Depression in Parkinson’s Disease Patients- Causes, Symptoms, and Overcoming Methods

Research indicate that depression and anxiety are the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). According to estimates, no less than 50% of PD patients will suffer from some types of depression, and about 40% will suffer from anxiety.
In this article, we will tackle depression in Parkinson’s disease patients, its causes, and symptoms. In addition to overcoming methods.

Causes of depression in PD Patients

The following factors can contribute to developing depression in PD patients:

Psychological Factors

  • Negative thoughts and having to cope with living with a chronic disease as PD may lead to feeling sad, desperate, and helpless. Thinking about such emotions may make the patient more at risk for cancer.
  • Social isolation, or not having social support due to a strict lifestyle, such as early retirement or losing independence, make one more susceptible to depression.

Biological Factors

  • Mental health history. Wherein research indicate that many PD patients suffer from depression or anxiety two to five years before diagnosis. This may mean that depression is not merely a psychological response to the disease but also a part of the disease and its progression.
  • Brain changes. Since PD, or Shaking palsy, affect the same parts of the brain responsible for thinking and emotions, which impact the levels of three important neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine) that influence the mood and mobility.

Environmental Factors

  • Extreme pressure and stress as a result of losing a job, for example, because of the disease. And patients often get chronic depression. As for others, constant distress due to coping with PD leads to psychological disorders.
  • Medications’ side effects. Wherein some prescribed medications may cause symptoms similar to depression.
  • The unsupportive environment of the patients and their needs.

Symptoms of Depression in PD patients

Depression symptoms differ from one patient to another, and their severity ranges between mild and severe. Common depression symptoms include:

  • Constant sadness.
  • Crying.
  • Losing interest in activities and usual hobbies.
  • Lack of interest in hygiene, medical and health needs.
  • Feeling guilty, invaluable, and self-blame.
  • Fatigue and decreased energy.
  • Changes in appetite and eating habits (either lack of appetite or overeating).
  • Losing motivation.
  • Suffering from pains.
  • Feeling like a burden to others.
  • Feeling desperate and helpless.
  • Thinking of disability and death.
  • Sleeping difficulties.
  • Lack of attention and concentration impairments.
  • Anxiety.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Overcoming Depression

PD Depression overcoming methods can differ from one person to another, just like the symptoms and causes. The methods or approaches include the following:

Medications

Which include:

  • Fluoxetine.
  • Sertraline.
  • Paroxetine.
  • Citalopram.

Psychotherapy

The following approaches might be helpful for PD patients:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps the patients modify their thought patterns and negative behaviors in order to alleviate depression. Learning these skills helps the patients adapt better and think positively in the long run.
  • Counseling sessions provide vital support, understanding, and education.

Exercising

Exercising is a simple therapeutical method that improves the mood and alleviates depression in Parkinson’s disease patients. It includes walking, yoga, and all basic physical activities.

Complementary and Unconventional Approaches

These methods and approaches include:

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