Recognizing depression in Parkinson's disease

Depression is common in people who have Parkinson's disease. Sometimes it is caused by the disease itself. Or it can caused by the distress that comes with having any long-term, disabling illness. Taking care of yourself emotionally is an important part of staying healthy.

If you are feeling sad or depressed, ask a friend or family member for help. Think about what might be causing or adding to your sad feelings.

  • Certain medications may cause depression. Review any medications you are taking with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Get regular exercise and eat a balanced diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Socialize. Don't cut yourself off from friends and family. Laughter and humor may help you overcome feelings of sadness.
  • Stay active. Although Parkinson's disease may limit your activities, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot work or continue doing many of the activities you enjoy.

If feelings of sadness persist, or if you have symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor. Medication often can improve symptoms of depression. Make sure your doctor knows what medications you are taking because certain medications taken to treat Parkinson's disease may interfere with certain antidepressants.

See the topic Depression for more information on signs and symptoms of depression.

Last Updated: December 8, 2008

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