Concern for recently diagnosed mother

Hello Everyone,  I am new to the forum and daughter of a recently diagnosed mother with P.D.  I am concerned about her state of mind and whether we will ever get her back to her old self.  My mother has been told she has very mild p.d and that since she is in her late 70's they don't predict that her symptoms will ever be very extreme.  The news was unexpected since her g.p and even the neurologist had initially not had felt there was any cause for alarm.  She only had a tremor in her left hand.  Despite being told her condition was mild and following other tests, that she was in otherwise good health, the news has knocked her for six.  In the month since being told my mother has literally changed personality overnight.  She has lost all hope, is tired, losing weight and feels weak most of the time.  She was always a busy, upbeat person, although of a nervous disposition.  She now feels anxious all the time and fearful.  She was given an antidepressant just a few days ago but she has a very delicate stomach and they made her very sick.  The g.p. has prescribed another one but she hasn't started it yet.  Her doctor assures her she won't always feel this way and that it is still early days.  I really don't know what to think and the P.D nurse she spoke to on the phone was no help.  She just said depression comes with p.d!  Maybe it can, but overnight?!  Has anyone else felt this way in the early days?  Does it pass or will my Mum just have to put up with feeling like this.  She hasn't started p.d. meds yet as the doctor doesn't think symptoms are extreme enough and feels she can hold off for a while.  Any help or advice would be gratefully received.  Thank-you in advance.



Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear that your Mum's talk with a Parkinson's nurse specialist did not help. I'm a lot younger than your Mum, I was diagnosed 10 years ago at age 39 but some aspects of my experience may help.

Depression is common in people with Parkinson's but I would strongly expect that the change you see in your Mum's personality or mood is a result of the diagnosis itself and not the underlying condition. The news that you have a progressive and incurable condition is enough to shake your confidence and many of us go through a sort of grieving process as a result.

Depression is common but that doesn't mean there is nothing that can be done about it. Staying positive and active is important. Are you in touch with a local Parkinson's group? It can really help to talk to other people in the same situation. That applies equally to you and your Mum.

The Parkinson's UK helpline is certainly worth a call. (their number is at the top of the page) The advisers there can help you find a local group and can help you understand any other options to get help for you both.

I hope that helps

Elegant Fowl



Thanks for replying.   My Mum isn't keen to join a group yet. I think she is afraid of seeing people at a very advanced stage and I don't think she feels ready for that.  My gut tells me this reaction is shock more than long term depression and whilst I don't understand what it is like to hear this kind of news I have a reasonable idea as I have had to face a pretty major change in my life in the past so I know that feeling of grief you mention. The good thing is she does still force herself to go out everyday for a walk and she goes to reflexology which has also helped. I just feel useless to her as I can only be there to listen and don't always know if I am saying the right thing or not.  Thanks for your advice.