New to this forum, looking forward to it!

Hi forum users! My name is Mark. I’m 58 and was diagnosed 3 years ago which was a shock to me having previously been fit and well. I would love to hear from others about how you overcome anxiety which is my main concern. I’ve lost a lot of self confidence and worry about the future given my condition. My symptoms are mild. I have restricted telling only close family and friends people about my illness which I call “Parky”. I live alone now my kids are settled in their own lives but am still working in IT from home so financially I’m fortunate but it’s a bit lonely at times. I miss playing cricket and tennis but love walking round the lanes which surround my village. Also occasionally bike ride. I’m on Rasagaline which seems to have kept my symptoms the same since diagnosis. That’s it for now. Hope to chat with like minded Parky People!

Hi and welcome to our forum, Mark. Anxiety is definitely a common concern with Parkinson’s, as you can imagine. I’m sure you know there are many ways to manage it. We have some good information on this here. Do take some time to read it and feel free to explore our site for more. Our friendly members will be along soon to add their own thoughts, I’m sure.

It’s good to hear that you have a work from home situation. It sounds as if you have a really positive attitude to life in general and that can be really important. I hope the forum will be one thing that eases your loneliness. We have a helpline you can call if you have concerns or just want to talk. Our advisers can be reached on 0808 800 0303.

Looking forward to hearing more from you,
Forum Moderation Team

Hi Mark. My husband was diagnosed last week after a couple of years of worsening tremors and other symptoms his GP put down as 90% sure was essential tremor but referred him to a neurologist just in case. He is now on medication. I can relate completely to your anxiety. My husband lives for cars and that is his main concern really. I am doing all the other worrying. The only thing I can do is to firmly hit any negative thoughts on the head before they take hold and I start to catastrophise, which I am very good at. None of us know how things will or won’t progress. Better medication or a cure may not be too long off. So easy to say and so hard to do but I try and keep positive. Exercise is reportedly beneficial so your bike rides sound ideal.

Sorry if this is rambling a bit and second hand advice from a spouse not someone with PD. It all seems to be a case of Keep Calm and Carry On.

Best wishes.

Hi Mark,

From another Mark. I was diagnosed just over a year ago but I have not been unduly upset by PD because I know or have heard about many people who have had it for years without their life being unduly affected. I do get anxious sometimes probably more because of the mental rather than physical problems. I do have problems remembering words or expressing myself but I comfort myself with the belief that unlike Alzheimer’s these things don’t usually progress with P and underneath the bumbling exterior there still lurks a fine mind.

One thing that benefited me when I was diagnosed was to increase the amount of exercise I took. The mental benefits seemed to be even greater than the physical ones with regard to things like motivation and lethargy as well as anxiety. What exercise is appropriate depends on the individual.At the moment I’m confined to walking but I got the most benefit when I was mixing cycling with walking and that seems to be something you are doing already.

Anyway welcome to the forum.


Hello Plum63
I join the others in saying welcome to the forum and I see you have already received some replies and they all make sensible points so hope you found them useful. As Janice said, anxiety is a common problem and is the symptom I probably struggle with most. I happened to have an appointment with my consultant a few weeks after my first episode which I didn’t recognise at the time, and was astounded when he said it was a panic/anxiety attack… It felt like a totally alien response to me; even now several years on although I accept the symptom it still often feels like it’s not me. It is not an easy thing to control but there are things you can do - I would just say at this point that no coping strategy is 100% reliable and over time may need tweaking or changing. That apart and in no particular order, the following may help.

Over time I came to recognise that certain types of situations could trigger anxiety. This is of course useful as it means you can prevent the episode entirely in many instances. You need to be careful however that you don’t use this as an excuse not to do something or go somewhere for example.
I found I managed better if I took on one big thing at a time and didn’t overload myself trying to juggle several different things at the same time… That remains one of my main ‘tools’ but there is a rider to this and that is there may be times when it is not possible to follow the 'one thing at a time ’ philosophy and you will probably find as I did, that you are stronger than you think and when you have to it is possible to juggle several balls at once.
It may sound odd but if you can recognise and admit that your thought processes at such times are irrational and that you know this but on the day, at that time all coping strategies desert you, it can help. It is simply recognition that sometimes all you can do is go with it and that’s alright.
It is my personal view that having a positive mindset can help greatly. I have written about this time and again in my responses to posts and to me it is the most important thing not only in managing the anxiety but in managing my Parkinson’s in general. One of the key aspects for me is recognising the impact of what I call my Parkinson’s brain. It is that which carries the negative voice and when the going gets tough, shouts louder than the voice of reason. So whenever you hear Parkinson’s brain making trouble by loudly shouting something negative, try and counter it with a 'yes but what about .… (alternative positive view.) There is usually an alternative view if you allow yourself to think beyond the negative thoughts.

It’s not easy but this sort of approach worked for me. It may or may not suit you but something in this may enable you to start working out your own strategies.

A quick word on fearing the future… Perfectly understandable and common and it is not easy to face an uncertain future except for the certainty that at the moment there is no cure and there will be deterioration over time. Equally though to me there seems little point in worrying about things you can’t change and I and many forum members choose instead to live for today. Not always easy but there are things you can do. For me that has meant putting my affairs in order as much as I can as my main concern is that I don’t become a burden on the family. So I have arranged lasting powers of attorney, written a Will, paid for my funeral and considered some options if I have to change my living arrangements. It means the family are aware of what I want and what I have put in place which I hope will make it easier for them. It may not be enough but I can do no more. Having set all that up I only think about the future when and if I need to to keep today, this week, the short term, running smoothly otherwise I don’t think about it much at all. My way may not work for you but like the anxiety with a bit of honest thinking and some time, your way forward will probably become clearer.

I hope this makes some sort of sense to you and helps you a bit.
Best wishes

Hi Mark.
I was diagonised with PD in 2008. I have just joined this forum and am the same i dont tell many people i have it .