Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It’s all in my head. Quite literally. Parkinsons Disease is a neurological disorder, so it is really all in my head. But when my doctor says that, what he means is that the disease, while physically manifesting itself with outer symptoms, is only part of the problem. The rest of the problem is the anxiety that comes along with those symptoms. It’s all in my head.

Or at least a good portion of it is. Anxiety is capable of mimicking the physical symptoms of a disease and exacerbating those symptoms. The need to cope with the disease or condition facing us, and the uncertainty of the future, creates considerable stress that leads to anxiety. From there it is a short step from the rational to the irrational and a deeper plunge into the darkness.

So when my doctor tells me that my disease is barely progressing physically, the only explanation available to explain my recent distress and increased physical debilitation is that stressing about the disease and its effect on me is fueling the fires of anxiety. It’s all in my head.

The solution? Quit thinking about it and carry on. Cope with the physical problems and accept them for the minor nuisance they are. Stop worrying about what the future holds and live in the moment. Accept the fact that you have to cope with this as part of your daily life and then don’t let it dominate your life. Parkinsons Disease doesn’t define who I am. It’s just one of the many facets of my life.

And though I may want to tell my doctor, when he tells me that anxiety is the culprit, that he is full if shit, I have to at least make concessions for his years of experience and expertise. I have, at least until now, never felt like I was overly stressed or anxious about all that is happening to me, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe it all is really just in my head.

The little white pills should help.


wiccachicky said...

I've been going through a very similiar experience at the moment -- and I think you're on the right track with this. Keep thinking positively and develop coping mechanisms that work for you! I'm going to be working on that too.

Kat said...

Anxiety, stress, frustration...I've seen how all those emotions complicate my husband's diabetes. Sometimes the Doctor is right.