creative workshop

3 ways to look after your mental health

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Nearly half of all people with Parkinson's will experience depression or anxiety.

These symptoms can be triggered by the stress of receiving a diagnosis like Parkinson's. But they can also be triggered by physical changes in the brain caused by the condition itself.

You should always speak to your GP, specialist or Parkinson's nurse about any mental health issues you are experiencing. But there are also a number of things you can do to help symptoms like anxiety and depression.

Exercise regularly

Research has shown that exercising 2 to 3 times a week, especially as part of a group, can help with depression. It can also boost your mood and help you sleep well.

There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach and the best exercise to do will depend on the way Parkinson's affects you.

We've worked with people with Parkinson's and expert physiotherapists to produce different exercise styles to focus on, depending on your symptoms.

Get creative

Activities like creative writing can help you take control of Parkinson's and improve your confidence.

"Being creative helps me deal with the emotional and mental aspects of Parkinson's, things like depression, anxiety, frustration and anger."
Nicola Wood, who has Parkinson's

 Some people also find that complementary therapies, such as aromatherapy, meditation and massage, can help with their mental health.

"When I’m feeling down I find that meditation helps me a lot. It gives me great skills at just living in the moment and being in control of my thoughts (including fears and anxieties) rather than them controlling me."
A person with Parkinson's

Connect with others

You can share experiences and tips with other people affected by Parkinson's on our forum.

For one-to-one support, our free peer support service puts you in touch with a trained volunteer who has a similar experience of Parkinson's to you - someone who understands.

The service is for people with Parkinson's and carers. Call 0808 800 0303 and ask for the peer support service to find out more.

We also run a self-management programme, which is designed to help you navigate your life with Parkinson's. You’ll attend a series of sessions where you can share experiences and discuss the practical and emotional impact of Parkinson's.

Parkinson's and mental health

Find out more about Parkinson's and mental health and where you can find information and support.

You can also join the conversation on Twitter using #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.