Like other chronic diseases, people with Parkinson’s disease often struggle with mental health difficulties. While the illness is known to impair many aspects of movement, research from the National Parkinson Foundation’s Patient Outcomes Project has found that two non motor symptoms — depression and anxiety — play a key role in the disease as well. While anxiety is less well-studied than depression, it may be just as common. In fact, up to 40 percent of people with Parkinson’s will experience some form of anxiety during the course of their illness. This is important because left unchecked anxiety can worsen a person’s overall health condition.
In this section we will explore anxiety and how it is diagnosed and treated. Effective treatment can lead to a better quality of life; however, patients and caregivers need to talk openly with their doctor about symptoms and treatment options.