Apathy- how feeble

Does anyone else suffer with severe apathy? I was relieved to see it is listed as a clinical symptom of PD. I am having trouble at work getting motivated to do things and although i have tried explaining to my manager it is a symptom of PD and depression but it feels like she thinks i am just feeble and should pull myself togetther. I am being sent on a course to learn time management etc. I have been in work for 32 years and my track record in this respect is good and i know all the techniques, so feel misunderstood. The problem is mental health related but they just dont understand. I am trying to put together a grievance case at the moment but cant even get motivated to try and start collating all the evidence (it is spread over 2 years). It makes me feel even more depressed. By the way my GP prescribed 6 different antidepressants over the last 2 years, for depression that i now know was linked to PD, none of which worked and now he is assuming Madopar will deal with depression. So far Madopar hasnt relieved any of my PD symptoms and in thr meantime depression and apaythy havd got their grip on me. Does this ring any bells with folk?

Hello Penguin
First thing to say loud and clear is that you are not feeble, nor a time waster or anything else your manager is making you feel right now. If she can’t see that your current difficulties are new, not seen before in your long working life and is aware of your PD then she should do some reflection on her own managerial skills in my opinion. I know it doesn’t help you, but the problem is hers, not yours.
Second apathy is a well known symptom of PD. Exactly like depression if not caused by the same thing, it can rob you of your decision making over the smallest thing, your motivation to do anything and quite apart from anything else is just exhausting not in a sleepy tired way but its absolute fatigue.
Third people who have never experienced this sort of feeling or have some professional or other understanding of it often have little patience. Being told to pull yourself together is not helpful when, like you folk are fully aware of the problem and even the method and techniques which may help but simply cannot get it going. That in itself is enough to get you down.
Having said all that it is a difficult thing to resolve especially feeling as you do. A couple of things come to mind.

First. You wrote you feel like your manager thinks you’re being feeble etc. Entirely understandable, I can see me thinking the same in your shoes but is it actually so or is it just your interpretation of what she said. I suspect not given you are raising a grievance, but it may just be worth checking you are not reading into it something that was not intended. Even if that is the case, I fully acknowledge how it has made you feel and that has to be taken into account. It probably hasn’t helped being sent on a course which is unlikely to tell you anything you don’t already know. Sometimes and it may well be the case here they just have to be able to tick the box irregardless. Every year I had to join my team in a basic moving and handling refresher even though a large percentage of my time was taken up with complex moving and handling. Total waste of time for me and very boring but the box had to be ticked.
Second. Do you have a Parkinson’s Nurse? Maybe he or she could give you some support or advice or failing that see if you can speak to one on the helpline.
Third raising a grievance is a huge deal and just feel like climbing Everest at the moment given how you are feeling especially as you are going back over two years. You don’t say if you have started the process yet or if you are just trying to get things together with a view to raising a grievance. If you are in a union I would recommend you speak to them in the first instance, they may well be able to help you with your overall situation. If you are not in a union you may want to think about joining.
Fourth re getting your evidence together I think you need to try and change your mindset if you can. It’s too big to think you’ve got to go back two years especially feeling as you do just now. Try and think in smaller chunks and limit yourself to short periods. For example, presumably your workplace has a grievance procedure and it is important you know and understand this. Apologies if you have already done this I am using it as an example. These procedures can be quite wordy and a hard read. So, take a section, page or even paragraph at a time, give yourself 10, 15, 30 minutes whatever suits and make simple notes on key points with bullet point headings such as timescales, different stages, who is involved and crucially exactly what is demanded of you. Set a timer so you don’t over run and do that once a day, twice every other day, whatever suits. Work with when you feel best able to manage. You can use the same type of technique to look at the whole. Eg if you need to go back over emails or letters sort into one month sections and work on that one month at a time. Get organised with whatever suits so you can easily refer back if you need eg highlighting key points, making a simple index of where things can be found - although it is rather old school with all the technology around you may feel an old fashioned file helps not least because you can see your progress and that may spur you on. I know you are probably thinking that will take forever and I’d not disagree but it’s purpose is to get started and if needs be keep going so that you are off the starting blocks where your feet are currently stuck.
I’m not sure how much this is of use but is all I can think of right now however what I wrote at the start is true. This is Parkinson’s at work not you, you are not feeble or incompetent just because you are struggling with its impact just now and if work makes you feel that way intended or not, keep reminding yourself of that. If you can find it in yourself to take some small actions to clear a path through all that is currently going on you will have taken back a bit of control and that may give you back a bit of hope and faith in yourself. I do hope so and don’t forget the forum is always here - I will try and be a bit more succinct should I post a reply another time! Take care and hang on in there.


Thanks @Tot. Wow what alot to take in but you’re on my wavelength. I am now determined to ring up and check when i might see a PD nurse. On diagnosis the consultant said he would put me in touch with one but I’ve heard nothing. A little bit of support would be good.

It is a good idea to get advice from the specialist on this site. Contact the Parkinson’s nurse at the hospital you attended. It sounds like you are not taking the right mixture of medications you need.
I am not a doctor Burch have been where you are now and was much stronger and more in control with the right meds.
Good luck

Good for you Penguin, a small step is better than no step and several small steps will get you to the same place as one big step but in a more manageable way. Good luck

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Hi @Penguin, :wave:

A warm welcome to the forum. :slightly_smiling_face:

I see you’ve already received great advice from @Tot and @juju. I just wanted to add that we have information on work and Parkinson’s which may be really helpful to you given that you’ve mentioned that you’re putting together a grievance case - there’s advice on how best to go about this. You can find this information here: https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/work-and-parkinsons

We also have a lot of information and support on apathy and depression which you may also find helpful and you can find this info here: https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/depression

Lastly, if you ever need to speak to someone about any of your symptoms and need further support, please feel free to give our confidential helpline a call on 0808 800 0303 or email us at [email protected].

Best wishes,
Forum Community Manager