Emma Lawton by the river

Let's talk about Parkinson's and mental health


How can Parkinson's affect mental health?

Here are 3 things people with Parkinson's want you to know.

You're not alone

Jo, whose Mum has Parkinson's, says:

"People don't understand the complexities that can stem from Parkinson's, such as anxiety and depression.

"Talking to Mum, she didn't initially connect her depressed feelings and anxiety with the Parkinson's.

"But the Parkinson's Nurse explained that a lot of people with Parkinson's experience this.

"For Mum, knowing that mental health was something that can be connected to Parkinson's and knowing she wasn't the only person experiencing depression because of Parkinson's really helped. She knew she wasn't alone."

It's OK not to feel OK

Gary, who has Parkinson's, explains:

"I really don't want people to give themselves a hard time if they're experiencing mental health issues, as they can go hand in hand with Parkinson's.

"Don't beat yourself up. I have mental health issues, so what?

"It's one of those non-motor symptoms that can come with having Parkinson's.

"I'll try to not give myself a hard time over it. For me the golden rule is to acknowledge how you feel and understand that it can be part of the condition.

"It's hard to do, but so important".

It's OK to ask for help

Julia, who has Parkinson's, tells us:

"I visited my GP to talk about how I was feeling depressed alongside my Parkinson's.

"The GP was fantastic and told me about the option of self-referring to a mental health team.

"I had 14 weeks of counselling and it was simply brilliant and really beneficial for me."

Read our information about depression and anxiety.

Get involved

What would you want people to know about Parkinson's and mental health? Get in touch and share your story.