Alcohol and parkinsons


My husband  has been diagnosed with Parkinson's and associated mental anxiety which is difficult to treat

Medication helps, but we both suffer when he feels and looks so unwell.

Often we will use alcohol to temporarily lift our spirits, but as his wife I am now worried as I feel we drink too much, and  it does not solve the problem.

Have never spoken to anyone about this before, and do not want to burden my children with this.

Does anyone else suffer in this way?

Know we should stop drinking, but very difficult to control. 



Hello Alanrval.

It takes a lot of discernment and courage for you. I hav a cople of tips tha I use when I feel the need for caution. It is good to agree to having alcohol free week. It helps if you agree together but make plans for a nice replacement, so your focus is not on giving up but exploring something new. Find some luxury soft drink to try or some alcohol free cocktails. Have fun making them up and trying them out. If planning to socialise don't just say your not drinking alcohol that eve / pm, but enthuse about your new finds so your friends and family will be more encouraging than sympathetic. 

I find these tips helpful because it helps me focus more on positive than negative. Hopefully you will have other people tell you what works for them so you can try different ideas to help you.

All the best, Porthos


Hi Alanrval,

Sorry to hear about the anxiety issues you've both been facing.

In addition to the support you'll get from members here, please feel free to contact our Helpline on 0808 800 0303. Our advisers will be glad to talk things through with you and offer advice. We're open from Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm and Saturday: 10am-2pm.

You may also find our Anxiety publication useful:

Hope this helps. Take care,


Moderation Team


Just one thing you might want to consider and this would only affect one of you. Does your husband take any medication that affects behaviour in an obsessive/compulsive way. If so you might want to consult Parkinsons nurse or Dr to review medication .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Hi Alanarval

my hubby was diagnosed 2 years ago age 43 and like you we used alcohol for quite some time to cope with the diagnosis, it was only after having a drink that we relaxed and didn't feel so terribly weighed down by this awful diagnosis. As time has passed we have begun to come to terms with this and my hubby has said that if he drinks too much he becomes dehydrated and he feels that this makes his condition worse, we still have a drink but ithe amount has gradually dropped off, I think that this is just part of the grieving process and as you come to terms with things you will find that the need to drink will drop off, don't be too hard on yourselves this is a very tough process 



Hi alanrval,

             Can totally relate to your opening post.Have pretty much been the same since my diagnosis.The only time i ever totally relax,is after a few drinks or more of an evening.It is a mental battle of will to abstain.The fine line between dependency and control becomes blurred.

                                Take care



Hello Alanrval,

If you check the leaflets that come with the prescriptions there is usually advice on there.

I used to be quite a heavy drinker of an evening downing near enough 1/2 a 75cl botttle of dark rum.

I went on holiday just after being dx and although not going mad on the drink only have 2 or 3 glasses of wine per day, after a week I noticed a weakness in my left hand that left me unable to put a fork in my food.

Which got me really paranoid people could tell, we came home and I stayed off the wine and everything else and two weeks later my strength returned in my hand.

Since then I have found if I am strict with myself I can have no more than 4 in one night over the Friday and Saturday and that is with a spirit single measure and topped up with lemonade or Pepsi.

Any more cancels out the meds in my system. Hope this helps. BB xx


It is very dangerous to get drunk in this condition. You should realize that alcohol is not the solution for any problem. It only adds to the problem. When your husband is suffering from Parkinson's disease, it is your duty to prevent him from getting too drunk. If both of you have reached a condition where you cannot do without alcohol, then it is the high time that you visit an alcohol rehab and seek treatment. A friend of mine underwent treatment for alcohol addiction ( ) and the treatment was really effective. You and your husband can definitely return back to a normal life and lead a normal and happy life.


That's a bit harsh, Monica. I'm sure you're just trying to help but your tone is very preachy. Having an alcoholic friend has understandably made you sensitive about the subject but don't be so quick to condemn. 

TBH, I don't know how I would have coped over the last couple of years (pre and post diagnosis) without alcohol. I don't drink to excess (otherwise I fall asleep!) but the odd glass of wine has really helped me cope (it's a good muscle relaxant too and helps with the stiffness!).

I'm sure everyone (including Alanrval) knows that alcohol is never the answer, but it can be a much-needed distraction sometimes. big grin

Hi, Reading all the above posts and I can relate to the use of alcohol to relieve the stress of a PD diagnosis. My husband and I got into the habit of a couple of glasses of wine every night. It made us feel relaxed and we could forget about our problems. But come September and starting meds I realised it couldn't continue. My husband is happy to support me in cutting down and we both feel much better. But life is too short to not have a glass of wine or a little bit of what you fancy. I think Alanrval take each day as it comes and start with no alcohol on a monday and the next week 2 days and continue on like that. Don't be too hard on yourself. We all cope in different ways. DivineR


How many concessions do you make to this condition before you life is totally changed.  Moderation and being sensible. I agree with DivineR.


Totally agree with tabby cat and DivineR,  I am careful not drink to excess but why we should have to give up doing what we enjoy because of this pesky condition. 

It is already an insult that we have PD when none of us have done anything to deserve this so we try to carry on as normal as possible. 

There is only one person whom controls how my PD effects me and you know who that is ME.




Before being diagnosed Parkinsons when we were talking Essential and Dystonic Tremor my GP recommended alcohol to calm the tremors down but at the time I was a Lorry Driver and alcohol and driving just don't mix.  So the only time I could drink was at weekends like Friday and Saturday evening.  As time wore on I found myself not wanting the alcohol and now I am lucky if I fancy a tipple once in eight or more weeks, certainly it is a rarity these days and if I do it is when i've not got to drive the next day.  Having been diagnosed Parkinsons in 2011 meant I could no longer operate heavy machinery as was the type of vehicle I drove.  So, now when I am out I always ask for J20, even after a Bowls match.


i started drinking heavily after my wife died. One night I blacked out and ended up in A and E with 2 children, one with downs, on their own at home. That was two and a half years ago and I havent drunk any alcohol since then. The reason we take pills is to keep our brains working near normal. Alcohol has the opposite effect. It is a poison that has ruined millions of lives. It turns people into violent idiots. I detest it.



Vitman D is known to lift depression, and has redcued my morose periods. Lots of info here:

Alcohol reduces Vit D processing by the liver too, so drink might make any D3 deficit worse.
Dont excpect instant results: D3 blood levels take about 2-3 months to stabilise after starting supplements.


I’m newly diagnosed and beer, even a shandy controls my tremor.