People often think that Parkinson’s only affects you physically. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sadly, Parkinson’s Disease can have a big impact on one’s mental wellbeing and anxiety and depression are common non-motor symptoms of people living with Parkinson’s.
Living with anxiety and depression whilst facing Parkinson’s can worsen their overall health condition if left unchecked. Common fears and worries that go along with Parkinson’s Disease may trigger anxiety. One is a fear of being unable to function independently, particularly during a sudden off period (the time of day when medication is not working). This can lead to a fear of being left alone. Another is a concern about being embarrassed, often related to interacting with others in public.
We will be developing a new CBT Helpline to offer therapy across the UK to people with Parkinson’s who are living with anxiety or depression. This helpline will be extended to their family carer. £200,000 will fund the helpline for 1 year and include the employment of 3 CBT Therapists. Our aim of the Helpline is to reduce isolation, anxiety and depression amongst people with Parkinson’s, to reduce suicide rate amongst people with Parkinson’s and to improve quality of life.