one of the first symptoms of PD?
I first heard of this when I was diagnosed. To be treated for Parkinson’s Disease, you need to be treated for the whole disease and that can often mean depression. Sometimes all that is needed is a slight dose of an anti-depressant. Others will receive a higher dose and find the change to be overwhelming, not having realized what a significant role depression was playing with their journey with Parkinson’s disease..
It has been proven that serious medical conditions, such as PD, can contribute to depression. The weakness and stress certain diseases bring on can make depression even worse. The immune system weakens and makes pain harder to tolerate.
How can we learn to live with depression and PD? If you have Parkinson’s Disease, chances of you having depression or experiencing it to some extent is good. The first thing you need to do if you feel you are dealing with depression is to get into your neurologist. He will most likely prescribe an anti-depressant. It is not a bad thing, nor is it shameful. It is a part of life. You should not have to feel embarrassed about it and if the truth be told, most PD patients are probably on one anti-depressant or another.
Keep your mind busy on positive things. Help other people. Read to children. Volunteer at a local hospital or animal shelter. Do crosswords. Keep your hands busy and your mind will most likely be busy and distracted as well.
If you have Parkinson’s Disease and have never discussed depression with your doctor, make a note to yourself to do so at your next visit. If you feel you can’t wait that long, call your doctor and see if you can get in sooner, after explaining your situation. Life is hard enough and then you add PD to the mix and it just got harder. No sense in dealing with depression as well, if you don’t have to.
Journeying with you ~