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, in particular, can be profoundly frustrating, as walking, talking and even eating become more difficult and time-consuming.

Depression is common in people with Parkinson's disease. But antidepressant medications can help ease the symptoms of depression, so talk with your doctor if you're feeling persistently sad or hopeless.

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 who have chronic conditions.

July 07, 2015