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Managing Emotions after a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

By Rick Cohen, 8:00 am on

A Parkinson’s diagnosis of you or your loved one can leave you feeling flooded with a wide range of emotions. From relief at finally having an explanation for troubling symptoms to having concerns about the future, it is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to react. Although there will be many fluctuations in how a newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patient may feel in the months ahead, we atHome Care Assistance of Milwaukee have found that there are many things that can be done to manage challenging emotions and keep a positive outlook for the future.  Here are some tips to help you or your loved one during such an emotional time.

Allow Time for Acceptance
Denial and depression are common emotional reactions to a new health diagnosis. Many Parkinson’s patients seek out a second opinion or refuse to start treatment. They may avoid telling their family members or react with anger at the prospect of losing their current lifestyle. Although it is important for Parkinson’s patients to begin treatment as early as possible, it is also important to avoid rushing through the emotional responses. Similar to the stages of grief, a newly diagnosed patient may need to work slowly through these stages until they reach a new level of acceptance regarding their diagnosis.

Create a Network of Support
Once a Parkinson’s patient has come to terms with their diagnosis, they will need to seek support from a variety of sources. For many patients, their main source of support will come from family and friends who may also find it hard to cope with the emotions involved with learning someone close to them has been diagnosed with a progressive and chronic disease. Support groups can help Parkinson’s patients and their families meet others who have coped with these emotions while providing insight into experience-based strategies for overcoming challenging emotions.

Take Action and Plan for the Future
Concerns about the future are another common emotion that arises shortly after a diagnosis. Parkinson’s patients can implement healthy lifestyle changes shortly after diagnosis that will help alleviate symptoms and manage their long-term health. It is also helpful to make plans for the future so that a patient can look forward to living independently for as long as possible. Choosing a professional in-home caregiver, making living arrangements, and establishing a plan for attending medical appointments can all give Parkinson’s patients and their loved ones a sense of control over their future that will generate more positive emotions.

While a Parkinson’s diagnosis is overwhelming, it is not a journey you must face alone. Join the thousands of families who rely on Home Care Assistance for reliable, compassionate and professional in-home care. Read more about Parkinson’s care from Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee or contact a Care Manager directly at 414-964-8000 to schedule a complimentary, no obligation consultation.
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Preparing for the Emotions following a Parkinson's Diagnosis