PD and stress: Can anyone point me to... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement
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PD and stress

Can anyone point me to online articles about the connection between PD and stress. I'm a single mum of 9 year old twin boys and at the moment all they do is fight constantly. It's so stressful, like being in a war zone. Added to that their father is in complete denial about my PD and criticises me for being a bad parent when I am just hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Also he is generally not prepared to look after my kids when I am incapacitated which means I have no back up plan or feeling of support. I want to show my ex the effect stress has on PD to maybe get a bit of understanding from him. The last week my meds are barely working as I've been so stressed and yesterday my acupuncturist told me I was completely burnt out.


16 Replies

I've been in several endeavors in the past, and used to be able to handle any situation..."Not so" now that I have PD.....Stress is what "sets off" the tremors, when you have PD.

Try going to pdf.org , there is a search box at the top of the page....type in "Stress and Parkinson".....it should be able to give you something you can use.




I also know that stress sets off tremors and that meds do not control this. I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope efficiently with stress and consequently have almost constant tremors. These are driving me mad at the moment and stealing the little sleep I get away from me. I will do as you suggest in your post CJ49 and hope for some answers. But how to get destressed is something I can't figure out.


First thing, boys / brothers / families, its almost universal that there is fighting between them. I know you feel you should step in as referee and make everything perfect. But you can't and shouldn't beat yourself up over it.and in any case I bet your peacemaking interventions don't last long enough. So hard as it might be try and relax a bit more..

Try letting them sort things out for themselves a bit more (UNLESS IT GETS REALLY BAD). I've heard it said that these arguments and fighting between siblings can help children to learn about negotiation and conflict in general. Sounds a bit dubious to me but that's what I have heard said.

They will probably be best of friends when they get older.

You're not being a bad parent you're a worried parent. But we as parents have less influence on our offspring than we think we have, That is regarding the long term outcome when they become adults. Being worried and stressed don't help and don't lead to new solutions

What I'm really trying to say is that although it seems very bad that they fight all the time, it is not as bad as you feel so you can try to relax just a little bit.

On the other hand the arguments between your twins is not ideal.

I don't suppose there are other family members that could assist, what about local help groups.

Your husband sounds like a typical "I can't cope with kids - you do it " type but still has the cheek to suggest you'are a bad parent. Well if its as easy as he implies then he can show you how, can't he.

I guess your husband feels that if whatever you're doing as a parent isn't working then you should try something different but you probably feel stuck have run out of ideas. I'm sorry that I fall short on ideas at this point too. Mostly.

It is generally said now that for boys to grow up balanced and happy they need their mum, their mum's attention, their love. Much more so than girls`. For girls, to grow up balanced and happy girls need their father to show suitable love and respect towards their mother. Boys are much more emotional and sensitive than girls at a young age.

So in your case it is probably useful to ensure even handedness with the attention you give to each boy and make sure that you don;t favour one over the other. Very tricky.

I wish you all the best and don;t forget to relax a little bit. Before each confrontation Just take a deep deep breath and long long sigh, feel a wave of relaxation pass through your whole body and don't worry that this next fight will be catastrophic because it won't be.


Don't underestimate stress and its affect to you with PD. I am on total disability because of the affect stress has on me. Take a deep breath, and realize you can only do so much and don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends


Can I just point out that he isn't my husband, we split up 7 years ago, partly due to his denial of my health issues. He is married to someone else now and I am bringing up my kids alone. He has them a third of the time. I can't just let them fight as they start throwing things at eachother and smashing the house up...


Jeanette, I have nobody to ask for help from. My friends all have too much on their plate and the only family I have is an elderly mother and aunt who live a long way away and can't cope with my kids for very long.


It sounds like you and your boys could use some family counciling. Is there some organization that can advise you? Even at the age of 9 the boys are old enough to understand that you all need to work together. Kids sometimes need a little "tough love" and a clear reminder of family rules. Good luck. Hope you find some help.


Peaches has a good idea. My neuro has a social worker with the office. She is my life saver. I'll ask my dance teacher too . She's 18(?) yrs with PD and has young children. Google Pamela Quinn for her blog or youtube videos.


I think yoga and meditation can help with stress. If the boys can't get along, is there any way you can get your ex to take one of the boys to raise - and perhaps can switch off from time to time. Maybe if they don't live together, they might start to miss each other and learn to get along. Sounds like they are wanting attention - maybe they'll get more if one of the parents has just one of the boys to look after?? Also put them in separate sports activities - one in baseball and the other in soccer??


I agree. So sorry im not inBrighton to help. We are in Spain..Valencia, not sure for how long. dont be envious its stressful changing round all the time accommodation etc and weather not that good! Partner under pressure at work..

Yoga and Qi Gong are my recommendation...camomile tea and exercise..a visit to the park could let off steam when the boys are hyper. I used to get the kids playing dead lions when I was tired. Classical music is a good calmer for all..set aside a book time with gentle music.

Find a calm moment to explain to them about your illness and your frustrations ..and ask them for suggestions how to make it better.Tell the school. Give the boys some responsibilty jobs for when you have various symptoms..including feeling low. Have a comedy dvd or prog you can share to make you laugh. Most important of all be honest with them.

Write to your ex and explain how you suffer on a bad day and ask him for ideas if he doesnt want to give his time. I can put you in touch with one or two of my friends in brighton if you like. Im sure they would be supportive. Very important to communicate..let your feelings go and practise relaxation ..by tape or whatever at least once a day..would be good for boys to join in. Keep off coffee, alcohol..caffeine, sugar..and dont let the boys eat things with artificial coloursnts in. You probably know all this but having been a primary school teacher and a single parent etc..its from experience! Good luck. You have my email and can skype me.



You will know I'm sure that you can get counselling on the NHS through your GP. I suggest it as a useful place for you to think through some strategies to cope with your situation with the help of another person. Personally i would leave family counselling at the moment and see it as a possible next step. Your situation feels quite overwhelming, like you are fighting fires on a number of fronts (eg backup support plan, uncoperative ex, parenting issues, coping with PD,) and could do with some support prioritising and working out best approach.

Hilary and Pete and others give some useful ideas but it is hard doing it alone i think. Best wishes.


very hard anyway, in fact can't think anything more difficult than being a parent.

I know a single mum who reckons its easier on your own as you can take a consistent approach with no time wasted on arguments between you and your spouse about how to be a parent and consistency is probably one of the main factors is successful child rearing.

My wife used to use counting, i.e. if you don't do such 'n' such by the time I count 5 then "insert appropriate punishment here" They then know whats coming and have a choice to comply. Another good one I remember was when one of them decided that she didn't want to get dressed for school. " ok that's alright I'll take you in your pyjamas". As soon as recalcitrant offspring realised that my wife meant what she said there was immediate compliance and that problem never occurred again.


Hello Trixiedee,

Thank you for being so open an honest with your situation at home with yourself, sons and their father.

I offer you the following comments and suggestions and incidentally, I too, have parkinsons and know well the results of stress. Although it is something you will have to live with, there are things and attitudes you can do and adopt that will help even out your life.

Firstly, your ex partner can never know how parkinson's affects you mentally and psychologically, no more than you can know how he feels about his life. Accept this and do not take too much notice of his opinion about you 'being a bad parent'. He is living in a certain amount of ignorance. If you want him to change and your sons too, it can only come about if you change yourself.

Firstly, try and do something about your lack of energy and outlook. May I recommend a book called the feel good diet' by Cheryle Hart. It will be in your library; although it also concerns weight loss there is much about neurotransmitters and hormones which we know are affected by Parkinson's. reading this book will give you a boost and adopting some of the principles will boost you even more.

As for the boys squabbling, they do this because they are not mature enough to know there are other ways of interacting with each other. This is where you come in when you start to fell better! Understand this vitally important point, 'you get the behaviour that you tolerate'. Start to change yourself and them by choosing your 'battle' that you are determined to 'win' with them. It is quite likely they know that mum does not feel well and does not mean what she says so they do not have to listen to you, because they know you won't 'follow through' with your 'threats'. Start off by choosing a battle you are determined to win and make sure you do. They will begin to respect you more. Then build on that. Remember, always follow through with what you say.

You are a Bright person judging by your posts here and other forums, so you can start with a feeling of strength.

Lets us know how you get on.



Yes definitely agree with the following through. I often used to find that when it came to apply a punishment that I was no longer angry like I was when the threat was made and "my heart wasn't in it" any more - big mistake. They must know that you mean what you say.


Hello Peter-1 and Trixiedee,

I would like to add a further comment to my post of yesterday. I prefer not to think of discipline regarding children, or anyone for that matter not as punishing them, but in terms of giving them 'consequences' for their behaviour. Consequences must be appropriate to their actions where possible and fair. Where the twin boys are concerned when they fight each other I would deny them watching TV for a period if they like doing this. If that doesn't bother them I would deny them something that they do like and would miss. In other words ' they choose the behaviour, they choose the consequences'. That way you are not punishing them, but letting them associate inappropriate behaviour as down to them and no one else. Stopping pocket money is another possible consequences. As adults, every action on our part has a consequence, so why not children as well?




Hi Trixiedee, I don't have any answers for you but I just wanted to say how badly I feel for you and your situation. Do you have any friends or family that could help you or help you to knock some sense into this husband of yours? You just can't do this one alone. Support group for you? Social worker? Is you Neuro. helpful? GP? A medical professional needs to understand your situation.

Prayers are with you. K.


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