Hi, all.

I was wondering if anyone had noticed that their motivation levels were different since the advent of PD. I think mine may be reduced...

I recenty came across this:
(a 17 minute video that discusses the role of dopamine in the brain; it mentions Parkinson's but isn't primarily about it).

Naturally, I blogged about it:

One of the video's focuses is the fact that dopamine-depleted individuals are less likely to seek out pleasures, but that they enjoy them just the same if they do achieve them. This is the difference between *want* and *like*.

It's about motivation. Can you be bothered? Do you have a sense of urgency about imminent minor events? It's not really about the physical effort required - although that's a factor, naturally, particularly in the later stages of PD. I wonder if its related to fatigue, though.

Now, I'm in the earlier stages. I'm doing pretty well on ropinirole. I have very minor physical issues - not really enough to make me late for everything all the time 9although suddenly realising that I NEED to go to the loo JUST before leaving doesn't help; but by then, I'm already running late anyhow).


I'm almost always late for stuff.

I always used to be late taking the kids for school. I always used to be one of the last mums to arrive at collection time.

There are exceptions. I seem capable of making a special effort for special events - I was actually early for Just Walk last weekend (I did the 20 km - see, I told you I'm still OK, physically). And when I have another competent adult with me, I'm OK.

Did you spot the past tense on the school run? My kids still go to school. To primary school. But I don't take them, not now that I'm working again (since Monday - full time). The childminder takes them. And we - my husband and I - we get the kids to the childminder nearly an hour before they need to be at school. And it's been OK. Two of us to chivvy the kids on - that helps. I manage to get dressed, get ready, get kids' stuff together (my husband claims ignorance of the requirements), even eat breakfast. Why couldn't I do all that on my own, with more time? I don't know. I'd stop. I'd forget that I needed to keep an eye on the time. I was rubbish. Before I had kids (that is, some time before I was diagnosed with Parkinson's), I wasn't like that. ... Well, I wasn't early all the time. But I waasn't all that bad.

Is it motivation? That video implied that it might be.

I have company. Motivation. I have the excitement of a new job. Motivation.

What do you think? Is it a daft idea? Or can I legitimately blame my recent habitual lateness on my neurology?

... And does anyone else have similar experiences?

(That's why I'm asking here and not writing another blog post. I want to know if I'm imagining it.)

- Zalamanda
Hi Zalamanda, The short answer is yes, many PWP's suffer from lack of get up and go or perhaps more accurately lack of anticipation Before dx. I used to have days (I am retired) when apart from getting myself up and fed I couldn't be bothered to do anything. Not to be confused with depression which I knew I did not have because as you say once I got going I enjoyed myself as normal. It was very similar to the way iI was (only worse) before I was dx with under-active thyroid and I used to say my starter motor had gone which was quite close to the actual thyroid problem. I find that as long as I make sure I write in my diary every single thing I could be doing and do most of these things, sometimes on automatic pilot, I am fine.
Hi Zalamanda

I can't say i feel lack of motivation. I am working full time so, as you say I have to get up and get going every morning.
I am also doing a research project to complete my degree and still feel motivated to do that, but I have a deadline for completion.

For me that is the key, deadlines and other peoples expectations, that is what keeps me motivated i think.

Thank you, ladies.

I suspect that the problem that I've fallen foul of in the past might have been a sort of magnification of an inherent lack of motivation. To be honest, I found being a full time mum just a little bit boring, and was rather good at finding something else to occupy me - but not very good at being aware of the time. It's the latter that bothers me; there's this sort of vague floating along, oh-it'll-be-alright feeling when I know that I ought to get moving...

That feeling hasn't come to work with me yet, thankfully. Hopefully the office environment will discourage it, no matter what causes it.

- Zalamanda
I really struggle with deadlines. I spent January 31st doing a VAT return and 2 tax returns online. I used to be so organised but noticed this about 2 years ago which was a year before dx. At the time I just thought I was being lazy but I am certain it is another element of PD
This i think falls into the category in Parkinson's of non motor symptoms. Reduced motivation or apathy is one symptom that is very difficult to quantify. None of my GPs understood it, they thought i was talking about depression. It took me many months before i could put into words what i was experiencing. I was neither sad nor happy, i eventually called it my no-mood. The on-line dictionary defines apathy as.

"Absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. Lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting". The battle is within the mind, its easy to give in, something that I have done many times. I attended a Cognitive behavioural Psychotherapist for a number of years who encouraged me to train my mind to take control of yourself. Cognitive behavioural Psychotherapist, it really did, and still does help. The Basic idea is to: -

Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
I think you're right, Bill, and I have duly mentioned in on the Q&A. Interesting to hear about the Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.
Link to Q&A post: