Approaching Parkinson's

Not only do sufferers have to approach Parkinson’s but non-sufferers (e.g. family, friends and strangers) also have to engage with Parkinson’s through the sufferer. Therefore, Parkinson’s sufferers can mediate the reaction non-sufferers have to Parkinson's.

An open and honest curiosity allows the sufferer to explore their disease and enables them to continue a helpful reaction to it; mentally closing yourself down in the face of Parkinson’s mirrors the restriction in your body but this denies the greater flexibility of your mind. Closing down treats Parkinson’s as the mythical creature Medusa, who turned anyone bold enough to look directly at her to stone. You were safe if you looked at a reflection of Medusa. This is the flaw in the myth; whether we look directly or indirectly at Medusa we experience the same thing, namely light reflected from her. If one way of looking is safe then the other is too. It is fear alone of directly approaching Medusa that turns us to stone. Mentally, fear of Parkinson’s, and not necessarily Parkinson’s itself, also turns us to stone.

Adopting an open attitude to Parkinson’s encourages openness and choice in non-sufferers too. It leaves the door open for the exploration of Parkinson’s that the non-sufferer may choose to take. If the sufferer closes the door it takes away that choice and makes the Parkinson’s journey a lonely one for both sufferer and non-sufferer.

dr jonny