Do others find that stress affects their PD?

I know it does but last night was a prime example. After a pretty good day got a phone call to say that my adult son, who has kidney problems, had developed a severe infection and needed to go to hospital. He gets these infections but all hell broke loose with my tremors. Had to go down with my husband to look after his daughter of 3. Took an extra Stalevo which made no difference so just had to get on with it. They kept him in hospital overnight. I am no better this morning..Just waiting for my grandaughter to arrive.

28 Replies

  • Stress affects me in the same way - my tremor goes ballistic and my speech is severely affected.I find that if I can take a few moments to calm down things improve but it can take up to a day to get back to "normal"

  • Sorry to hear of your son's illness, I hope all goes well for him. Yes, stress does make a big difference to my PD symptoms. We have had a very traumatic year, family wise( death, relationship problems, children's psychological trouble ) , and I have seen my symptoms go haywire at these times.My PD nurses have been a god-send during this time, offering their advice whenever asked. I was told not to change the dose of PD meds, but to up my antidepressants, and we seem to have weathered the worst of the storms of life. Be strong, and take care, |Christine xx

  • Hope your son is better! Stress does a job on me ... can't talk, bobble head goes wild, neck tightens ... not fun at all.

  • hi . oh yes stress is a major factor i find that i just fall to pieces my symptoms are worse .but life keeps throwing us in stressfull situations..... when u are rearing your family all the ups and downs take its toll but with parkinsons thrown in the mix its hundred times harder , I could write a book on my last year but it would have to be in the fiction section cause no one wud believe it as true story .But all we can do is go with the flow and hope for a cure so very soon . xx

  • Sure it does. My tremor is just one big stress detector. My wife will ask me "Do you want to drive way the hell over to my cousin's house for dinner?" and I'll say "Sure". Then my hand goes off and she laughs and says "guess not".

    I Can;t get away with anyting now.

  • lol

  • lol

  • Stress causes my PD to go crazy; more than anything else. I have severe muscle cramps, my speech goes soft so much that I cannot speak, a tremor appears that I never have without stress. Do to finances getting harder, a teenage daughter that does not think PD is real, and having PD for 9 years, I did not think things could get worse, but they can. A friend of mine died recently. He had undiagnosed PD for 17 years, then lived with it for another 25 years. They say he died due to PD complications. Talk about stress! Support from friends, walking daily, and knowing that doing a little every day (exercise, taking meds on time, etc.) helps greatly.

  • Understand completely how you felt when your friend died. My cousin died about 6 months ago from PD and this was one of the lowest times of my life with PD. I think the best way to cope is to appreciate that no two cases of PD are the same and none of us know how this disease will progress, or even if it will. She fought to the end and I intend to do this to the best of my ability. Good luck.

  • Yes, stress plays a big part. If I get scared, stressed, or over-tired, my meds don't work as well - the tremors get much worse and I get foot dystonias that immobilize me. I haven't found an answer to this problem yet except to avoid situations that I know stress me...........

  • Stress really affects my PD. My tremor will go into over-drive and I will continue to shake a lot until the stressful situation is mitigated. I also found that adrenaline affects me too. For most of my younger years, I road the most intense roller coasters at Cedar Point Amusement Park every summer. The rides never bothered me or scared me at all. Last summer was the first time that I had been to a theme park in 5+ years. I was diagnosed in 2011, but had symptoms for the last 2+ years. Any who, I rode a medium-intense roller coaster and after I got off the ride I had to sit on a park bench for 30 minutes because my arm and leg would not stop shaking. Anytime someone almost hits me on the roadways, my anxiety goes way up - much more than it did prior to PD. Years ago, if someone startled me, within a minute or less, I was back to normal. Now it takes awhile for 'normal' to happen again because my tremor goes crazy. I try to find the little joys in life, such as singing badly along with the radio when stuck in traffic...instead of getting road-rage. Things that previously upset me, I just move past. I don't sweat the small stuff because it will affect my tremor.

    PS - I hope you and your family are doing well!

  • I retired because of stress. It can kill you--with or without PD. Trying many relaxation techniques to deal with stress including fishing, working out, and reading two good books on the subject: Relaxation Revolution and the autobiography of Henry David Thoreau. Maybe reading those books will help you with some insight to deal with the day to day stress. My kids got me a happy light for Christmas....hope it helps. Day to day stress is ongoing, keep a positive outlooks,keep the faith, and take deep breaths. Good luck.

  • I think it was Thoreau who said that we live our lives in quiet desperation. I know that stress is a major contributing factor with my PD and I am alert to ways of managing it - perhaps it is just part of the PD baggage and we have to learn how to handle it - thus far I have not found any solutions...... Tonyx

  • Court I wish the best to you and your son. Yes stress does affect PWP. When stressed I shake uncontrollably, my voice cracks, and my left side weakens.. I use meditation and deep breathing to calm myself.

  • I also had to quit work because of stress. I was a teacher and the fear that my class would be the only one at the school who did not do well on the state test filled me with so much fear that I had difficulty grading papers. At times I could not remember my students' names…and one of them was my granddaughter!

    Last fall I was stopped for speeding, the first time ever in my 45 years of driving. I was shaking so much I think the officer felt sorry for me and gave me only a warning. I took my extra Carb/Levo and it helped.

    Praying your son will regain his health and keep it.

  • Thanks to everyone who asked about my son. He is still in hospital and thinks these sudden very extreme kidney infections will always occur. He also has a catheter fitted and fears this could be permanent. He is only 35. What a grim prospect. Thanks for caring. Will keep you posted. Stress levels are all over the place!!

  • sending you and your son best wishes xxx

  • Thanks for your good wishes. He seemed a little better tonight but will be in hospital for a while yet.

  • Stress totally messes me up and so does cold weather!

  • OH YES!!! I had to leave my job due to how it was quickly making my PD worse. My doctor said I was shortening my life every day I stayed. Sense I left I do feel better. When the hubby and I do not see eye to eye - the PD knows. Red wine helps.

  • I am with you about the red wine, but can't drink too much. Tremor stops. must be relaxing that helps.

  • oh yes stress does affect mine. i too had to leave my job between the hours and dealing with the public constantly as a funeral director,(people always notice my hands when we had family meetings and commented that it must be the pressure) this was before i was dx . i got that i hated working with the families on initial meetings when a lot of writing had to be done. also had the stress of 2 bosses totally different that couldn't see eye to eye on anything and i was the net between them on all the bickerng matches. i feel so much better after i was out of there , soon will be 5 years come feb. i was dx a year later. if i get too tired , too stressed , or 2 cold everything goes off the chart. the first to go is my voice and have more trouble swallowing, my legs spasm and my brain fog really will set in if it is really intense stress levels.

    good luck with your family, my prayers are with u and your


  • The answer seems to be on overwhelming "yes!" Does anyone know WHY this happens and if there is anything we can do ( yea, avoid stress) because it strikes when we need our body the most.

    I have wondered if adrenalin or cortisol blocks or gobbles up all the dopamine that is present. I realize that this gets into the science side of things but I thought maybe someone has gotten an explanation from their neurologist.

    It seems to me if we knew the WHY we might be able to trick the body's response somehow. I know one of the responses is going to be deep Yoga breaths.

  • I was surprised by the number of people who answered this question and would be very interested in finding out why stress has such an impact on PD. Perhaps this should be put as a separate question and maybe there would be an explanation that would enable us control stress.

  • Just thought this might be interesting. I was at the hospital on Friday for a heart scan and was really scared. My tablet refused to work and my arm and leg refused to obey me. Also my heart rate was way too fast and they had to give me extra beta blockers to slow it down. I also took another Stalevo and one or the other worked. Perhaps raised heart rate due to stress causes the problem?

  • I have a severe tremor to start with but the slightest anxiety or excitement and it just takes off.havent found any med that makes any difference,i think i,v been through most of them.

  • Yes, any stress situation and it's a sudden and total drug failure. It's horrible. A big reason why I had to stop working (I'm now on permanent SS disability). It's so hard to eliminate it from this 21st Century instant everything speed race we find ourselves trapped in. Where's Mr. Peabody and the WayBack Machine when you need it ??

  • Hi,

    Yes I would say stress is definitley a yes.whenever I am in stressful situations my tremor starts too,

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