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Superdecooper

Apathy - any suggestions

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Hello Everyone,

what do you all do for apathy? I'm finding it pretty difficult to start things and almost impossible to finish things. 

Seems like I can't consistently connect with whatever feeling that makes me want to get things done. It's starting to affect my work some since I am focusing on short term projects.

whats the solution for this? For example, I have an expense report that I must get finished and I can't seem to begin it. Even though it's probably about $1500 and I need the money. 

My brain is like, oh well, just do it tomorrow. I've made a list of the steps needed to do it, then I put the list away and do something else.

I have other projects in a similar state of disarray. Could be I'm too preoccupied by dealing with PD, but really, I'm a type A person so this is pretty frustrating. If it's one thing I know how to do well it's keep many things moving  at once.

any suggestions? I've got to move past this.

-S

 

 

Edited by Superdecooper

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I discovered that I was in a grief process for each loss I experienced along the PD pathway. Obsession with the "what ifs" and the "OMGs" as I read more about progression robbed me of precious energy. As I reached acceptance of each change in function,  I realized that fighting change was not a useful strategy. It only depleted what energy I had. 

My rehab psychologist told me 10 months after diagnosis that on stressful days, my only tasks were to breathe, eat, and sleep. If there was energy left, I could exercise. Being an overachiever I added meditation to the list.

It took some years to accept PD as a part of my life. Now that I have, I can use my mental energy to find creative adaptations to my new life in the slow lane.

I found the following helpful:

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. 
When I am disturbed, 
It is because I find some person, place, thing, situation -- 
Some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, 
And I can find no serenity until I accept 
That person, place, thing, or situation 
as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. 
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. 
Unless I accept life completely on life's terms, 
I cannot be happy. 
I need to concentrate not so much 
On what needs to be changed in the world 
As on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."
 

Alcoholics Anonymous
Copyright  1976 A.A.W.S. Inc.

Dianne 

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Dianne, that AA post is excellent.  I've been working through those same things, and it expresses exactly my feelings.  Thanks for sharing it, and even more I'm so glad that you are who you are.  Those difficulties in your life in that respect helped make you the strong and caring person that you are.

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And Scoop, I wish I had some answers/suggestions for your apathy, but unfortunately I am in the exact same boat on every point you make. It's just awful.  I do find that a nice cup of strong coffee gives me  little bit of get-up-and-go...it has to be a very strong blend and a large amount to do the trick, though.  But  I know you are on tea now since coffee was affecting you adversely, I think with your tremors.

I went on line awhile back to see if I could find any helpful information on how to beat apathy, and the only suggestion that really hit me was someone who said that you just get up and do what you have to do.   If it has to be done, do it.  I don't know why that helped the most, but somehow it did.  A little.   Somewhere deep in my brain and heart.  It didn't resolve the problem, but it put it succinctly right on the mark. Bottom line.  And yet here I am still paralyzed with apathy so much that I can't do one last thing to complete my 2015 taxes.  And then do my 2016.  And then my 2017.  I used to have my filing and records in perfect shape and could put my hand on anything I needed to find.  No more.  But....the taxes HAVE to be done, so I am going to just have to bribe myself, perhaps, with some sort of treat to reward the effort--but a hot fudge sundae (which is what I would choose) is definitely not okay at this point as my last lab tests pointed out.

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S-

For me, apathy has been the symptom that has affected my quality of life more than all the others combined.  At first I thought it might be depression and my doctor prescribed an antidepressant.  I was on it for about three years but it didn't help so I stopped taking it.  Exercise might help but apathy can make it difficult to initiate it.  The initiation of anything, social interactions, hobbies, even making a phone call is where I struggle.  Once I've started something I usually see it through.  My best advice is to fight it with everything you have!  Gardener

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PD or not everyone thinks of them selves and what they do as exceptional.Dr.Low said it's ok to think that just don;t believe it.LOL

he also said to lower our standards and our performance will rise.

I have found I look for what needs to be done first,then go on to wants.

Also I have been doing better with les c/l,sinemet tends to soothe our brains a bit to much.

Don't seem to have much concerns for memory or mental capacity.lol

Humor is our best friend,temper (fear worry,anger)our worst enemy

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+1 on Linda's comments.  Just have to go get  'er done.  I may add that if it is going to get done it will in the first  two thirds of the day before fatigue sets in for me!  I get up relatively early and by the third cup of coffee around 8am when the news on TV starts to repeat itself  I know it is time to get in gear.   I try and concentrate on that one or two main "to dos" and I keep a running list for the week and cross them off as they get done. Exercise, as a natural habit<  is the biggest challenge for me and my sedentary type B personality.  Executive function is taking some hits here and there in the planning stage.

That all being said, there are still a few things I used to care about that just don't matter to me anymore!  Thats no all bad when productive time is less.

 

DB

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Well, this is an eye opening conversation for me. 

All of you are way more experienced with Parkinson's than me and all of you are taking more meds than me..but you all have problems with apathy. So, I guess meds are not the answer, right?

this sucks.

-S

 

 

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It really sucks,let's hope they find a cure asap for PD.Afterall all medications comes with side effects.

Edited by otolorin

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Apathy in PD is overplayed.Like anyone you have to move your muscles to reeducate the cringing brain.lol

I have changed some old habits but I do a lot more new things that I ever thought Id do

I might give up some fishing but I plan on doing more golf

Despair leaves me when zi get out of bed.lol

I take less c/l than 3 years ago now

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Hi Johnny,

sorry to say I haven’t reached the level of zen mind control powers to defeat Apathy yet. I know procrastination. This is different. 

Theres not a pill for everything that bothers mankind. I get that. But my brain is still trying to sort out the fact that I’m taking Parkinson’s meds to deal with a bunch of symptoms that I can no longer ignore. Once I get over that hump, I’m sure I’ll just bounce past Apathy. I’m already past the fact that I have to exercise on a regular basis. This is so easy. Not. This sucks. 

-s. 

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A lot of helpful, great posts!  Some things that have been helpful for me:

  • Physical exercise has been very important in shifting my mood and helping to eliminate/reduce brain fog.  The earlier in the day I exercise the better. 
  • Also (as others have said) I have to adjust my expectations...there is no way I can do what I used to, physically or cognitively. 
  •  In addition I have discovered my physical diet impacts me physically, mood and cognitively.  Sugar, especially, is a killer for me.
  • Listening to encouraging music is also impactful for me.

 

 

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Hey smalls,

i haven’t tried changing exercise time. I can only go after work. My expectations are still pretty high since I just been dealing with this a short while. But I am going to cut back on sugar. 

Yes these suggestions have been great. 

-S

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