I have been diagnosed with Parkinsons this year and have also had long term anxiety issues. I am now on Madopar. In recent years my mental health has been worsening, probably due to Parkinsons. I have been finding work an increasing struggle for this reason, and felt the need to limit my exposure to it by working only part time hours in my retail job, and relying on universal credit. I am not unwell enough to give up work entirely, and my anxiety would never cope well with work capability assessments and jobcentre harassments, and the threat of draconian sanctions, all of which would be more stressful than working. So part time working is the least bad option for me mental health wise.

But I am increasingly struggling with what could be paranoid thinking, seeing negativity towards me from a minority in work. I can tell that a few people really don’t like me in there, and some refuse to acknowledge me and make a point of completely blanking me when I say hello to them. This is not a good response for someone prone to paranoid thinking to get.

Last time I was in work, a colleague who had finished was going through the checkout behind me. She happens to be one of the ones whom I can see doesnt like me. I heard her say to the colleague serving her “He’s behind you.” which very much suggests I have been a subject of discussion between them, which made me feel very uncomfortable and is further exacerbating my experience of my workplace as a toxic environment.

As far as my Parkinsons is concerned, I am aware that auditory or visual hallucinations can be a symptom. To my knowledge I have not experienced this. But could what I heard actually be hallucinatory, fuelled by my pre-existing awareness of negativity from this person? Might I in fact have imagined it? And is it likely that - whether I imagined it or not - my tendency towards paranoia might be imagining a far worse situation than actually exists? I in fact probably know the answer to that last question. I do have an innate tendency to think the worst in every social situation.

Could my own often very visible stressing because everyone in work knows of my situation, itself be the reason for any negativity I am noticing? Is it likely that my own mental health struggles are the reason for the negativity I perceive from some, because they lack compassion and understanding and just dismiss me as some kind of fruit loop or weirdo?

And my niece is an NHS nurse who used to work in the department that dealt with Parkinsons patients and has told me that Madopar can itself cause or worsen paranoia. Is this what could be happening?

Am just putting this out there to see what others might think, or suggest, or have experienced.

We’re sorry to hear about these issues at work, and we just wanted to be sure you were aware of the helpline and what it offers. They have a number of resources they can provide, including mental health services, medication management, and finding various forms of support in your area. They’re also there to listen if you just need to talk to someone. You can reach them on 0808 800 0303. We can assure you they’re happy to help.
With our warmest wishes,
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