About the Compulsive and Impulsive Behaviour Category

Some people who take certain types of drugs (dopamine agonists and others) experience impulsive and compulsive behaviour. This can include gambling, hypersexuality, binge eating and obsessive shopping among others. This section is for the discussion of this side effect.

Further information

Hi, I thought I’d share that I’m beginning to suspect my difficulties in controlling my eating habits “could” be related to my PD medication. I’ve resisted making this link as it seems to me others may consider it just a convenient excuse for not following my diet. I have no idea how I will ever know if the meds are partly to blame. I tend to blame myself mostly but I do find temptation to eat the wrong things almost impossible to resist. I feel relieved if I get through a week and stay the same weight, I occasionally lose 1 or 2 lbs but invariably put them back on again the following week. As I have been told I cannot stop the medication I am at a loss as to how I identify the problem with my lack of willpower. I have every reason to stick to my diet, I’m classed as obese, I have stenosis in my back, my joints are painful especially knees and my ankles are swollen. I also have had a stent fitted, so need to take care of my heart —- all of these issues are very likely to improve if I lose weight. More than enough motivation one would think - so why do I continue to fail miserably! Perhaps it’s self pity - I don’t deny the treats make me feel good, and there’s not a lot to feel good about most days as my mobility is very poor. Anyone else out there struggling with any demons?? Barbara H

Hi Barbara,
l sympathise with you - l have the very same problem particularly as l have got older and become less active. l have always had a sweet tooth and l love sandwiches! l do not have a magical solution - if l had, then the obese me would not be sitting here. However, l have noticed that , on the day when l keep busy, both mentally and physically, l tend to eat less. So (and l am writing this for myself as much as for you), maybe make a plan for the day that will consist of different activities - so many that you will simply not have time to fit eating in. Reading that back, it sounds a bit pathetic but on the days this happens with me - l do eat less.

Hi Tim, Thanks for your message. I agree, I also eat less when I’m busy. However, my Parkinsons has already stopped me doing some of my hobbies. Due to my tremors I’ve had to stop creating stained glass pieces, and my embroidery (cross stitch) just makes my tremors worse. As I also have stenosis (chronic back pain) I can’t go on long walks (10 miles or more) as my mobility is very poor. I also have severe arthritis in both knees, very painful. I do enjoy doing puzzles, crosswords, sudoku for example. I’ll try to keep more busy, it’s worth a try. Thanks for your support, Barb.