Connection is vital to living well with Parkinson’s disease (PD). You are not alone. It is important to find someone you can talk to. Caring for your emotional health is as important as addressing your physical symptoms. A Parkinson’s diagnosis can bring on a flood of emotions, including anger, grief and denial. Successfully navigating those feelings requires support. Be open and honest about your experience with PD.
Mood changes can make Parkinson’s symptoms worse. This impacts daily living. While your doctor can recommend the right medical treatments, finding someone to talk to can provide connection, comfort and understanding. A counselor or PD support group can provide opportunities to talk about shared experiences and can prevent isolation. This can relieve stress and build new friendships. Counseling can also provide additional opportunities to process the changes you are experiencing and all the emotions that come along with managing your new diagnosis and Parkinson’s disease.
The Parkinson’s Foundation community connects through discussion online in a variety of forums, including one specifically for those who are Newly Diagnosed. Here, people can share their feelings, opinions and experience. The Advice for the Newly Diagnosed area of Parkinson.org explores the importance of Getting the Support You Need, written by people living with Parkinson’s.
Reading about the experiences of other people with Parkinson’s and learning more about your Parkinson’s diagnosis can help as you begin to process your experience. The PD community also meets in support groups across the U.S. Visit the In Your Area section of Parkinson.org and enter your zip code to discover nearby community organizations and PD-specific exercise classes, such as dance, yoga or non-contact boxing, where you can engage with others in person.
Moving Day, A Walk for Parkinson’s, offers another opportunity to connect. The Parkinson’s Foundation-hosted event, held in cities across the U.S., unites families, friends and communities in the fight against Parkinson’s disease.
Call the free Parkinson's Foundation Helpline 1.800.4PD.INFO (1-800-473-4636) or email Helpline@Parkinson.org to find PD support groups or expert care in your area. Connect with a compassionate, trained PD information specialist who can assist you in either English or Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.