Does STRESS cause Parkinson's disease?

I have had Parkinson's disease, (Pd), since 1963. I was in a very stressful work situation, which was self-induced. My symptoms slowly got worse and worse for the next 29 years, before I was finally diagnosed in 1993. At that time, I was unable to carry on working and decided to give up my high-powered job and take things easy. That was the best thing I have ever done! It cost me a great deal of money and a loss of prestige, but I regained my health, and that made it all worthwhile! Today, I have not taken any Pd medication since 2002 and I live a perfectly normal life.

What caused my Pd? Who knows? What I did to change my life, other than giving up my job, was to take a monotherapy of Eldepryl, start hard walking every second day for one hour each session and adopt a positive attitude towards my health problems. I prefer to take as little medication as possible, believing that all medication is toxic, and my body has enough problems to deal with, without having to overcome the toxic problems associated with medication.

I have realized that stress did not cause my Pd, but getting rid of all harmful stress had a very real positive effect on my health.

I have heard many people say they think that an operation, or an accident caused their Pd, but the stress related to these events possibly triggered the Pd. I know that Pd takes several years before Pd can be diagnosed. So an operation or an accident cannot suddenly bring on Pd.

What do you think?


7 Replies

  • Hi John,

    I believe that stress can trigger illness alongside other factors. I don't believe it is the cause. When your body is malfunctioning, it's speaking to you and is telling you it doesn't like the way you are treating yourself. It's telling you to change your lifestyle and way of being.

    I too have chosen not to use medication for the same reasons as you. I also participated in the Landmark Forum which is an integrity training programme that has helped me immensly. I went from being a victim to embracing my challenge. My lifestyle now incorporates meditation, prayer, good nutrition, exercise and being grateful. This is a far cry from the way I was.I was constantly on the go, annoyed with other people and myself and never satisfied.

    I am now in a much better place and much happier even though I live with my friend, Parkinson's! I wouldn't chose to go back to my old life.

  • Hi Firefly. I wish people like you would tell the world what you are doing. When this message comes from all over the world, then patients will sit up and listen. I am not knocking doctors or Big Pharma, when I say that it is not in their interests for us to get better. Think about it! We have to take control of our lives and do what we must to get better.


  • I agree with your approach. I had PD signs that I see in hind sight. My debilitating symptoms appeared suddenly after my son died of drug interaction in 2002. My neuro who is in research says yes traumatic events can impel PD symptoms to progress. e.g., holocaust survivors have a higher rate of PD than non-holocaust . I'm sure there's research literature on this. In the meantime he told me, 'Don't let it progress; stay undermedicated and enjoy your life!' :D

  • Hi PatV. Thanks for this input. I am sure that hearing you tell others your story will give them strength to face up to their situation.


  • Dear John:

    will riding a thèra cycle passively reduce Parkinson's symptoms? (riding at 11 to 13 miles an hour passively ) o

  • Hi Cactus1. I don't know what a thera cycle is. You will have to excuse my ignorance. Any physical exercise is good for Pd. but hard walking is the best. You may not be able to walk, but I am merely giving a general answer to this.


  • I know the more stress I have in my life the sicker i feel. I have more problems with my PD and Dystonia, which has become almost debilitating at certain times in my life. My roommate (security blanket) causes me stress and my boyfriend causes me stress. I have often wondered if I could still make it on my own, after having PD for 15 years now and Dystonia throughout my entire body. I am afraid that if I cut all the stress factors out that i will be all alone and sick with not much assistance but I often feel that way with these ppl in my life which makes me even more depressed. Sometimes I think there is worse things than being alone....... like wishing you were alone to get away from other ppls baggage and stress they want to push on you. I feel awful most days, but on less stressful days i feel better. I do think stress will make you sick if you let it and I totally agree with you JohnPepper about the meds statement. Thank you for the post. :-)

    Any advice/suggestions?

    Best wishes, Darkflower

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