top of page

Moods and Motivation

It has been a long few weeks.  I've told you some about losing my mom last month.  But getting to rest and spend time with family has been a source of strength. I'm back to full speed now, and happy to be talking to you.


And best of all, I'm able to tell you about my new program. It helps PD Caregivers develop patience, empathy and real self-care. Read on to learn about it after the Q&A.


Today's Q&A addresses issues that many new members of this community have raised. 


Dear Terri,

I am having a difficult time with my husband crying a lot and being depressed. He is declining cognitively and does not even know me a lot of the time. Does this grief ease up?

Signed,

We're so sad


Dear So Sad,

As caregivers, we spend a lot of time learning about Parkinson's, yet there always seems to be more to discover. Depression is one such unexpected aspect.


The changes in the brain caused by Parkinson's can lead to mood swings, loss of interest in the things a person used to enjoy, as well as fatigue and feelings of worthlessness. Thus, dealing with the disease's various changes can understandably make your husband feel very sad. In fact, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation tells us that these symptoms affect about half of all Parkinson's patients.


I'm not a doctor, so I can't offer medical advice. However, don't just wait things out. Make sure your husband sees a specialist, particularly a Movement Disorders Specialist, who knows more about Parkinson's.


Your husband might not want to mention his feelings to the doctor himself, but you can inform the doctor in advance about your concerns. Let the doctor know that you are concerned about depression because of your husband’s tearfulness, loss of energy, anxiety, or other symptoms. While HIPAA laws prevent the doctor from discussing his condition without his consent, you're still allowed to share your observations with them.


Getting help with depression and other non-motor PD symptoms can go a long way toward improving daily life for him and for you as well.


Hugs x 4,

Terri


Q. Dear Terri,

We are fairly new to life with Parkinson’s Disease, and I feel more and more confused as time goes on. 


I knew that PD was going to affect my wife’s movement and balance. I can understand those problems and I have confidence that I can help her with these needs. 


But now she is also changing in other ways--especially her moods, attitude and behavior. I don’t understand all of this, and especially why she isn’t more appreciative of my support and love.

Can you explain?

Signed,

What’s Going On?


Dear What’s Going On?

What you have asked may be the biggest question for most Parkinson’s caregivers. 


Most of us know about PD as a movement disorder. We know that it mainly affects a person’s mobility – what the doctors call their motor functions.  Their stiff limbs and unsteady gait don’t surprise us.


But more recently scientists and Parkinson’s experts are talking about the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. 


The Davis Phinney Foundation’s useful article about non-motor symptoms lists a host of symptoms affecting thinking, emotion and a host of other changes to body, brain and behavior.


In fact, what makes things so tough is that the pattern of these symptoms varies widely from person to person.  That’s why they say “when you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s.”


What’s Going On, you asked about your wife’s seeming not to value your love and support. But this kind of loss of empathy and lack of emotion are very common in PD. One reason I’ve written so much about caregiving is that learning more about these aspects of the disease helps us to be better at our important job.


Hang in there. As you learn more you will be better and better at understanding your wife, and at meeting your own needs as well.


But Also,


I promised to tell you about Resilience and Renewal. It's a special program that gives you a month's worth of emails (with weekend off). This program is for when you are ready to go deeper, and want to sort out your feelings about caregiving.


I created Resilience and Renewal just for PD caregivers. It helps with the personal impact of caregiving. Click here to learn more and join in.


Hugs x4,

Terri


71 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

Parkinson's Caregiving from Day One to Inner Peace

It's Friday again!' And I'm here today with two questions from caregivers who seem to be at different stages in their PD lives.  Really, some caregivers are brand-new to all of this. They want to know

Parkinson's Caregiving? Important steps to take now

This week I’m taking a page from one of the wisest people on television: Fred Rogers. He was always so careful, in speaking to his audience, to take their situations, their needs seriously. And he tol

What's My Line?

Wow. I can’t believe that this is already the 5th Q&A column I've posted. Your questions! You are all so thoughtful, and so involved with the loved ones with PD that you’re caring for. I’m repeatedly

1 Comment


Terri--plse call me Dr. Onaje Muid 646 662-0217

Like
bottom of page