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I'm having some anxiety issues. It started out as very mild but dramatically increasing recently. It's a vicious cycle of worrying about my symptoms before I do some socially or doing things in public, which then in turn makes my symptoms worse, and on it goes. In the last month or so I feel like I'm having an anxiety attack before I go out. It's also now including just getting excited about things both positive or negative seems to trigger an increase in tremor and anxiety. Is this something that therapy can help with and if so, any suggestions on a certain type like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Or would an increase in my C/L dose help. Any guidance you have, if you've experienced something similar would be greatly appreciated.

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Welcome, kmr. My anxiety preceded my PD diagnosis by 20+ years. I quickly discovered that each makes the other worse. I see a rehab psychologist at the PD Center of Excellence near me who specializes in treating patients with neurological disorders. I highly recommend seeing a therapist who is knowledgeable about PD.

In addition, I use meditation to remain calm. My favorite app is Meditation Oasis by Mary and Richard Maddox. I've used it for seven years; it never fails.

Wishing you the very best in your search for peace of mind, body, and spirit.

Dianne 

 

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You are most welcome, kmr. Since PD and the meds that relieve the motor symptoms can both create anxiety, it's important to learn ways that work for each of us to alleviate it. There is so much about PD that is out of our control; I feel less powerless when I know there is something I can do to help myself.

Dianne  

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On 8/8/2018 at 12:30 PM, kmr said:

I'm having some anxiety issues. It started out as very mild but dramatically increasing recently. It's a vicious cycle of worrying about my symptoms before I do some socially or doing things in public, which then in turn makes my symptoms worse, and on it goes. In the last month or so I feel like I'm having an anxiety attack before I go out. It's also now including just getting excited about things both positive or negative seems to trigger an increase in tremor and anxiety. Is this something that therapy can help with and if so, any suggestions on a certain type like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Or would an increase in my C/L dose help. Any guidance you have, if you've experienced something similar would be greatly appreciated.

I have had increasing anxiety as my disease progressed.   I am sorry you are feeling this too, but you are not alone. 

It started with adreniline for me.  Watching certain live sports would make me feel horrible.  Then movies- the noise was too much and it progressed to more agitation and restlessness.  I couldn't sit still for more than 30 minutes.  And my thoughts became obsessive.  I would get stuck on something. I couldn't shut it off.  Was bad for my relationships with my family. 

This worsening progression happened over years. 

At first I took klonapin for rare sporting events for my kids I didn't want to miss.  It helped a lot.  I was pretty loopy on klonapin though and couldn't drive when taking.  

I probably waited too long to take another drug. When I was going through the evaluation process for DBS I finally decided to start low dose lexapro. It did help. Wish I had started earlier but I was so afraid of meds at that point with some of the horrible side effects I had experienced (mirapex-icd, amantadine-suicidal thoughts)

After DBS I no longer needed Sinemet, and also no longer need lexapro. For now. 

I suspect the restlessness/agitation/obsessive thoughts were side effects of sinemet for me.  But no way to be certain, it could have been PD and DBS is helping. 

I have to say severe anxiety made my life a living hell. Not being able to sit still and ever relax is torture.  

Oh yeah - I have been seeing the same therapist for almost 6 years.  She has seen me through everything (mirapex hell, all the different drugs etc).  You can try to manage anxiety through exercise, meditation, proper diet, but for me on sinemet I needed the anxiety med. It really helped. 

I have found depression much easier to manage with nutrition and exercise than anxiety. 

I hope you find some peace soon.  I wouldn't wish severe anxiety on anyone.  

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Kaydee. It's so wonderful the thoughtful experiences and support that everyone in this forum provide.

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Oh yeah...sounds way too familiar. I think I've had PD-related anxiety for 30 years.(I was diagnosed 10 1/2 years ago at age 52 after upper back rigidity and tremor came to stay.)

I feel like the anxiety is the worst part of PD.  I have been seeing a counselor for a year and a half. He uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which I think includes finding unrealistic and false beliefs about myself and my surroundings and replacing them with true and realistic beliefs and self talk.

For example: "the streets are icy so I"ll stay home..."but i know the streets are plowed and sanded, (and have been for 2 days)" and "I've driven in winter many and done just fine,"..."but it might snow while i'm out"..."and you'll slow down and be cautious" and on and on...often with anxiety building.

And I too have discovered that it can be positive and negative thoughts and feelings that increase the anxiety. Too much stress is too much stress.

So, cognitive behavioral therapy, bringing myself into the present moment, diaphragmatic breathing, body scans, choosing to slow down (in addition to the forced slow down that PD brings) and imagining myself in God's arms are all in my toolbox of chill techniques.

I've recently discovered that I only thought I knew how to do diaphragmatic breathing . I'm going back to Tai Chi for a refresher on that.The shallow breathing makes it easier for the anxious thoughts and feelings to take over.

Mindfulness is a thing these days and has a lot of helpful practices...breathing the way we were created to breathe is essential...as well as living in the present moment.

I am looking at some other therapies and will talk to my primary care provider in my annual check up later this month.

Sue

 

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