Severe Depression Associated with Movement Disorders
Severe depression can be a debilitating and disabling experience, and is a common symptom of Parkinson’s Disease, movement disorders, and many other chronic conditions that may have little to do with neurological ones. However, recent research has shown that severe depression may be even more common in Parkinson’s patients with an estimated 50 percent of patients experiencing some form of depression or anxiety.
Advancements in new technology, the rise of neuroimaging techniques, and new therapy methods such as deep brain stimulation and DUOPA are fast revealing that what was historically viewed as a motor system disorder, may, in fact, be a more complex neurobehavioral syndrome.
As a neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s is known to affect many parts of the brain, disrupting the communication signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Recent findings also suggest that neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s alter the areas of the brain responsible for controlling mood and producing the chemicals that keep our mental health balanced. This inevitably leads to chemical imbalances in the brain and symptoms that can create severe depression associated with the movement disorder.
Depression can manifest in many ways, but some of the most commonly reported symptoms are feelings of guilt or worthlessness, decreased interest in your favorite activities, thoughts of committing suicide, feelings of hopelessness or little self-worth, changes in sleep patterns, and loss of appetite. In some cases, depression can also manifest as physical pain.
It’s easy to see from these more common symptoms how depression can indeed impact your happiness, and somewhat surprising that despite this, it has historically been the symptom that has been most overlooked. But recent studies that examine how depression impacts the quality of life, are increasingly demonstrating that treating depression not only drastically improves quality of life, but also show that those who have received treatment for depression are actually less likely to have difficulties with day to day activities and motor activities associated with cognitive disorders.
Depression affects more than the people directly afflicted with it: it impacts you, your care giver, and your family and can be a very difficult symptom to diagnose in Parkinson’s patients. But at MDPDS, we take the time to listen and learn. By making you the center of our focus we are able to get to the root of your symptoms, separate the potential side effects of medication from the manifestations of depression, and design cognitive behavioral therapy programs and antidepressant regimes that will not only improve your mental health and wellbeing, but also the quality of life for you and your loved ones.