Newly Diagnosed

Dealing with the diagnosisSharing your diagnosis with others

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People with Parkinson’s, most likely, will never forget the first time they heard their doctor speak the words, “you have Parkinson’s”. Initially, it may have been difficult to even accept or believe that these words could be true. You may have gone through a host of different emotions like feeling shocked with the diagnosis, feeling sad and angry because it happened to you; and then you may have felt helpless, anxious, and worried about coping with your daily life and the future.

However, you must not let these emotions take over your life; firstly, you must know that experiencing these emotions is a normal reaction to a chronic diagnosis.  Secondly, if you ask the question “Why me”? Why have I been affected by this?”, remember that there are many other people with Parkinson’s, who are probably asking the same question, and therefore you are not alone. Thirdly, and most importantly, always keep in mind that support is available to help you deal with the diagnosis and progression of the condition.

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You may not want to share with every single person you know that you have Parkinson’s. However, it is important to inform your family members about your diagnosis. Talk with them openly about what the doctor told you, state your concerns and fears about the future to them as well as your determination to fight this illness. Remember, it is always important that you are completely honest with them, as keeping them informed about all that is happening will help you deal with the diagnosis better, together.

Telling others that you have Parkinson’s may not be the easiest thing to do, because you cannot predict how they will react to it or what they might think of you. Yet it is in your best interest to be honest and open about your diagnosis.

Here is one way you could tell someone about your illness – “I have Parkinson’s which is a neurological (occurring in the brain) illness which mainly affects my movements and the way I walk (and /or any other symptoms you may have). However, I am taking steps to manage the condition, with the help of medications and exercise prescribed by my doctor.”

While telling anybody about this, you must focus on being confident and optimistic and alleviate any myths that the other person may have about Parkinson’s.