How can I adapt to Parkinson’s Disease? 

So, you just found out that you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Or maybe you’ve had it for a few years, and the effects are still overbearing. Learning to live with Parkinson’s disease can be one of the most difficult challenges you will face, but overcoming this barrier will help you maintain your independence and enjoy life. 

Acceptance is key to realising that Parkinson’s disease is a condition you must learn to live with. A common initial response is denial of the diagnosis, which can interfere with seeking early intervention and strategies to manage and minimise progression. Everyone will face a degree of discouragement, but letting this overtake your mental state can lead to depression and affect other areas of your life. As this is a tough challenge, learning to pace yourself is important; set out realistic goals to prioritise and work towards these. If you have entered a slump from feelings of depression or hopelessness, aim to reintroduce your lifestyle from before you were affected. Where possible, continue doing the things that you enjoy, and even seek out community Parkinson’s Disease programs that aim to get you back on track. Interacting among others with the same condition for encouragement and education is a great way to stay mentally strong. 

Taking control over the condition is successful adaptation. While this doesn’t mean breaking free from the disease, it is overcoming the mental barrier and negative attitudes that would otherwise affect energy, productivity, and relationships. To maintain your independence, proactively adopting healthy habits such as exercise requires commitment from you. This involves continuous adjustments to your lifestyle in response to your body. 

Maintaining a positive attitude is ultimately the best response to the diagnosis and progression of Parkinson’s disease, and will teach you to develop a healthy determination to cope with the illness.