Monday, 7 January 2013

Impacting the physical and mental

Whether you believe the mind and body are separate entities or two descriptions of the same thing, I think experience teaches us that the physical gives rise to a mental response (e.g. breaking your leg causes the experience of pain). Therefore, the changing physicality in Parkinson’s inevitably impacts the emotions of a sufferer.

In the absence of a cure, it is equally important to treat the mental impact as it is to treat the physical symptoms. Treating the physical only goes half way in coping with Parkinson’s; it doesn’t address the problem of living with (and ultimately living alongside) the disease and setting up a helpful emotional relationship with the physical changes caused by Parkinson’s. The mental is the source of motivation and planning and strategy, all crucial things when coping with a disease. If the emotional impact is marginalised these key parts of the arsenal used to tackle Parkinson’s will be neglected, thus making the physical even harder to deal with.

Parkinson’s impacts the physical and mental. Therefore, both should be tackled with treatment to enable the sufferer to live with this chronic disease.

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