Jump to content

Recommended Posts


I am a 58 year old male, diagnosed with PD 2 years ago. Initially my symptoms were minor and I was able to perform daily tasks with virtually no problems. Recently,  my symptoms in my left arm have worsened. I am having challenges with my increased dosage of medication making me feel nauseated. Yet, without my medication I cannot perform simple tasks. So I feel trapped and hopeless at this time.

Prior to my PD diagnosis I was extremely active- I enjoyed running, skiing, tennis, cycling etc and I held an executive position.

Now, I am unable to perform my executive job duties because I cannot get my symptoms under control though I would very much like to work.


  • Feeling useless because I can no longer work, play tennis with my son, etc.
  • Constant anxiety about how quickly the PD will progress
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Ashamed to tell people about my condition so I avoid going out
  • I have also recently begun to withdraw from my family and closest friends

Current Medication

  • Carbidopa/Levodopa 25/100: 2 pills, 3 times per day (*Note: I take 1 pill 3 times per day to avoid severe nausea)
  • Praipexole Dihydro: .25 mg, 1 pill 3 times per day


  • I currently run about 20-25 miles per week and I am outdoors regularly working on rental properties I own
  • Any non-prescription medications I can take to help combat the depression?
  • Any diet that could help?

Thank you for your support!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


The depression you are feeling is normal. Feeling down because you can no longer do the things you used to be able to do is a normal reaction. you may want to discuss with your Dr the possibility of adding an antidepressant to your drug regime. Parkinson's can also bring on depression, so you add that to the feelings you have about not being able to do certain things you were once able to do can really have an additive effect.

One thing I have realized is that I needed to remember that there are certain things that I can not control, and one of those is the quickness of progression of the disease. Some people have the same symptoms for years and never progress. Others have long periods of time with no change then all of a sudden have a rapid decline for 6 months or so, then level off. Every person is different which means every disease progression is different. I have found it health to talk to a therapist about this issue. 

The decreased sex drive could be the effects of depression and your ability not not be able to perform tasks that you once were able to. That depression, anxiety, and (for lack of a better term) self loathing could all be additive effects that could cause a decrease in libido. I think that you see once you have found a good medication regime this could change this issue quickly. I hate to say this, but you are early in the game. It has taken some people years to even come close to a regime that works. You are doing the right things by staying active, which is the one thing every Dr will recommend that will help you stave off some of the progression of Parkinson's.

As for the subject of who to tell and when to tell them is an age old question. I felt like the quicker I told someone the understanding they were of your situation. This, in turn, allowed me to be more social. I have found that if I see someone looking at me weird or if they say something to me that this was my opportunity to educate them. When I travel to do public speaking is when I received the most most looks and questions. This was a great opportunity to educate those people. I will tell you that I am 49 years old and was diagnosed when I was 30 years old. My worst experience happened when I brought my 8 year old daughter to Starbuck's . I was having an off day and was shaking, dyskenetic, and slurring my speech a bit. After we put in our order, my daughter went to get our favorite seats so we could work on her spelling test she had that day. As she left the line a man behind me said, "You are disgusting, just look at yourself." I replied with, "Excuse me." He continued with, "You should be ashamed of yourself. You are obviously coming down off of something like booze or drugs and you are out there driving and bringing your daughter in here. You put people's lives in danger by driving and are a complete disgrace to what a parent is. You should be ashamed of yourself!" We have gone to this Starbuck's every school day morning and everybody there knew me and knew I had Parkinson's. The knew me so well that they always gave me a straw with my coffee so I would not spill it when i tried to drink it. The other's in line did not know how to react because they were not sure if the man was correct, but everyone working there knew my circumstance. I proceeded to give this man a 10 minute dissertation on every aspect of Parkinson's Disease. No one in line moved or said a word, they just stood there with their mouths wide open. I finished with, "The next time you accuse someone of something you better have all the facts and have your ducks in a row, because the next person might not be as nice as me." I handed him a card that explained what Parkinson's Disease was and walked away. He did not say a word. When it became his time to order he just gave them his order and stood there. The girl at the register, Jessica, told him that they would not fill his order and that he was not allowed to visit that location again. At that point the people in line cheered and the man walked out with his head hung low. I believe that when you open up to people about your disease you will find very understanding and have a lot of questions for you. Take that time to educate. I believe that thhis will also give you the confidence to want to go out more. This is most important with your family. If you withdraw from them, they may believe they did something to upset you. You don't want that, so the best way is to be honest with them about it. I have also used my Parkinson's as a punchline to many jokes, which helps people feel more at ease about discussing it with you.

Parkinson's is a very aggravating disease.for 2 main reasons. (1) We do not know the path of progression. (2) Most of the medication used for Parkinson's is a "start low and go slow" regime. We need to make sure we start at a low dose to make sure we do not experience any side effects. The "go slow" means that we have to slowly increase the dose over time to get a dose that is close enough, without going over, to take care of our symptoms but not too much as to cause side effects.

I hope this helps and please keep me posted.

Now on to your questions.


  • I currently run about 20-25 miles per week and I am outdoors regularly working on rental properties I own
  • ANSWER: John, this is awesome. It has been proven that the more active you are the better the chances of the disease progressing will be less.
  • Any non-prescription medications I can take to help combat the depression?
  • ANSWER: There are many natural products or over-the-counter products that claim to help with depression. Since these products are not mandated by the FDA, I believe the best way to proceed is to talk with your Dr about initiating an antidepressant into your medication regime. You will find that many of the antidepressants will also help with anxiety as well. So this could help with 2 of the issues you mentioned above.
  • Any diet that could help?
  • ANSWER: There is really no specific Parkinson's diet. As usual lot's of fruits and vegetables. As far as meat goes, many people are under the belief that if you take Sinemet that you cannot eat protein. The answer is you can eat protein but make sure that you take your Sinemet at one hour prior to eating protein or take your Sinemet at least 2 hours after consuming protein.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now