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Parkinson's Movement
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Socially awkward

Hello, during this time of the year, my husband and I are invited to many parties and I find my self feeling extremely self conscious even though I am still in the early stage and most don’t even know I have it. I struggle to participate in conversations and lack self confidence and sense that others feel uncomfortable talking to me. Perhaps it’s just my imagination but It’s a very lonely feeling.

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I know exactly what you mean. I feel very disconnected, and concentrating hard to hide my tremor in my arm. If I get in a situation where I can't sit down and have to stand for a while I panic a bit because sometimes I get very woosy and offbalance. Tend to avoid socialising but I know I shouldn't. Maybe it will be easier when people know my condition so I'm not constantly trying to look normal. It's such a drag. Usually find after having a few drinks I relax and my tremor settles down.

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How long have you had PD?

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Good morning Skme,

When i go to a gathering i tell everyone i talk to that i have Parkinson's it is a great ice breaker. I am proud of how i look and the things i do to spite the fact i have PD.

Don't be shy or conceal the fact you have PD be proud of it. You will be surprised how it will free you to just be you.

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Bailey, Saying it is "a great icebreaker" seems to be a stretch. When the shoe is on the other foot, and If someone tells me they have diabetes, heart-disease, or cancer, I will be at a loss for words...unless I know enough about these diseases to ask an intelligent question. Even then I may quickly run out of questions or ideas to continue the conversation. Or I may feel that they are leading into a narcissistic discussion that focuses on themselves--another cul de sac. If you can avoid such hazards, Bailey, you must be a versatile conversationalist, and I salute you!

Of course, I am only theorizing. On various occasions I have told folks at my gym that I have PD, and it seemed to turnout OK, without an awkward outcome. But if I am tremoring badly, I will normally confide I have PD to alleviate my embarrassment. This is not a fabulous conversation starter, but it does no harm.

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I'm going through the same thing. The bad part is when I have conversations my tremor amplifies and have hard time to hide it.

It is true, alcohol calms the tremor down but at work I can not do that. Usually I'm just intentionally moving my arm to hide the tremor but everything depends of the amount of stress involved.

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Sometimes I tell myself that “I am calm and relaxed, I am confident and sure of myself” and it helps a little. 😊

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After dealing with Ataxia and PD for a number of years, I have found that it’s best if I don’t say too much about my medical ailments. It seems like it makes others feel somewhat uncomfortable. Sinemet, taken in regular doses helps mainly, my tremors. My slowness and balance issues are a lot harder to disguise, but if somebody asks, I will tell them, but I don’t make a big deal of it, or elaborate on it, unless if somebody seems genuinely interested. I challenge myself each day to do as much as I can on my own, to stay independent. Exercise and stretching helps a lot. Concentrating on helping others, rather than my own problems, helps me to not dwell on some of the more unpleasant aspects of dealing with PD. So, socially, I try to talk to people about them and what they are doing and interact that way, rather than discuss my problems etc. It helps put them at ease and helps get my mind off thinking about PD and Ataxia, and what it’s doing to me.

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