Treating Mood Disorders in Parkinson’s

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As a disorder of the brain and nervous system, Parkinson’s disease can result in both physical and emotional symptoms ranging from slow movements to noticeable changes in mood. Uncharacteristic mood swings may be the result of medications or from a patient’s awareness of the physical changes taking place within their body.

If you provide home care for a parent or loved one, watching him or her undergo mood and behavioral changes can be difficult and emotional to watch. Fortunately, there are treatments for mood disorders in Parkinson’s patients, which may include:

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy often allows your loved one to understand the changes that are happening to them. A qualified therapist, especially one familiar with Parkinson’s patients, can help your loved one find ways to express and cope with their feelings. Emotional responses to Parkinson’s that can be addressed through psychotherapy include:

  • Depression
  • Denial
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy

Medications

While some medications can aggravate mood disorders, antidepressants may help counter the effects of medications that have otherwise positive benefits. In some cases, the task of finding medications that don’t drastically affect a patient’s mood is something of a trial and error process.

Socialization

Some Parkinson’s patients may withdraw from their normal socialization habits as the disease progresses, sometimes causing mood issues like fatigue or increased restlessness. Family caregivers can help by encouraging their loved one to reestablish social connections or finding support groups consisting of other individuals dealing with similar problems.

Comfort and Support

The best way to help any Parkinson’s patient is to simply offer continued comfort and support as the disease progresses. If, for instance, your loved one starts to experience hallucinations, don’t dismiss his or her concerns, or argue that whatever they’re seeing or fearing isn’t real. Instead, offer reassurance and show them that you’ll be by their side. If you know you will be unable to provide consistent care as the disease progresses, start researching services such as Caledon live-in care which can provide your loved one with the 24 hour support required to meet emotional, cognitive and physical needs.

How You Can Help

Parkinson’s mood changes can range from mild and subtle to dramatic and unexpected. Regardless of what behaviors are observed, you can be a valuable asset by reporting such changes to your loved one’s doctor to identify possible causes like reactions to medications, and providing as much support as possible.

To learn more about caring for seniors with Parkinson’s, reach out to Home Care Assistance today. We are a trusted Caledon Parkinson’s care provider with compassionate and highly trained caregivers who are available 24/7. Call 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager today.