Parkinson's Disease and Depression
Treating Parkinson's Disease and DepressionDepression is a serious and real illness. It can make a person feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. But the good news is that depression is treatable, including in people with Parkinson's disease. Treatment can help people feel better and cope better with their Parkinson's treatment.
Depression treatment options for people with Parkinson's disease are similar to those for people without the condition. Some of the options used most often include:
- Depression medications, which are known as antidepressants
- Psychotherapy, to learn more effective ways of dealing with life's problems (see Psychotherapy for Depression)
- A combination of the two.
While prescription antidepressant medications are generally well tolerated and safe for people with Parkinson's, more research is needed to determine which antidepressants work best for people with different subtypes of Parkinson's.
Recovery from depression takes time. Medications for depression can take several weeks to work and may need to be combined with ongoing psychotherapy. Not everyone responds to treatment in the same way. Prescriptions and dosing may need to be adjusted.
No matter how advanced the Parkinson's disease, however, the person does not have to suffer from depression. Treatment can be effective and help improve the person's quality of life.