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Parkinson's Disease and Depression

Topic Overview

Depression is common in people who have Parkinson's disease. Sometimes it is caused by the disease itself. Or it can be 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 medicines may cause depression. Review with your doctor or pharmacist all of the medicines you are taking.
  • 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. Parkinson's disease may limit your activities, but 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. Medicine often can improve symptoms of depression. Make sure your doctor knows what medicines you are taking, because certain medicines taken to treat Parkinson's disease may interfere with certain antidepressants.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
G. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology
Last Revised December 5, 2012

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