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Parkinson’s Q&A: How long does it take to accept a Parkinson’s diagnosis?

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Navigating Parkinson’s disease (PD) can feel like a never-ending learning curve. PD Conversations is a place to ask your Parkinson’s questions and connect with others living with the disease. In this blog series, we highlight a high-interest question addressed by the community in PD Conversations.

Question: How long does it take to accept a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis? Are there any resources that can help?

A Parkinson’s diagnosis can be emotionally distressing. Many people may feel stresseddepressed and afraid while some may feel relieved to finally have an answer that explains their symptoms. Feeling a myriad of emotions is a normal part of being newly diagnosed, but that does not mean it is an easy thing to experience.

Many people struggle with accepting their PD diagnosis. It can be tempting to ignore the symptoms you experience or avoid talking about your concerns. Taking the time to respond to your Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is necessary to living well with PD, as it allows you to chart a path forward.

Working toward accepting your diagnosis will look different for each person with PD. Everyone has their own process and pace for making sense of this news and what it means for them. Set aside time to gather your thoughts, collect information and express your emotions with those you trust.

Parkinson's Foundation Helpline

Contact our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636) or Helpline@Parkinson.org for answers to your Parkinson’s questions. Helpline specialists can assist you in English or Spanish, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

You are not alone with Parkinson’s. Our PD Conversations community has some tips to help with adjusting to a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis:

  • Make time to continue doing the things and hobbies you enjoy. Self-care can help with getting from one day to the next.
  • Connect with loved ones and those who can understand what you are going through. It can be helpful to talk to others about your experiences. Find nearby exercise classes and support groups through your local Parkinson’s Foundation Chapter.
  • Research and learn about Parkinson’s disease. It can be easier to accept your diagnosis once you know what options are available for living well with PD. We have many helpful resources in our PD Library than can help.
  • Express your concerns about your new diagnosis to your healthcare team. They can offer direction about next steps and refer you to additional resources that can help.

Utilize these newly diagnosed resources and share them with your loved ones:

Accepting a Parkinson's diagnosis is a challenge, but you are not alone in this process. We are here to support you and your family through your concerns. Contact the Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline for answers to your PD questions at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636).

Do you have a question for the PD community? Join the PD Conversation in our discussion groups: Newly DiagnosedSymptomsCaregivingTips for Daily LivingYoung-Onset and more.

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