Compulsive Disorders

Everyone knows most the side effects of our meds or Parkinson's. One of the hidden one that I believe is not discussed enough or even warned about is Compulsive disorders .If you are newly diagnosis I am encouraging very strongly to pass on your handle of cash to someone else . A spouse or a trusted family member. I don't know what actually its all about or what causes it but its there. So do yourself a favor and pass the bill paying or money handling on to a family member. I wish I was warned about this a along time ago .

30 Replies

  • My compulsive behavior is not related to finances. I turned into a compulsive eater 24/7. This has caused a 45 pound weight gain. I have outgrown 2 wardrobes. The result is depressing and unhealthy. The nausea I also experience is not deterring this uncontrollable behavior. I do exercise, but obviously, it's not enough. Of course I wasn't forwarned and the damage has been done. My doctor thinks this is a tolerable side effect since the ropinerole is controlling the tremor and other symptoms. If only I was aware of the compulsion and how to control it, I would have faired better.The medicine is working very well at controlling the physical symptoms and most people are surprised when I tell them about my disease,

  • My husband of 46 years was greatly affected by Mirapex! The gambling was so severe that after two years of internet gambling and casino gambling, I filed for divorce. It took that step for my husband to agree to marriage and family counseling. The therapist sent us to a gambling addiction specialist, who had studied other compulsive gamblers, and who finally narrowed the cause to Mirapex. After ending his use of this drug, our marriage was saved, but thousands of dollars on charge cards taken in various family member names had to be paid off. Obviously, our retirement years are not what we had planned, but we are still together dealing with the physical challenges of PD.

  • While on Requip I emptied out both my 401k and my IRA. I wish I had never been given Requip since it destroyed me financially. That was in 2005-2006.

  • Ditto to this, I didn't have much anyway, it was gambling or my drunken husband would spend it away. Requip is one bad drug/ When I stopped taking it I fell into a deep depression and cried continually for days. 2 weeks later I left my husband of 21 years when he said he couldn't take care of me. I've never cried once since. A lot of underlying problems like his constant lieing about everything and the requip about did me in.

  • Thanks for posting. I am in year 4 and so far so good. I need the reminder. While it is not problem now It sure could be. It was for my dad.. My wife manages the check book. And is also an Rn...

  • I have made a rule that I don't spend large amounts of money unless I think about it for at least 24 hours. I was "miserly" and didn't gamble before so, not so much of a problem for me. I try to channel my obsessive behavior into something constructive like setting up a PD support group. ( I take RequipXL 8mg 1X day and Azilet.


  • Anyone addicted to scratch off tickets? I was never interested before but now I must buy one daily. I am on Mirapex and Azilect.

  • Be very careful about that. The compulsion can gradually take over very subtly. You find yourself rationalizing any and all compulsive behaviors, and before you know it, you've spent all your money. Mirapex and Requip are BAD NEWS.

  • Thank you. right now I am under control spending small amounts but I can see the danger.

  • I have been unable to balance my checkbook or keep track of my finances since being diagnosed 3 years ago. My wife and I can spend hours trying to get this done with no sucess

  • Dopamine agonists cause compulsive tendencies in 20-25% of users I read somewhere. I am surprised that doctors are not strongly warning patients of this risk and not eliminating the DA's when the symptoms arise. I read about the risk and told the doctor I would not take a DA as I "know" I would be in the high risk group... luckily carbadopa/levadopa is mostly doing its job ... for now.

  • carbadopa/levadopa is this the main medication for PD ? what other medication is if this one is not? what other medication should be added along with carbadopa/levadopa if any? i am so confused over the medications for PD. some days it seems the meds do nothing and other days i may get 4 good hours total. i am on the meds round the clock every 4 hours. thank you for your help/reply.

  • Dennis...This is a very complex disease. There is no single pill or even a combination that will fix the symptoms. If you are on pills every 4 hours you need to find a "non chemical fix". DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) surgery may be an option but try exercise first ...start searching for a non chemical option and first really try some exercise solutions before surgery. If Mayo diagnosed you with PD then look for a solution. Read each post here...this group gives good advice.

  • Daily exercising has helped me a lot!!

    Also, getting off of Mirapex and Requip (currently taking Comtan, Carb/Levo, Amantadine ) was a tremendous help!

  • I know some one might be upset that I, in effect, might be highjacking this thread...but if you would DiCan, please share your exercise regime?

    Even if you'd prefer to email it or to start another blog, or ???

  • I have a Walking DVD with arm movements, kicks, side steps...I walk 3 miles in 45 minutes.

    I interchange this with my XBox connect. I use the Your Shape Fitness that I can adjust to what I am able to do. I like it because it lets you know how you are doing and you can see if you make progress.

    There are exercises that I didn't think I could do to begin with and have been able to do with practice (maybe not as well as others, but good for me) :)

    I like being able to play games that give me exercise along with regular exercise. I cool down to Zen movements.

    I also have the sports game and enjoy bowling, table tennis...with my grandchildren and others.

    With the connect I don't have to use any controllers, just move my arms to "instruct" the game.

  • My doc also prescribed Azile$t which is supposed to neuro-protective and reduce the need for other meds. The downside is that it is absurdly expensive and who knows if it is working.

  • Dennis, there are two types of drug commonly used to treat PD. Dopamine Agonists (like Requip) are used to enable the body to make best use of its own production of dopamine, also to prevent restless legs syndrome. Other drugs, essentially Levadopa based, are to supplement your own dopamine to make up for what you are losing.

  • This compulsiveness is a real problem for many of us PWP's when we go on a dopamine agonist and can grow into a problem very subtlely. From a cookie and sweet tooth addiction to car buying to sex...In my young onset group we have PWP's who blew their retirement funds by gambling impulsively in casinos...mine was buying 7 cars in 8 yrs. The worst part is that our physical functioning was terrific with the agonist. My movement disorder neurologist never mentioned this compulsiveness as a potential problem but she recognized the very measurable physical benefits in my walking while she had no visibility into my growing marriage problems or the financial drain these agonists were causing.

  • In the U.S., Dopamine Agonists are prescribed as Mirapex® and Requip®. They are used as an alternative to what has been called the “gold standard” for Parkinson’s medications, L-DOPA, which causes strong involuntary bodily movements as a side effect. The agonist drugs with impulsiveness as a side effect triggering these impulsive activities effect the same areas of the brain as they are tremendously addictive. Be careful and monitor all of your activities especially those few pleasurable activities left for us PWP's to enjoy.

  • to understand better are you saying carbadopa/levadopa (L-DOPA) cause strong involuntary bodily movements? I have those movements alot. Could it be carbadopa/levadopa? either too much? or to little? i am trying to learn while taking meds and seeing the Neurologist and one other PD doc. Mayo said I had PD sping of 2009. Neurologist at home said it was not PD but he did not know what it was. Saw another Neurologist and he was not sure. .....leaving me confused.

  • Carbidopa/Levodopa aka Sinamet provides the best relief of symptoms for 5 to 10 yrs. Then the drug begins to affect the patient with the severe reaction of an "on/off" of symptoms. This is called diskinesias when the patient is "on" and has uncontrollable "spastic" types of movement.

    I suggest you "google or bing" any terms you don't know and work with the good docs at Mayo or any other "movement disorder specialist neurologist" to get control of your symptoms...I've been diagosed 20 yrs and still have some lack of balance is getting scarry though.

  • Think of Michael J Fox who displays the dyskinesia ... head bobbing about. My brain doc says it is a reaction to being over medicated. I am currently taking carbadopa/levadopa ER (extended release) 2x per day and Azile$t once a day and started a bit of the bobble head routine.

    Although progress is being made on diagnosis techniques, most docs prescribe a pill and see if it helping the symptoms. Better than an autopsy which gives conclusive proof ;o)

  • Dennis, if Mayo says you got PD you can pretty much bet on it brother. They see it all and have MUCH more experience with these cases than most Neuros in the outside. I went to Mayo Fl and was the best thing I ever did. Not to put down the docs on the outside but my experience was that they cannot diagnose people well seeing patients in 15 minute blocks in an 8 hour day. Most do not spend enough time with patient to really know their names yet again figure out their problems.

  • I've been on carbidopa/levodopa since July of this year. First a 1/2 tab, then 1 tab and now 1 1/2 tab every 4 hours. My symptoms seem to continually increase. On the 1 1/2 tab, I'm now experiencing weakness in my leg muscles resulting in falling to the floor, increased tremors which are now affecting both sides of my body and memory problems. I stammer alot more now than I used to, my wording comes out backwards sometimes and I am finding I want to be alone whereas I was always social before. I see my doc on the 15th but what I've read here, I don't know if a change to one of those other medications would be good or not. I'm feeling confused. I would have a great tendancy towards obsessive/compulsive behavior. Therese

  • Therese, I too had the feeling of wanting to be alone. It wasn't as though I was focused on the fact that I have PD. it would just come out of nowhere & nothing ( including things I usually enjoy) sounded good. I just wanted yo stay in bed with the sheets pulled over my head. I'm usually a very social, optimistic person, but these feelings finally got the best of me. My neurologist, who is a movement disorder specialist at the Muhammid Alli Parkinson's Center, said this was a symptom of the PD. and depression was a common occurrence. He referred me to a psychiatrist & she has helped me tremendously. She did put me on mood stabilizer, which took about 6 weeks to see the full results. I'm so glad my dr had the spence to refer me to her. I'm also doing everything to be proactive; exercise & trying to eat healthy ; lots of antioxidants. You may want to consider this avenue. Hang in ther :)

  • Therese, I forgot to mention that I've been on requip & mirapex in small doses. That still caused compulsive disorder. I was sneakin out in the middle of the night to go to the casino! This was not at all like me. I advised my dr & he tried different dosages. Still no progress. I've been off those drugs for almost a year & dont have any desire to go out in the middle of the night. I'm fortunate that I didn't clean out any accounts but it's scary how I rationalized my behavior! So glad I'm off those drugs!

  • Sweets and sex, sex and sweets and sweets and sex! One is ruining my teeth and svelte figure the other is threatening my marriage. (I'll leave it to you to figure out which is doing which.)

    All very strange because I have always been a devout non-sweet eater (my entire adult life) and I'd had NO libido at all for the last 8 years (dxd 7 yrs ago) Now I find myself lusting after every cutie I encounter and perusing singles ads in every Tucson area publication I can find. (Unfortunately these publications have no subcategory for potential dates w/similar compulsions, lol!)

    I'm now getting SOME help from a psychiatrist and from anti-depressants. Which is rather a good news /bad news issue in as much as I'm enjoying the return of my libido.


  • Have to say I miss some of the sex addiction that came with the Mirapex--it was FUN, but the financial crisis was truly devastating.

  • Wow i must of touched on something worth while for once.. i must admit i did enjoy that mustang gt for a cpl years lol

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