Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Living with any chronic illness can be difficult, and it's normal to feel angry, depressed or discouraged at times.

Parkinson's disease presents special problems because it can cause chemical changes in your brain that make you feel anxious or depressed. Parkinson's disease can be profoundly frustrating, as walking, talking and even eating become more difficult and time-consuming.

Although friends and family can be your best allies, the understanding of people who know what you're going through can be especially helpful. Support groups aren't for everyone. However, for many people with Parkinson's disease and their families, support groups can be a good resource for practical information about Parkinson's disease.

Also, groups offer a place for you to find people who are going through similar situations and can support you.

To learn about support groups in your community, talk to your doctor, a Parkinson's disease social worker or a local public health nurse. Or contact the National Parkinson Foundation or the American Parkinson Disease Association.

You and your family may also benefit from talking to a mental health professional (psychologist) or social worker trained in working with people with chronic conditions.

Nov. 12, 2013